SOC 270 3.1.docx - 2 How have you encountered the cult of the individual Durkheim calls the cult of the individual a product of the growing division of

SOC 270 3.1.docx - 2 How have you encountered the cult of...

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2. How have you encountered the cult of the individual? Durkheim calls the cult of the individual a product of the growing division of labor and one of the central components of organic solidarity. As division of labor increases, individuals develop their own skills and identity while relying on the skills of others, thus "organically" increasing both individualization and solidarity: "each organ has its own special characteristics and autonomy, yet the greater the unity of the organism, the more marked the individualization of the parts. Using this analogy, we propose to call 'organic' the solidarity that is due to the division of labor" (102). It seems that the cult of the individual is present in many team-related settings -- for instance, when I played little league baseball, I happened to be quite good at stealing bases, so I was often sent out as a pinch runner. I also learned many tactics to become an even better baserunner. My other teammates may have been better at fielding, hitting, or pitching, but all of those skills combined were required for the team to be successful.

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