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Class 15. Emile Durkheim.docx

Social Sciences
Course Code
SCS 1160
Jordan Stancil

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Emile Durkheim:
From the eastern part of France
His Methodology:
Key Terms
Social Fact: what allow society to become an object, they structure our life, it is
important we have them in order to have sociology, we must identify and figure out
how to measure social facts. External things, the reality of the combination of
individuals and traditions etc. within society. They exist in an independent way.
Something in society that you can observe and identify such as law. They are
constraining, you can’t really choose whether they exist or not or constrain you or
not. If you live here in this society these social facts are the same for you as weather
climate etc. is for everyone else (ex. English). You can’t escape from it, it structures
your life. Function of a social fact: ex. is to enhance the sense of togetherness when
we all express shock when someone goes against our social norms and wanting to
condemn the criminal. We express our shock which supports our social norms,
making us feel together because we all have the same social norms.
The individual is becoming more autonomous yet is relying on society more
The division of labour produces solidity with the people engaging in it, it links you to
There are 2 kinds of Sanction:
Repression sanction and punishments used by criminal law to punish and hurt you
Whereas the civil law the non-criminal law is about the restitution (you breech a
contract with someone so you have to fulfill the rest of the contract)
Collective consciousness are only things we agree on, in more liberal society (more
advanced societies) the collective common consciousness does not demand very
much from you, it is only a small part of what is in our heads because we are
- An act is criminal when it offends the collective consciousness. Crime has to
be defined in a special way, not by the act itself but define it by the reaction it
creates by the people. Not what the criminal does but what societies reaction
is to it.
2 Kinds of solidarity
- Mechanical: the solidarity of likeness, held together by the similarity between
the group members. More prevalent in primitive societies everyone
believes in the same religion etc. There is little economic perplexity, the legal
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