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SOCB43H3S – Lecture 7 – 02-28-12
Causes of DOL
DOL + Modern Society
Sacred and Profane
Beliefs Rituals Church
Causes of DOL
Ways that the DOL can go wrong
Lack of regulation
You have a differentiation and division that occurs. But there aren’t any rules yet of how things
should relate to each other
You have DOL but only certain classes can fill certain functions. For example, people who make
money had specified jobs. The more DOL there is the worst it is for you. It creates all sorts of tension
It’s about the relationships between roles and personalities. If you’re going to school you may
discover that you have certain personality types. You have people who have personalities to be teachers
but don’t end up being teachers. This again creates all sorts of tension. There are more and more
different roles so this is where the tension rises.
Smith, Marx, those authors from last semester talked about DOL as alienating individuals. Comte talked
about the social disintegration. The common theme is the DOL creates problems on the one hand and
needs on the other side to fix it. Comte says you need political unity to fix the breaking of society.
DOL is bad for morality. Durkheim doesn’t agree with that. He says that these problems are pathological
problems but are not problems of the DOL itself. It has to do with justice guiding value.
The problem isn’t that you have division and differentiation it’s just that you don’t have a good
regulatory system. It’s a temporary problem of early stages.
Durkheim thinks force is a deviation from the true meaning of DOL. DOL works when you have a system
set up that everyone with the appropriate skills to get into certain tasks for which are suitable for those
When you have more roles in society it’s harder for people to know what to do with their lives. You need
to actually have a system for you to do a kind of work that is meaningful. There should be educational
roles like guidance counsellors to help you decide on what you want to do for the rest of your lives,
matching skills with careers.
DOL + Modern Morality
Durkheim thought that his big task of the book was to say what should the moral ideals be of a person in
modern society? People weren’t sure of these two competing ideas: uniqueness vs. wholeness – not
being stuck in one activity. His approach is very different from Weber’s. Social science for Weber can’t
tell you what the moral goal should be. If you pursue this goal you’ll have to deal with certain problems.
Silence has to remain silent. Durkheim is opposite. He says that thru social science can determine what
the social facts are therefore what your moral ideals had to be. How you do that is something where
bureaucrats, techinicians come into play. Modern society is organic solidarity. You have to find your own
unique way in life that allows the cooridination of oyur abilities with everyone else’s abilities. Durkheim
now is speaking as a kind of sociological high priest, this is what the best life is.
1) Moral rules must fit to the time
You can figure this out. You have to figure out the solidarity that dominates in society. You can
find it in law books for instance. You can’t change it even if you want to. You don’t have to
choose whether to specialize or become a complete person. Society has chosen that for you,
you just have to accept it. Fit the moral requirements of the basis of the social structure.
2) Moral rules create social solidarity.
How do I determine what the right thing to do in life is? You have to figure it out for yourself. It’s
not moral for someone else to tell you what to do. It’s morality that binds us to other people.
Something is moral when it requires you to take into account the needs and desires of other
people. It can happen thru organic or mechanical solidarity. Society allows you to be moral.
Mechanical solidarity gives a common template to people should follow. Organic is about
specializing and organizing.
3) Modern solidarity is based on the DOL
Each individual is more mobile. Our lives are less determined by origin. If the only way we have
of creating a moral connection with everyone else is thru mechanical solidarity, that situation
we described would be a moral catastrophe; we have nothing in common anymore. Modern
solidarity is now determined by DOL which enforces that my work is a contribution to the others.
Think of a painting of people in a workshop, harmoniousness is exactly this
i. We must specialize.
1. If we resist that, we are running away from the moral obligation of a
Consequences that modern morality demands us being specialists?
What it doesn’t command