ST03 CST06.Sum.Durkheim

ST03 CST06.Sum.Durkheim - Classical Sociological Theory 4e...

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Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer Emile Durkheim Sociological Theory Chapter 3 Classical Sociological Theory Chapter 6 CHAPTER SUMMARY Sociology as a Discipline and Social Facts Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is considered one of the “fathers” of sociology because of his effort to establish sociology as a discipline distinct from philosophy and psychology. This effort is evident in the two main themes that permeate Durkheim’s work: the priority of the social over the individual and the idea that society can be studied scientifically. Durkheim’s concept of social facts, in particular, differentiates sociology from philosophy and psychology. Social facts are the social structures and cultural norms and values that are external to, and coercive over, individuals. Social facts are not attached to any particular individual; nor are they reducible to individual consciousness. Thus, social facts can be studied empirically. According to Durkheim, two different types of social facts exist: material and immaterial. Durkheim was most interested in studying the latter, particularly morality, collective conscience, collective representation, and social currents. The Division of Labor In this work Durkheim discusses how modern society is held together by a division of labor that makes individuals dependent upon one another because they specialize in different types of work. Durkheim is particularly concerned about how the division of labor changes the way that individuals feel they are part of society as a whole. Societies with little division of labor (i.e., where people are self-sufficient) are unified by mechanical solidarity ; all people engage in similar tasks and thus have similar responsibilities, which builds a strong collective conscience. Modern society, however, is held together by
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY Classical taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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ST03 CST06.Sum.Durkheim - Classical Sociological Theory 4e...

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