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Page history last edited by alex.v.barnard@gmail.com 1 year, 5 months ago

Includes 1) Worksheets and Activities (organized by text) and 2) General Advice and Activity Templates recommended for designing your own Durkheim lesson plan.


Worksheets and Activities

Division of Labor in Society - also includes worksheets on mechanical/organic solidarity generally

  • Division of Labor Intro Diagram: I created a diagram to show the logic of how Durkheim developed his argument.
  • Mechanical Solidarity WorksheetVery nice worksheet on understanding mechanical solidarity.  Well-balanced in terms of teaching methods that reach students with different learning styles and strengths. 
  • Division of Labor in Society Worksheets: Excellent series of worksheets covering Durkheim (Div of Labor in Soc), Foucault (analyzing disciplinary power at work in Soc 101), and Weber (Prot Ethic and Bureaucracy).  Designed for Soc 102 with Burawoy, but Durkheim and Foucault worksheets broadly applicable.
  • Mechanical and Organic Solidarity Power Points 


Elementary Forms of Religious Life

  • Elementary Forms Discussion Questions: Discussion questions (with answer guide) for close reading of Chapter 7, Sections 2-3.  Designed for Soc 1.
  • Elementary Forms Group Work: Worksheet covering Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Book I, Chapter 1, sections 3&4 (where he defines religion) and Book II, Chapter 7, sections 1-5.
  • Durkheim - Elementary Forms – Close Reading - Worksheet focused on analyzing key passages from Elementary Forms of Religious Life in order to identify key sociological principles from Durkheim's thought, such as the duality of human nature, notion of society as "sui generis," approach to the "reality" of social constructs, and functionalism.  Designed for Soc 101 with Fourcade.


The Rules of Sociological Method (includes materials on "social facts")




General Advice and Activity Templates

Students always get confused by how Durkheim structures his arguments, so it's best to warn them ahead of time and explain. I always point out the following. Durkheim is very organized and systematic in developing his arguments (less so in Division of Labor in Society than his other works, unfortunately). However, the conventions he works under are not those that we are used to, which can lead to confusion.


He starts each book and each section of his books with a question. Thus, his development of arguments is question driven. It's a good idea to identify Durkheim's questions from the start. Sometimes, for section questions, you'll have to look at the paragraph or two just preceding the start of the section.


He then searches for possible answers to this question - either from the existing literature (of his time) or from conventional wisdom (again, of his time). These initial answers are never correct. He presents them to show us why they are wrong.  Generally speaking, Durkheim presents 2 or more "wrong" answers before the "right" one. His (right) answer will always be presented last, and generally derives from the weaknesses of the incorrect answers he discusses before.


And that's pretty much it. Question-driven and overthrown theories. Apparently, this method of analysis is known as "Induction by Best Fit".


Recommended activities:

For this reason, the following activities are usually a good choice for Durkheim:

Empirical Puzzle Chart (adapted from 2 worksheets below)

Empirical Puzzle Worksheet

Overthrown Theory Worksheet


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