assignment 1 - Assignment#1 Durkheim and Solidarity According to Emile Durkheim a French sociologist from the late nineteenth century solidarity is the

assignment 1 - Assignment#1 Durkheim and Solidarity...

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Assignment #1: Durkheim and Solidarity According to Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist from the late nineteenth century, solidarity is the concept through which society binds itself together. In his work, The Division of Labor in Society , he explores two different types of solidarity: mechanical and organic. Mechanical solidarity, or alternatively “Solidarity by Similarities”, is found primarily in more ancient societies and hinges on the principle that members of a society are largely similar. Individuals within these societies find and are linked to each other through their similarities ( DofL, 60). Organic solidarity, however, assumes that most individuals are largely different. It arises from the specialization and division of labor. This type of solidarity allows citizens of a society to cooperate with each other through the pursuit of their own self-interests ( DofL, 149). Durkheim characterizes societies with organic solidarity as more advanced because it does not require repressive lawmaking in order to function: because organic solidarity uses cooperation to keep society fueled, its laws are more malleable. Durkheim suggests that societies with many punitive laws, or laws intended to punish some sort of offense, are largely held together with mechanical solidarity. Punitive laws, or repressive law as Durkheim alternatively terms it, do not solely target crime, or actions that are harmful to society, as evidenced by the fact that a myriad of acts are harmful, but not illegal ( DofL, 38). Instead, punitive laws target moral offenses, particularly those with a religious basis. For example, a citizen defiling sacred property can be sanctioned under punitive law: this action is not very harmful to state in the long run, but still produces moral offense (32). And as this

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