Reading 6: Durkheim, "On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity"What are the characteristics of mechanical solidarity? Is possible for mechanical solidarity to occur in modern society? Why or why not? Mechanical solidarity shows low degree of specialization and the division of labor. For example, in mechanical solidarity, parents are teacher, cook, and tailor since there are no experts in low degree of the division of labor. In mechanical solidarity, social ties are based on similarities, a homogenous community,and shared tasks, values, customs, and beliefs. Mechanical solidarity is characterized by small, simple, rural, religious, and pre-industrial communities. Most people are farmers and have one religion. Because of the similarities, members in mechanical solidarity are easily replaced by other members with little interdependence among people. Also, in the society organized by mechanical solidarity shows unambiguous and constraining collective conscience with strong beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of society. As the reacts to a violation of the collective conscience, mechanical solidarity exercises repressive law. Violation of collective conscience arouses the wrath of the group. People are outraged at violators with little tolerance. Repressive punishment is swift and severe. I think it is possible for mechanical solidarity to exist in modern society, but not to the same extent in pre-modern society. Mechanical solidarity can be organized in smaller groups such as clubs and agrarian towns. For example, in Christian club at UCLA, the members share common belief and values through religious affiliation. However, the main difference of mechanical solidarity in modern society is that we can choose the groups we want to be involved, unlike mechanical solidarity in pre-modern society. If you do not want to be involved the Christian club anymore, then you can leave the club and go to other club. Reading 7: Durkheim, "What is a Social Fact?"What is a social fact? What are some examples of social facts that you can think of? What is the relationship, if any, between structures/agency and social facts? Social facts are ways of acting, thinking, and feeling, external to the individual, and endowed with a power of coercion. They are social norms and values that have an impact on the behaviors of an individual. Also, they are common to all members in the society in collective aspects. For example, holding the door for someone and saying thank you is a kind of a social fact. Actually, we do not have to do that, but in collective aspects, the power of coercion outside us makes us do that. Therefore, it is not somuch about the individual, but more of a collective underwritten guideline towards social behavior.