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Discuss Durkheim’s Theory Of Social Solidarity And Organic Solidarity

1097 words - 5 pages


Discuss Durkheim’s theory of social solidarity and organic solidarity.

Durkheim’s theory states that a society is like an organism with different structures and functions, he acknowledges the presence of individuals and social solidarity. He believed that a society is held by a division of labour and that the structure can be changed over time. His basic argument is that there are two types of social solidarity, mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity.. Societies with limited division of labour fall under mechanical solidarity and societies with high division of labour fall under organic solidarity.In both societies individuals act according to what they are obliged ...view middle of the document...

Any offence against the moral being of the society is not left unpunished and punishment serves the function of restoration in the society. The collective conscience and the individual conscience are virtually identical and an act is criminal when it offends strong and defined states of division.”According to Durkheim ,traditional cultures experience a high level of moral and social integration,there was little individualism and most behaviours were governed by norms which were usually embodied in religion.’People in traditional societies shared the same norms and values by participating in the same activities.

As the division of labour develops the collective conscience erodes, therefore Organic Solidarity is a by product of division of labour.In this society individual play a specialized role and task and they become more different in their values,belief social experience and their material interests.As the society develops the division declines the similarities of norms,values and principles also decline.The increase of the division of labour makes the growth of individualism inevitable and the society can only develop at the expense of the social norms,beliefs,principiles and values. Adams and Sydie (p. 94) state that Durkheim regarded this as an increase in moral or dynamic density.Durkheim argued that the traditonal society is held togther by mechanical solidarity.
With the changing of these common rules and values the sense of community, or identity in the group is lost. The social bond is weakened and social beliefs,values and principles no longer provide the same constant moral guidance.This set of experiences tends to lead toward “a ‘personal consciousness,’ with an emphasis on individual distinctiveness.” (Grabb, p.81)
Although the difference of norms and values has the potential to liberate the individual from tradition and family hierachies, church,institute and community, it can also creates problems. According to Durkheim, if an individual...

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