Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud
Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud are European sociologists who studied and wrote about the affect of industrializations and with society. Emile Durkheim is known to many in the humanities and academic fields. Freud is familiar to anyone who has studied intellectual and scientific history. Durkheim and Freud believed understanding the rules of society was vital for human survival. Durkheim compares to Freud in some aspects to religion. Both Emile and Freud were of European descent.
Emile went on to study the rules of society in order to better understand it. He found the broken link to when a crime or problem arose. He related this back to scientific theory which enabled the social group to play a huge role in sociology. The value of the smaller individual tasks led to a greater whole. When one group produces something very efficiently and soundly, they are relied upon by other groups which form an interaction between the groups. Yet the groups are independent, they rely on each other in order to function.
"Religion is something eminently social" (Pals 108). Durkheim feels that religion has been transmitted through years from birth.
Psychoanalysis, upon which Freud's ideas about religion rests, is not as scientific as people have assumed. Although Freud was successful in getting people to realize that there can be hidden psychological motives behind religion and religious beliefs, it is clear that religion involves much more.
Religious beliefs are expressions of symbolism to social realities; without those social realities serving as a foundation, religious beliefs would not make sense. Many have disputed this attitude, arguing that religion is more than just an expression of social realities. Although Durkheim has helped us understand that religion has a social function, it is clear that more is going on. Durkheim uses the example of Australian Totemism as the "elementary form", that is, the original and most basic common denominator of religion.
He describes the totem emblem as a symbol both for a society and its sacredness. This is because, he states in his fundamental hypothesis, "god and society are one and the same," though not necessarily on a conscious level. For Durkheim, religion is what brings people together by reinforcing social relations and moral norms through a "collective effervescence" or group energy. This energy, when felt by the individual, is not recognized as the result of communal energies, but is attributed to the sacred.
Emile Durkheim was a taught by a teacher and to add was a sociologist. Durkheim singularly developed sociology and is credited for expanding to academic discipline, social structures, social relationships, and social institutions, in attempt to understand human nature. Later Durkheim took these and applied them into religion. Durkheim focused on the importance of the concept of the sacred" and its relevance to the welfare of the entire community.