Analysis Paper - University of Alabama in Hunsville...

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University of Alabama in Hunsville Analysis Paper, Section II Social Order Rebecca M. Warner Sociology of Theory/SOC 309 Professor Christina Steidl 2 December 2013
Warner In Emile Durkheim’s theory of Division of Labor in Society , Durkheim theorizes that all individuals are held together by their societies solidarity (social connections which bind individuals together). Durkheim argued that solidarity is based first on similarities and then on differences. According to Durkheim, people are connected due to each person in society thinking and acting like the other, having the same morals and values. Durkheim called this type of solidarity mechanical solidarity. Mechanical solidarity is what feudal societies were based on. Feudal societies all depended on the same form of labor, which was agriculure, yet people were less dependent of each other for thier means of survival. Such mechanical societies had a strong collective conscience, (shared ideas, beliefs and attitudes of a society), which was reinfored by the fact that everyone performed the same tasks and shared the same morals and values (Durkheim, p.19). When societies suddenly became industrialized, people no longer had the same form of labor and instead, labor became specialized, which means everyone had separate specific tasks but which all were performed for the same unified goal. Also, in industrial societies, people become more distinguishable from each other and no longer share the same beliefs, however Durkheim believed that these differences between individuals weakened the collective conscience. Durkheim believed that mechanical solidarity was an essential component of all societies but that social solidarity of simple societies, such as feudal, were largely mechanical in nature. When societies became industrial, mechanical solidarity became less important. However, Durkheim thought that the combination of mechanical and organic solidarity is what makes societies stronger (Durkheim, p.25). Durkheim viewed all societies as containing both individual similarities (mechanical solidarity) as well as individual differences (organic solidarity). Durkheim believed that through 2
Warner similarities in society, differences are naturally developed and society itself changes from a segmented one to one which is more organized, meaning people will become more interdependent of each other and will be specializing in what each individual is good at. Durkheim believed conflict was something unavoidable, yet essential in societies, in order for a society to function and develop properly. Functioning societies naturally generate rules, (also known as norms) in which keep the society from becoming chaotic. According to Durkheim such social norms are the most apparent proof of social solidarity. Societies rules are normally

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