Defended as doctoral thesis in 1893.
||"certain number of states of consciousness common
to all members of society
||set of rules that involves and injury or punishment
imposed upon the perpetrator of a crime. Expiatory function. Involves
harming perpetrator's honor, fortune, life, liberty, property
||solidarity of similarity -- shared common experiences/sentiments;
socity=everyone fits in
||rules that govern the restoration of previous state
of affairs. Civil, commercial, procedural, administrative, constitutional
||# of individuals in contact with one another (cf.
soul volume) (201)
||the glue of society -- what makes a collection of
people into a social unit -- emphasis on feeling like a unit
||solidarity of interdependence; society=everyone has
||raw # of people in society (cf. moral density) (203)
Themes and Highlights
- rise of individualism
- mechanical vs. organic solidarity
- collective consciousness
- "individual born of society, not society of individuals"
- "personal" as antithesis of "social"
- insight: irreducibility of social entity to sum of
- methodology: relating social practices (forms of
law) and social organization (types of solidarity)
Typical Durkheimian Rhetorical Strategy
- Carefully definition of phenomenon under investigation
- Refutation of plausible opposing theories
- Exposition of Durkheimian-Sociological theory
Durkheim's Foils in DoLiS
- critics of industrialization who see it as "end of
civilization as we know it" (EOCAWKI)
- Spencer and utilitarians who see society as based
on individual cooperation and social contract (and thus see natural evolution
of society from more regulation to less regulation)
- Political economists who see division of labor as
"natural" rather than a social construction
- methodological individualism, social atomism
Logic of the Argument*
- What is status of DoL?1
Economists treat it as natural, necessary for
social evolution. Even a necessary evil. Durkheim thinks it
might be a source of cohesion rather than a challenge to it.
- What is function of DoL?
Smith would say it allows people to enjoy advantages
of civilization. But, Durkheim, says, lots of nasty things increase
with civilization. DoL can't be necessary only because it fulfills
needs that it itself creates.
- What else does it do?
Well, differences attract and complementarity
makes us feel good.
- To what degree does DoL contribute to social cohesion?
To answer we need a way to "measure" solidarity.
Can only do so with indicators. Useful one is law.
Two types of society (rural/urban;village/city;Gemeinschaft/Gesellschaft;pre-modern/modern;preindustrial/industrial),
two types of solidarity (mechanical/organic). Illustrated by two types
of law (penal/restitutive).
Mechanical Solidarity - based on the attraction
of like for like. Characterized by in-group solidarity and out-group hostility.
Crime and anything that differs from our way is met with repressive sanctions
and punishment which hurts the perpetrator. Crime is an affront to
our conscience collective, to who we are. An act offends the common consciousness
not because it is criminal, but it is criminal because it offends that consciousness
(40). Recall Garfinkel's "Conditions for Successful Degradation Ceremonies"
in which the denouncing is done "on behalf of society."1,2
Organic Solidarity - based on complementarity
and interdependence. Crime met with restitutive sanctions that focus
on re-achieving status quo. Restitutive law not based in CC but in
DoL. It is meted out by specialists not society as a whole (69-70).
It presumes differences and space between/around individuals. There
must be a sense of individuality, of self-interest, for sanctions against
liberty or property or honor to function. Under organic solidarity
the CC does not quite envelop the entire person. It leaves room for
individuality. Thus, there is a tension or tradeoff between individual
conscience and collective conscience.1,2
And so, ratio of repressive to restitutive law
is a measure of the grip of collective conscience and thus of the type of
solidarity in a society.
- Causes of the Division of Labor3
Has to be social. Not pleasure or happiness.
Not clear that we are happier than primitives.
The DOL is in direct proportion to the moral
density of society. (Moral density also increases with the growth of physical
density). the increase of social
density can occur in three ways:
- the increasing spatial concentration of a people
- the growth of towns (towns do no exist in segmentary
societies) (the development of urban centers is not pathological, but is representative
of higher society)
- increase in number and efficacy of means of communication
Spencer (206) says ^environmental differences
>> ^ DOL. Durkheim: makes possible but does not force (208).
Rather, ^struggle for survival >> differentiation and specialization
(209). Greater economic productivity is merely a consequence of the
DOL, and not a cause or motivation (217).
- Consequences of the Foregoing3
- ROLES: Comte and Spencer saw substitutability only
in primitive societies. Durkheim says no, in modern too (271).
Individuals may change roles as society changes. ^DoL >> ^ such
elasticity >> function/role ^ independent of who performs it.
- The DOL is a necessary consequence of the growth
of volume and density of society. Civilization is but an after-effect
(not a cause) of the DOL (276).
