What is more, society and social phenomena can only be explained in sociological terms, as the fusion of individual consciences that, once created, follows its own laws. Durkheim not only founded the French school of sociology, he left behind a school of brilliant researchers who developed the field, often in directions quite different from Durkheim's original approach, testifying to his ability to encourage and inspire his students to go beyond him in their pursuit of knowledge. The cult of the individual thus presupposes an autonomous individual endowed with rationality, born both free and equal to all other individuals in these respects. In such a situation society would risk fragmenting into distinct groupings, leading to social conflict. These works examined the role that religion and mythology have in shaping the worldview and personality of people in such societies. Charles Renouvier, a neo-Kantian philosopher, also had a large impact on Durkheim. Finally, it is also worth mentioning here that although Durkheim does not discuss the issue at length, his analysis of morality lends itself to a theory of conflict in which competing groups maintain different concepts of good and allegiance to different moral authorities. Durkheim, by contrast, argued that in the absence of regulation people's desires would always outstrip their capacity to realize them. Arguably the most important of these thinkers for Durkheim was Wundt, who rejected methodological individualism and argued that morality was a sui generis social phenomenon that could not be reduced to individuals acting in isolation. According to Durkheim, moral rules do not need to be blindly followed by individuals. This logical structure helps to order and interpret the world, ensuring that individuals have a more or less homogenous understanding of the world and how it operates, without which human society would not be possible. His sociology of knowledge argues that many, if not all, facets of an individual’s thought and conception of the world are influenced by society. Instead, Durkheim views both the capacity and the content of categorical thought as stamped onto the individual mind by society at the same time. A look at Durkheim’s sociology of knowledge. Despite the fact that they are of a fundamentally different nature (expressing reality as it is and not the reality of society), scientific représentations operate in the same way and are just as instrumental to society as other représentations collectives. Durkheim was generally optimistic that changes in the structure of society due to division of labor would lead to positive developments for both society and the individuals in society. These elements of Durkheim’s sociology have led to some confusion. Many argued that he misunderstood capitalism and proposed ”through the modernization of medieval corporations” an impractical solution for its pitfalls. As Durkheim’s interests shifted, his notion of coercion also changed, as did his use of the word ‘constraint’. At least in Western society, the development of and respect for individualism has grown to such an extent that it has become the object of a cult; the individual is a sacred object and the protection of individual liberties and human dignity has been codified into moral principles. In this way, moral authority is constituted by a force that is greater than the individual, outside of the individual, but also a force that penetrates the individual and shapes their personality. Collection of essays examining Durkheim’s late work and its relevance to cultural sociology. DURKHEIM, ÉMILE(1858–1917) The French sociologist and philosopher Émile Durkheim was born in Épinal (Vosges). This last caveat demonstrates that even when the individual acts in an autonomous way, they are, morally speaking, still bound by the limits of society. His work is important to students of communication because of the central, though often implicit, role of communication processes in his sociological analyses. Ultimately this dialectic between the state and the secondary group ensures the proper functioning of a democratic society, namely by ensuring that individuals are properly socialized and that neither the state nor the secondary groups become repressive towards the individual. What is more, if society becomes too atomized the state risks becoming domineering. Rationality is also of primary importance to this religion. Partly, this was because he was professionally employed to train teachers, and he used his ability to shape the curriculum to further his own goal of having sociology taught as widely as possible. This means that the world exists only as far as it is represented, and that all knowledge of the world necessarily refers back to how it is represented. Durkheim remains a fundamental and prominent figure for sociology and social theory in general. There was no way that a man of Durkheim's views could receive a major academic appointment in Paris, and so he took a succession of teaching positions in other parts of France. On the other hand, in societies with organic solidarity the law is generally restitutive: it aims not to punish, but instead to repair damage and restore the normal activity of a complex society.