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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Social Cohesion - January 21.docx

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Holly Wardlow

January 21, 2014. Lecture 3 - Social Cohesion: Structural Functionalism, Collective Effervescence, and The Gift Emile Durkheim [1858 – 1917] • Him and all his students except Marcel Mauss killed in WW1 • Considered the founding father of sociology as well as French anthropology as it is understood and studied today • “social facts” o Phenomena that exist at the level of the social and cannot be explained by resorting to individual-level reasons, such as psychology or biology (e.g. social institutions, kinship roles, religious beliefs) • The Division of Labour in Society [1893] o Mechanical Solidarity  Form of social cohesion in aboriginal, “primitive”, or “simple” societies  Comes from shared world views, values, experiences, emotions, beliefs, etc. but not through functional interdependence  Produced by mechanical or artificial means • Not fake, inauthentic, or synthetic • Rather, a kind of social cohesion that has to be deliberately created; humans have to get together to create and decide upon that which links them; deliberately generated by human activity o Organic Solidarity  Exist in societies in which diverse interdependent subdivisions are linked together through functional dependence  People are dependent on each other for goods and services  People begin to specialize in various forms of labour which is why they are dependent on other people who specialize in other things  Different beliefs (political and ideological), different pastimes, etc.  Organic because of metaphor for the human body: different organs and cells and bones and muscles and blah blah blah that do specific things to allow a cohesive body to live properly o Modern industrial societies vs hunter gatherer societies  Socially independent (live alone sometimes)  More individualistic (focus on personal goals and traits)  More dependent on society for work, food, products, services  VERSUS (respectively)  Individuals more independent; can function alone through getting own food, making own clothes, etc.  More socially dependent; more focus on the group • The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life o Collective/General Effervescence  Powerful sensation or emotion, energy, excitement, bondedness experienced only through group ritual; cannot be experienced alone  Works to bond people together and reaffirms beliefs in the sacred and supernatural o Psychological need to believe in a higher power; not biological o Religion produces the homogeneity of worldview Marcel Mauss (1872 – 1950) • Mauss and Durkheim o Both use comparative techniques to generate theories and information  Not exactly THE comparative method, but techniques that are comparative nonetheless o Both have theories about that which generates social cohesion  For Mauss: The Gift  For Durkheim: Organic vs. Mechanical Solidarity, General Effervescence
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