Emile Durkheim's Theory Of Division Of Labor In Society

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Emile Durkheim, born in 1858 was an eminent proponent of Sociology from France, considered to be one of the greatest in his field alongside Karl Marx and Max Weber. Durkheim aimed to study society taking an evolutionary approach, keeping in mind that society is composed of individuals. However, it was not essentially the aggregate sum of each individual’s behaviors, actions and thoughts. Durkheim endeavored to understand transformation of society, from traditional to modern, where solidarity changes from mechanical to organic because of the phenomenon of ‘division of labour’. In this essay I will aim to explain first, how organic solidarity came to existence because of increasing division of labour in society. To begin with I will take a peek into Durkheim’s background and see how his interest was developed in this field. The next few paragraphs will focus on the phenomenon of ‘division of labour’ and how it affects solidarity in individuals. Next I will look into features of traditional societies and mechanical solidarity and then onto features of modern societies and organic solidarity. In the end I will try to explore the concerns that have been left unaddressed in Durkheim’s theory of ‘division of labor’. In Durkheim’s terms, society is analogous to an organism, which has its own existence, wherein societal facts, norms, mores and sentiments have influence over an individual. The question of ‘how social order is established given each individuals autonomy’ was of
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