Emile Durkheim--Individualism and the Intellectuals

Topics: Psychology, Cognition, Sociology Pages: 1 (372 words) Published: September 26, 2012
Individualism and the Intellectuals
1. How does Durkheim see the relationship of the individual to society? Durkheim sees the relationship of the individual to the society in a rather complex way. Durkheim believes that we are all cognitive beings that have unique, individual qualities that make us different. These differences set us apart inside of the society, yet, we all play a key role in it. We all share a bond together whether it be one of social solidarity, common consciousness, or system of law. The two parts to this question can be summed up with the role of the individual and the concept of the society. Individuals as stated by Durkheim have their own cognitive ability, they have thoughts, influences, desires and so many things that set them apart, however, the true relationship comes from the role of society. Durkeheim sees society as a thing rather than a place or a concept. It has an existence of its own, apart from the individuals within it. The molding of the individual, the thoughts of the people, the styles, trends, and basic life of the individual is molded and shaped by the society. This is what Durkheim found fascinating, the effect of the society on the individual and the complex role that the individuals have in guiding the society. The relationship of the individual to the society can be summed up by saying that the individuals guide then society, however, the society molds the individuals within it, guiding the moral compasses of the individuals as well as the thoughts, trends, and behaviors. 2. Why is this question relevant?

This question is relevant today because the same concept of society and the relationship between the individuals within it is still something that is constantly being dealt with and thought about. Durkheims philosophy is a key staple in modern sociology because this relationship is still pertinent. The role of the individuals on society is still key because it seems that society is shaping people rather than people...
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