The article attempts to reconstruct the views of Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) about the nation and nationalism and their influence on modern research. Durkheim did not create any cohesive and systematic theory of the nation. These problems were not the most important of his interests and have poor connection with the main line of his theory. Moreover, Durkheim seemed to associate modern societies with communities delimited by the boundaries of national states. However, Durkheim overestimated the uniformity of nations when he wrote about the national character. He also replicated national prejudices when he described Germany as an example of bad nationalism. The author of 'The Division of Labour in Society' was not the only one to underestimate the national phenomena and giving in to some nationalistic beliefs. This is a broader phenomenon, which needs to be explained. However, in Durkheim's works there are many views, which were developed later, such as the thesis about the historical evolution of nations, indication of the role of ethnic ties in the modern world, and particularly the emphasis placed on the significance of rituals and symbols for social integration, which became an inspiration for the study of national holidays. Durkheim's discussion of the division of labour and its relation to the social cohesion have been most fully developed in Ernest Gellner's theory of nationalism.
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