Social Integration - Emile Durkheim

Topics: Sociology, Émile Durkheim, Social disintegration Pages: 3 (667 words) Published: October 5, 2011
1 - What is meant by the term ‘social integration’? How did Emile Durkheim explain the differences in integration between modern and pre-modern societies?

Emile Durkheim introduced the theory of social integration in the late nineteenth century, it is the means through which people interact, connect and confirm each other within a community. It is a way of describing the established patterns of human relations in societies. The differences in integration between modern and pre-modern societies were explained by Durkheim in two key terms that pre-modern societies are held together by mechanical solidarity and modern societies are held together by organic solidarity. Solidarity is the structure of human groups into a social unity.

In the Division of labour in Society Durkheim described Durkheim described how social order was maintained in societies based on mechanical and organic forms of solidarity, he explained the transition from more traditional societies to modern societies where solidarity changes from mechanic to organic. This change occurred through the growing division of labour as a result of this the increasing industrialisation and the process of modernisation meant societies changed from pre-modern to modern and as this change happened so did the form of solidarity that held individuals together.

In traditional pre-modern societies which Durkheim described as mechanical people felt connected through similar work, educational and religious lifestyles. These societies are generally simple and in the form of tribes or clans’ one cannot be an individual in society the society. Although individuals perform different tasks and have different values and interests, the order and solidarity of society depends on them to perform their specific task. The mechanical solidarity is possible only when personality is submerged collectively, there is uniformity and similarities in terms of what people do and how they think. Peoples are self sufficient and...
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