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Emile Durkheim

By Aileen-Staunton Feb 07, 2015 1243 Words
Emile Durkheim

Sociology is the scientific and systematic study of human societies and the people who form the different types of societies. It sets out to describe, understand and explain the social world that we live in It studies the relationship between the individual and society. This essay will discuss Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) and analyse the relevance of his theories within societies today. Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist who was viewed as one of the founding fathers of sociology. Some of the areas which Emile Durkheim’s discussed were the anomie, division of labour, suicide, religion and mechanical and organic solidarity (Macdonald, 2009). Emile Durkheim believed that mechanical solidarity was based on moral consensus which traditional societies are characterised. Mechanical solidarity gives way organic solidarity based on the productive specialization in industrial societies. In pre-industrial societies, Durkheim explained that strong tradition functions as the social support which binds individuals together. If a person tries to change their ways of life the community would try to move as fast as possible to punish this person. He called this mechanical solidarity. (J. Marcion and Plummer, 2008). This means: ‘social bonds based on shared morality that unite members of pre-industrial societies’ (Giddens, 2001). Durkheim explained that these social bonds were ‘mechanical’ as individuals would feel a more or less automatic sense of being connected together (McDonald, 2009). He believed that the reduction in mechanical solidarity to be a defining trait in modern society. However this doesn’t indicate that society dissolves: instead modernity creates a new kind of solidarity. This new social integration new is what he called organic solidarity (J. Marcion and Plummer, 2008. This means: ‘social bonds, based on specialization, that unite members of industrial societies’ (J. Marcion and Plummer, 2008) As solidarity was once ingrained in likeness, it presently passes from differences among individuals whose extensive pursuits make each of them depend on one another. (J. Marcion and Plummer, 2008) Emile Durkheim was the first to use the concept of anomie to explain the undermining traditional customs and standard in societies of anomie to explain the undermining traditional customs and standard in societies today (Giddens and W. Sutton, 2013). As there was a major increase in

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