id Emile Durkheim, though the former seemed to have an inclination to identify himself as an economist rather than a sociologist (Jensen, 2012:2), have come to be acknowledged for their iconic status as foremost sociological comparative analysts since the late nineteenth century and hence an effort to compare and contrast the ideas of these two. Unlike Marx, Weber and Durkheim base their argument on social action and solidarity and not on conflict. They regarded economy among the many components that made up the society and it was not accorded any privileged position in the social structure. These ideas, founded on a strong commitment to democratic and liberal values, have been of immense use to later researchers in social sciences.
Till the mid-nineteenth century the study of societal structures was not recognized as a science. There was barely any effort to recognize the place of individual in the society and the former’s influence on the latter and vice-versa. There was little enthusiasm to raise questions and pursue answers relating to the society which is the unit of civilization. It was Weber and Durkheim who helped social science take a big leap forward by building elaborate arguments on the characteristics of societies, the factors and forces that hold them together, whether there are certain patterns that can be observed in societal evolution, the possible impact of such patterns, if any, on polity and economy, whether it is possible to codify them and what use this understanding could be of to the human communities. The biggest success of Weber and Durkheim was to draw the attention of the world to these issues and arouse its interest.
Weber and Durkheim, considered the founding fathers of sociology, have a great deal in common in terms of their use of empirical procedures to reinforce their propositions, in spite of the fact that their views had fundamental differences. Both of them relied on classification and creation of ideal types as the ground
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