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How convincing is Durkheim's arguement that organic solidarity is a normal development of the division of labour in society - Essay Example

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Durkheim’s theory of the functioning of society is a complex one, rich in detail and intertwined mazes of sociological bases to explain how individuals function both separately and as part of a society. The focus of this paper will be based on his concept of organic…
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How convincing is Durkheims arguement that organic solidarity is a normal development of the division of labour in society
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How convincing is Durkheim's arguement that organic solidarity is a normal development of the division of labour in society

Download file to see previous pages... According to Durkheim, certain social facts such as family norms, formal laws and regulations exercise a form of coercive power on the members of a society, and these exist independently from its members (Martin & McIntyre 1994, p.433). Presented as thus, these social facts are a part of society which are functional but objectively self-existent within a society.
In The Division of Labour, Durkheim explored the way in which a society shifts from its more primitive state to a modern society; through the content of its moral rules and stances, and also through the solidarity of its nature. In relation to the former shift, he expressed law as an assurance of a society’s fundamental values, as the moral values attached to individuals by individuals borne of human dignity. He assigned law the unifying value of society, calling it a ‘glorification…of the individual in general…sympathy for all that is human’ (Individualism and the Intellectuals 1889, p.273). As a form of coercive power in society, law depicts society as a moral unit, and we feel the force of this coercive power when we deviate from it. This is not to say that we are constantly aware of the coercive power within society; through the sharing of similar beliefs and goals, we as individuals are able to create the impression that such collective beliefs are our own. Yet how can the members of a society co-exist with a set of moral values which are not a sum of its members individual values? It is as though Durkheim describes us a blank slates, upon which our entering into society is drawn a set of moral values by this separate entity – does this not undermine any autonomy that we could possess as individuals? Just because moral rules are obligatory does not mean that they are not a creation of the collective values and beliefs of its individuals. How can it be a ‘collective common conscience’, (Division of Labour in Society 1893, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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