Durkheim’s Thesis on Social Solidarity

Emile Durkheim, a Frenchman, made enormous contributions to social science. Through his thesis, Durkheim went into great detail about how the division of labor in society affects society as a whole. Durkheim argues that a division of labor benefits society by increasing the potential for reproduction, enhancing worker competence, and fostering a sense of community among the populace. His argument demonstrates the value of the division of labor beyond just economic concerns by establishing a social and moral order in society. This article address multiple concepts regarding the Durkheim’s thesis on social solidarity in numerous types of societies.
Durkheim’s thesis on social solidarity in different types of societies and how the types of social solidarity are tied to the division of labor in society
According Durkheim’s thesis on social solidarity, advanced societies has a greatly developed social solidarity obtained from the division of labor as contrasted to primitive societies. Primitive societies have contrastingly low levels of social solidarity. Social solidarity refers to the social tie which brings people or a group of people in a union, for example, kinship, family, shared origin or location, and even religion (Durkheim, 2014). According to Durkheim’s, collective conscience refers to the whole set of beliefs and sentiments that ordinary to the average occupants of citizens a society. Such beliefs and sentiments define what that society views as crime, evil or acceptable behaviors. He noted that a crime is mainly an act that offends intense and well-defined outlines of collective conscious. Durkheim argued that a state obtains its Authority by assessing the collective conscience after which it becomes a directive organ, but the state does not dissociate itself from the authority. The states assume an autonomous and spontaneous power human social life (Gibbs & Poston Jr, 2005).
Durkheim noted that the degree of the state’s influence and power of control of several types of criminal acts varies with authority it obtains from the collective conscience. Such authority may be gauged through evaluating the power the state applies to its citizens or even by measuring the serious attached to the crime committed to the state. Durkheim indicates that such powers is ordinarily greatest most primitive societies. Under the primitive society’s authority of conscience, the collective was highly practiced Durkheim also noted that crime is typified by its ability to trigger punishment (Merton, 2004).
The two types of social solidarity described by Durkheim are mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity Durkheim’s mechanical solidarity links a person to the society in the absence of any intermediary. It hence indicates that the society is systematized collectively; therefore, every member of the group harbor similar beliefs. The tie that attaches the person to the society is collective conscious and that is the general shared belief model (Durkheim, 2014).
On the contrary, organic solidarity shows that the society is an arrangement of multiple functions that are combined by certain linkages. It also demands that every individual should have a separate job or action and a character that differentiates him or her exclusively. The growth of individuality depends on the growth of the parts of society. Under such occasions, the society astoundingly adopts high efficiency, moves in sync and every part of the society exhibits distinct movements. Durkheim believed that more primitive societies have multiple characteristics of mechanical solidarity. Durkheim outlined that members for the primitive societies were exposed towards resembling each other and sharing similar beliefs and behaviors. He further wrote that when the societies adopt increasingly an advanced and civilized, people from such societies begin becoming notably unique and distinct from each other. According to Durkheim, solidarity transforms to be organic when the societies advance their divisions of labor (Gibbs & Poston Jr, 2005).
Not everybody adapts well to the vastly specialized division of labor in societies typical of organic solidarity due to the abnormal or pathological modes of adaptation. Such pathological modes of adaptation are mainly anomic, forced, and badly coordinated ways of adaptations. Usually, the anomic division of labor emanates when people become increasingly secluded by their exceedingly specialized job roles thus introducing a feeling of losing the sense of attachment or belonging in a particular society (Freidson, 2016). Anomie further indicates the absence of regulation and incorporation into society which is usually injurious and damaging for the entire society and the individuals. The condition of the forced division of labor crops up when individuals are placed into jobs that do not suit their equivalent natural talents and their abilities. For instance, a highly talented person could allocate a job regarded as for lower class which is very wrong. According to Durkheim who is a functionalist, misplacement of people in various division of labor is incorrect since it affects the coherent operation of the entire societal structure (Durkheim, 2014).
Anomic division of labor is the type of abnormal model of the division of labor. Anomic division of labor emanates when individuals become progressively secluded by their more focused tasks; therefore, they forfeit a sense of being primary parts of a larger unit. It further exhibits an absence of mutual adjustment within the various portions of the social organism. There are notable instances whereby some commercial and industrial cause quagmires between capital and labor. According to Durkheim, it was surprising that social disintegration that anomic division of labor caused proportionately enlarged with the advancement of the division of labor; therefore it typically appears as natural as opposed to a pathological concern (Merton, 2004). Durkheim argued that normal purpose of the division of labor was to produce a distinct form of social solidarity since it is similar to all other social or biological aspects. The abnormal outcome of the division of labor is hugely pathological forms that avail different results (Jones, 2006).
In conclusion, Durkheim’s the foremost importance of the division of labour usually the moral consequences which are mainly the impacts of the prevailing solidarity of that society. The solidarity of the society is essential in restraining persons or individuals from egoism, brutality, and barbarism. Several historians and anthropologists have argued that premodern societies did not have a division of labor. Durkheim increasingly noted that traditional societies are unified by mechanical solidarity and critical prominence that falls on the values and the corresponding cognitive symbols which are ordinary to the clan. The persons and institutions are considerably indistinguishable. According to Durkheim, modern societies should have the expansion of organic solidarity whereby beliefs and other values accentuate independence and widen specialist talents amongst the individuals. It is notable that economic division of labor usually ignites various ways of life; however, the unregulated market continuously eases and loosens restraints on personal desires. It also challenges the formation of social trust and introduces abnormal kinds of division of labor. Normally, exclusive organic solidarity demand presence of relevant education. An apposite legal restraint regarding on inheritance and various unjust agreements to include people into occupational and industrial life.

Merton, R. K. (2004). Durkheim’s division of labor in society. American Journal of Sociology, 40(3), 319-328.
Jones, R. A. (2006). Emile Durkheim: An introduction to four major works (Vol. 2). Sage Publications, Inc.
Freidson, E. (2016). The division of labor as social interaction. Social problems, 23(3), 304- 313.
Durkheim, E. (2014). The division of labor in society. Simon and Schuster.
Gibbs, J. P., & Poston Jr, D. L. (2005). The division of labor: Conceptualization and related measures. Social Forces, 53(3), 468-476.

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