The Influence Of Language And Durkheim's View On Language

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Language is a social fact which also controls the individual. An individual is born in a society where a certain language is spoken this is how language is external to him. He is made to learn that language in order to communicate with others. Language exerts a constrain on the individual and communication because of vocabulary. According to the Swiss linguist and semiotician Saussure all languages are social facts. Saussure studied language according to Durkheim’s view that languages are social facts. He claimed that languages are social facts because none of the speakers of a certain language know all the words of a language. Saussure described language as “a product of the collective mind of linguistic groups” and “language is not complete in any speaker; it exists perfectly only within a collectivity” (Saussure, 1916, p 649). Durkheim wrote extensively on religion as well, his views on religion can be seen in his text “The elementary forms of religious life.” He thinks of religion not as a divine force but as a social construct which is created to control people living in a society. Durkheim also mentions the concept of the holy and profane which are the two binaries of religion. The sacred consists of all the things which are isolated and prohibited and whereas, the profane is all the things an individual does in his daily life. He further goes on to say that religion is the power of a society and that the individual worships the society when they worship god because

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