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Zaheer Baber

CHAPTER 12: Part 1: Chapter 12: Pages 165 – 174 Emil Durkheim (1858 – 1917) • Emil Durkheim’s main focus began from a Socialist thought leading to sociology and then mainly to social problems • It is argues that even by the end of his research, Durkheim still held strong socialist beliefs • His main motivation was to use his theories to explain social phenomenon’s of his time – mainly the industrial revolution • He had great knowledge of socialist literature, including work by Karl Marx • Even though he surrounded himself with socialism promoters, he remained opposed to the ideas of socialism – stating it to be violent in nature, classified it to be the ideas of ‘workingmen’ and rejected it because of it political or politician- like tone • In opposition to a concept of society defined by class and class conflict, he put forth a new theory on ‘organic solidarity’ • His idea of solidarity rooted from his fear of social conflicts/movements of his time • He wanted to seek a intellectual middle ground between the two prominent systems: Comtean and Marxian • He did this by exploring past Auguste Comte and Karl Marx and studied their source of ideas in Saint Simon Durkhieim and Saint Simon • Saint Simon recognized classes within society but believed that even though a hierarchical would occur, there would be organic order of social peace and solidarity • Saint Simon believed in achieving integration by instituting appropriate moral ideas in society • This idea became the leading idea for Durkheim 1 • Using this idea, Durkheim believed that the new division of labor in science and industry did not need to lead to disorganization and anarchy – as Comte feared would happen • Everything depended on whether the appropriate moral ideas could be developed to suit new social and technical conditions – for Durkheim and Simon • Durkheim regarded Saint Simon as the intellectual master • Moral ideas in society are thought by both as a single bond that unite people into e The Problem of Order • Durkheim concerned himself with answering how the industrial society of his time might establish and maintain social stability and cohesiveness • For Thomas Hobbes, social order was a result of the fear of a Leviathan, central power • Hobbes saw this as the single most important condition that made a stable society possible • It was the Hobbesian solution that was mainly adopted in Durkheim’s time • The solution was state imposed social peace • At the other side of the extreme were the Utilitarian who believed that central powered was not necessary at all • For Utilitarian, social order stemmed from a division of labor • Order was seen as a consequence of a society in which every individual pursued their own interests • This was a laissez faire approach – the economy works best when left alone • Utilitarians – all economic affairs take place through a process of free exchange, and if each person dedicates himself to the pursuit of their own interests, then that will lead to the “greatest good of the greatest number” • Durkheim in critiquing the Utilitarianism states that there is nothing to prevent a relentless pursuit of self interest that will only lead to a Hobbesian war of all against all 2 • Durkheim states that mutual interest can bind people together but only for a temporary moment • Durkheim also rejected socialist approaches to order – stating that an expanding division of labor can bring solidarity than ever before – not class conflict • For Marxists, the only way that humanity could reap the benefits of technical developments was to fundamentally restructure social relations – a division of labor represented social inequalities • Durkheim rebuttable to both Comte and Marx – but his theory is mainly in the middle of the two views • To Comte, Durkheim agrees that moral consensus is a pre-condition to social order, but argued that the division of labor doesn’t have to lead to dispersion and conflict of interests • Durkheim states that there are non-moral factors that can lead to social solidarity such as technical development of science and industry and promoting interdependence among groups in society • To the Marxian view, Durkheim agreed that there is a need for socio-economic reform which without could neither be true solidarity nor true justice, but argued that no fundamental restructuring was necessary in society. • Thus he mediated between Comte and Marx’s ideas while adapting their common intellectual ancestor’s, Saint Simon’s, ideas to the society of his time. Part 2: Durkheim’s treatment of the Division of Labour - For Durkheim, crises such as recurrent industrial and commercial crises were explained by the lack of adjustment among the various “functions” of the social organism. - Ex: Conflict between capital and labour - The growth of the division of labour has caused class warfare to become more violent- for Durkheim this is a consequence of the division of labour in its Abnormal forms. - Anomic Division of Labour (first of the abnormal forms) – Durkheim uses the term to explain that the a moral legal code appropriate fir the new conditions was lacking, or poorly developed in modern industrial society. - The code is essential to resolve the amount of diverse interest groups in society and therefore regulate and moderate social conflicts. 3 - Durkheim realized that rules and regulations cannot be the
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