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Running head: DOES DURKHEIM’S VIEWS ON SOCIAL SOLIDARITY WORK TODAY? 1Does Durkheim’s Views on Social Solidarity Work Today?
Running head: DOES DURKHEIM’S VIEWS ON SOCIAL SOLIDARITY WORK TODAY? 3IntroductionIt is easy to look at some chaotic situations in today’s world and wonder if there is any order in the world anymore from deadly crimes where innocent people are killed or unruly riots taking place by groups that feel they no longer have control of their lives, but this is when we look toward sociological studies to help solve the problems. In the early 1800’s, Auguste Comte established sociology as an actual science that ranked up there with mathematics and physics andthus, many consider him the father of sociology, but it was Emile Durkheim that defined sociology for the contemporary era. It would be difficult to believe that Durkheim’s ideas on social solidarity and division of labor are applicable today with some of the chaos that is going on, but it reinforces some of his thoughts as to why some parts of society break down. Durkheim’s better known ideas were that of mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity that he used to define current society and predict how future societies would grow. If Durkheim developed these ideas in the late 1800’s, can they actually still be used to explain society today?Defining and Applying a Mechanical SolidarityEmile Durkheim would not have been able to establish his ideas about division of labor and how it changes as society grows without a starting point to reference and he could do that by studying the simplest form of human society that could go back as far as the stone age. Per Ritzer(2011) the first early forms of division of labor we what was noted as mechanical solidarity (p. 194). If a person was to breakdown a society in the stone age it would show that there were hunters and there were gatherers with both providing a necessary function for the group, but the group was small enough that there was considerable interaction and everyone was recognized fortheir contribution to the group. Ritzer notes that mechanical solidarity is the ability of individuals