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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Discuss the theory of social solidarity by Durkheim is a milestone in the subject of sociology

Social Solidarity

Durkheim divides it into two parts. Mechanical solidarity and Organic solidarity. Its detail is given below :

i. Division of Labour :
Durkheim says that ancient societies had mechanical stability because of their simple and undifferentiated structure of society where there is a less division of work. In the modern societies, there is organic stability because there is intense and refined division of work.

According to Durkheim, division of work is a material social fact where there are tasks and responsibilities specified. In the ancient societies, individuals had general social position, did several jobs and fulfilled many responsibilities. The change in division of work plays an important role in explanation of social structure and a social stability is one of those. According to Durkheim, “Social stability is those social conditions that keep the individuals of the society united.”

In mechanical types of societies, individuals have a common position or status, are busy in similar type of activities with similar responsibilities like father hunts and mother is food-gatherer. They are self-sufficient in their matters. The uniformity creates competition giving rise to instability and there is liability of breakage of society. Self-sufficiency exhorts them to change residence soon whereas in organic societies people are attached with each other because of their different jobs and responsibilities and they have to rely on others for their survival. They need grocer, butcher, motor mechanics, teachers, public and others. Several type of services are needed in a modern organic society including organized institutions where stability is based upon cooperation because they use sources on mutual cooperation base giving more stability to the organic societies and at the same time individuality is also maintained.

ii. Dynamic Density :
According to Durkheim, division of labour was a social fact because it is a manner of interaction in the social life. A transition from mechanical to organic solidarity is an evolutionary dynamic density which is caused by the number of individuals and their interaction with each other because these densities create an intensity in trial and competition because of less resources and ancient societies create a change in their parallel responsibility and uniform works. Since in ancient societies, individuals, groups, families and tribes do uniform functions and there is a possibility of more quarrels on resources, especially if these are less whereas division of labour creates cooperation rather conflict in the social structure and mutual existence increases. Since division of labour is characteristic of organic society it increases efficiency through increasing the sources and more and more people can keep their existence in a stable and peaceful way.

iii. Law :
Durkheim says that there is repressive law in mechanical societies because people are simple and believe in common morality and give weight-age to attack against morality and think that attackers should be punished severely because they tried to harm the collective moral system. A goat thief‘s hand should be cut off tongue, speaking against gods, should be cut off because people are so much involved in morality that they want instant punishment for offenders but in organic society the law is restitutive. A common crime is not punished severely rather the individual is asked to obey law and to compensate. Though death punishment is also found in organic society but there is no repressive collective moral system for the disobedience of law and there is police and judiciary to safeguard and to enforce law. Thus there is a stability of permanent type in
organic societies whereas there is no such stability in a mechanical society.

iv. Collective Conscious : 
Durkheim devised the idea of collective conscious and used for social stability. He has defined collective conscious in these words:
“The totality of belief and sentiments common to average citizens of the same society forms a determinate system which has its own life, one may call it the collective or common conscious.”

This definition consists of two parts :

i. Totality of belief and sentiments.

ii. Determinate cultural system.

He analyses the collective conscious that by increasing in division of labour collective conscious transformation takes place. In organic societies, there is a less collective conscious whereas it is very important in mechanical societies. In organic society, the unity is due to division of labour and fulfilment of needs as a result of that and is no need of culture conscious. Its review can be had from four dimensions: volume, intensity, rigidity and consent.

i. Volume means the number of people in the collective conscious.

ii. Intensity means the depth of feelings about collective conscious.

iii. Rigidity means the clarity of the concept among the people.

iv. Consent means the form of collective conscious in these societies. In a mechanical society, collective conscious is a matter of all people, is believed in intensely, is felt and known with rigidity and its consent
has an element of religion. In organic societies, collective conscious is limited to its own circle, a few people relate to it, it has less intensity, rigidity and is thought the consent of an individual depending up On his will and acceptance.

Collective conscious is different in every two societies and plays an important part in the explanation of social stability.


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