What aspects of modernity most worried Durkheim?
Modernity is a collection of Idea’s that foster new ways of thinking about the subjects of society, economics and political thinking in comparison to the classical way of sociological ideas. Modernity was a name given to a big idea, a big sociological theory, which consisted of lots of smaller ideas. It was a historical change, whereby more than two hundred years in the past, European societies underwent a significant and quite rapid change in all aspects of their social, cultural, political and economic lives (Fevre. R and Bancroft. A. 2010. P 27). Modernity meant that people started to question social phenomena; they started to create theories as to why something had happened or was happening. They started to question what made us do the things we do, what makes us follow certain rules and so forth. Modernity itself was in fact a theory, thought up to summarise the changes that were happening at a certain point in history. Emile Durkheim was a key sociological thinker of the 19th century. He was one of the first people to try and explain and understand society as a whole by looking at all the different parts of society. He studied the ways in which society was held together through moral and social bonds. This came to be known as ‘functionalism’. It was a word used to describe a complicated system in which different pieces fit together to form a stable and structured society. One of Durkheim’s major works was a Book called ‘The division of labor in society’. This is known as one of his most famous books, as it includes some key elements of his sociological thoughts. In this book, Durkheim wrote about the differences within traditional and modern societies. He describes traditional societies as having a low division of labor in society- resulting in mechanical solidarity. This is a term that Durkheim used to explain small compact and quite simple societies such as small rural villages, where there was a...
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