SOC 233 Sept. 21, 2011
Durkheim - Division of Labour
Division of Labour: Different specializations in the labour force.
How social order was maintained in different types of societies.
We are interdependent due to division of labour; rely on each other.
Q – How is social order maintained in different societies?
Durkheim looked at this with division of labour.
1. Mechanical Solidarity: Traditional societies; same functions from person to person.
People do the same things and have a lot in common.
Shared beliefs and values; collective conscience.
Strong social norms; everybody adheres to the same norms.
Everybody is in tune with the same ideas, values, norms and beliefs.
Religion is VERY powerful in traditional society.
2. Organic Solidarity: Modern societies; different functions from person to person.
Religion less significant.
French Revolution brought about attack on religion.
Less collective conscience.
People brought together through DIVISION OF LABOUR.
Reliance on people; interdependence.
Individuals play increasingly specialized roles which have created dissimilar experiences in
Society held together through needs of each person.
Note – Durkheim was a functionalist, so these ideas are reflective of his way of thinking.
4 Dimensions of the Collective Conscience:
1. Volume: Number of people enveloped by the collective conscience.
Mechanical – Entire society.
Organic – Particular groups.
2. Intensity: How deeply the collective conscience is felt by individuals?
Mechanical – High.
Organic – Low.
3. Rigidity: How clearly is collective conscience defined?
Mechanical – High.
Organic – Low. 4. Content: What collective conscience embodies.
Mechanical – Religious.
Organic – Moral individualism.
Theory of Religion
How can society function without religion? Religion is the cement that holds society together.
Religion was an expression of social cohesion through sha