Durkheim – Essay – TERISAM
SSS 100SPRING SESSION I 2018PAPER#1LI, LIHONGYI(TERI)Durkheim is regarded as a functionalist theorist, just like Marx and Weber, Durkheim also lived in a period of transition, his functional theoretical framework was created in a time of rapid social changes. The social class theory have three sources, Marx, Weber and Durkheim all have contributed in these, an outstanding contribution of Durkheim is to discern the moral qua a consequence and constitution of economy in modern economic life, his theoretic interest always focused on social order and integration. The emphasis on the structure external to individuals is just on the opposite side of Weber ’s claim that sociology should interpreter social action from the standpoint of individuals. Comparing to Marx, who believes sharp conflicts and class struggle in capitalist society would inevitably lead to revolution and communism, and Weber, who holds a pessimistic view about the outcome of rationalization and bureaucratization that we would eventually be trapped in iron cage, Durkheim offers us a quite moderate view of seeing the transition from traditional to modern society. Firstly, In Durkheim ’s description, traditional society is a society where people tend to do the same job, so social solidarity is simply based on the same life experience. But in modern society, as the population density goes up, people have to compete with each other for the scarce social resources. In order to reduce the fierce competition, individuals differentiated with each other to do specialized jobs, and that is known as division of labor . Thus social solidarity in modern society is based on people’s mutual dependence. His main arguments in The Division of Labor is that society is to be viewed as an entity in itself, with all its parts fulfilling basic functions, needs, or requisites of the whole. Thus, the existence of all the social structures could be explained in their particular function to maintain the operation of social system. he suggests that division of labor should be assigned to individuals’ natural abilities, and it is only when we have opportunity equality can we ensure that all the individuals are in the right place in society.
Secondly, He argues that all of our knowledge, including our sense of time and space, comes from religious rituals that categorize things in society. The scientific approach to build up causal relations might be different from religious doctrines, but our understanding of causality is constructed by religion. Our observation of society is always rooted in our experience and social practices. he is not too worried about the crisis of belief in religion, which might cause the collapse of social norms.The god we believe in might be different, but there should be some religious rituals to separate sacred from profane. Through these rituals, society renews itself, and individuals get power from them so that they can approach the world with confidence and feeling of increased energy . Instead of making a one-sided emphasis on the restrain of society on individuals, he also argues the reverse. Individuals cannot exist without god, while at the same time god cannot exist without the support of individuals. In my view, Durkheim ’s forced division of labor appears to be quite vulnerable to critiques, since power is absolutely absent in his arguments. It is difficult to figure out whether “opportunity equality” is really a solution, Individuals living in the society are also considered as an instrument to realize the goal of society, Individuals are totally subordinate to society. Our taste, habits, and perception of the world is all shaped by society. Even the seemingly most personal choice of suicide is linked to the condition of society as a whole. from Durkheim ’s standpoint, strengthening people’s belief in working for the whole society, and making social mobility more accessible to people in different classes, are both effective in maintaining social order. Judging from the situation in today’s society, these methods are at least useful to mitigate social conflicts. But on the other hand, With the imbalance of economic development and social stratification conditions leads to a lot of inequalities in different social stratum. Social division of labor brought efficiency and created the wealth gap and unfair, the position of the have-nots in our society could deteriorate even further. Social conflicts are becoming sharper and sharper. Durkheim thought that crime will be beneficial to social evolution. sometimes, crime seems to touch the morality in the real world, but Durkheim thought that it has already scheduled the future morality actually. ( , Durkheim cited the example of Socrates ’s pursuit of freedom, page 86-89). I don’t fully agree with that, that would encourage someone to commit a crime, nowadays, vulnerable groups occupy a large proportion in social class, this evidence shows a relationship between crime and social class, with social differences become greater, social contradictions and social conflicts occur successively, if we consider the crime is normal phenomenon, first, poor and wealthy disparity ambassador between the social class benefit friction has increased, the contradiction intensifies, causes the society to be unstable, the rising crime rate will make a bad situation worse.
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(2018, 04). Durkheim. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 04, 2018, from