- Furthermore, individuals are more a product of common
social life than a determining factor in it (277).
- ^ # and ^diverse individuals >> ^ interactions
>> ^intensity of social life==civilization (278). The product of these
social relationships becomes an entity in itself (society sui generis).
- Spencer: individual establishes relationships out
of self interest >> society >> social progress = improving
relationships individual ends.
- Durkheim: "Spencer does not see in societies a true
reality, existing by itself by virtue of specific and necessary causes, one
that consequently bears down upon man, imposing upon him its own nature and
to which he is forced to adapt in order to continue living" (281).
(society sui generis)
- In effect, man does not shape society. according
to D,"'it is because society changes that we must change"' (282). D labels
this concept a mechanistic theory of progress." Because the ideal of
civilization depends upon the ever changing social environment, we will
never be without our goals for society (282).
- According to D, man is more or less entirely guided
by social life. He credits very little to the human psyche alone. He claims
that man develops his psychological life in response to his level of sociability
(284). Plus, man has only gained the ability to reason because he is a social
animal. Social life even influences his emotions. as man's social life grows
in complexity, so does his psyche.
- We should not present social life as the result of
individual natures alone -- as does Spencer. Individual natures emerge from
social life; consequently, social facts are not just a mere development of
psychological facts (286). Everything found in the consciousness of individuals
comes form society.
- * Parts of outline derived from
- 1 http://www.d.umn.edu/~jhamlin1/durkheim.html
- 2 http://www.unc.edu/courses/soci50a/divisionoflabor.html
- 3 http://www.spc.uchicago.edu/ssr1/PRELIMS/Theory/durkheim.html
"The Precontractual Basis of Contract"
- Utilitarians: I have A. You have B. Let's
- Durkheim: We're in society. I have A.
You have B. Let's trade.
- There is
a taken for granted background to everything we do together. Compare
Garfinkel on "the routine grounds of everyday activities." For Durkheim
you can't start out a story of society by saying "First, two individuals came
Five Kinds of Social Glue
- Organic solidarity
- Penal law replaced by restitutive law -- emphasis on restoring order,
offense is against social org and CC
- Cult of individual -- from God=Society to God=Individual (cf. Goffman)
- New shared moral beliefs (ideologies?), e.g., equality of opportunity,
work ethic, meritocracy
- Occupational groups replace tribal groups (~neo-corporatism)
This stuff is hard to research. We
are looking for the implicit, the unarticulated. Only the tip of the
social iceberg is normally visible.
You have to get your respondents to bracket what
they take for granted. One approach is to ask "stupid questions."
To get at underlying logic of things you have to question things.
It might involve undermining their sense of you as an intelligent person.
Don't ask "on what basis do you choose your classes?" Instead, ask
things like "If you like Dr. So and So, why don't you take other courses
from her?" EZ's example of prodding people in the hospital to explain
why who gets scheduled to work when: "why not these two?" "Because
they did it last week."
- What is "social solidarity"?
- Durkheim says that the utilitarian idea of society
arising from social contract and exchange is a creation of society ex nihilo.
What does he mean by this?
- One place Durkheim and Spencer differ is in the role
they assign to ideas. How do ideas play a different role in Durkheim?
- Durkheim can be said to be describing a continuum
with social at one extreme and personal or individual at the other end.
Is the personal "anti-social" for Durkheim?
- How would you explain to a taxi-driver the idea that
society invents the individual and not vice versa?
- Durkheim points several times to the idea of society
as a reality sui generis (as when he says that Spencer didn't really take
society as a real thing). What do you understand by this?
|Durkheim : The Divisionof Labor in Society
|Prefaces to the First Edition
||Individual and society -- what is the relationship?
|Introduction Book I
||What needs to be explained and how should our investigation
|Book I The Function of the Division
|Ch. 1, "The Method of Determining this Function,"
||What do we mean by function and what is the function
of the DoL?
||Connections to types of law
|from Ch. 2, "Mechanical Solidarity, or Solidarity by
||Mechanical solidarity; repressive law; collective
||Similarities; conformity; social function of punishment
|from Ch. 3, "Solidarity Arising from the
Division of Labour or Organic Solidarity"
||Restitutive law; organic solidarity
|from Ch. 5, "The Increasing Preponderance of Organic
Solidarity and Its Consequences"
||Decline in power of CC. Rise
|from Ch. 7, "Organic Solidarity and Contracutal Solidarity"
||Social contract revisited
|Book II The Causes and Conditions
|from "Consequences of the Foregoing"
||More to life than the psychological. Society
more than aggregation of individuals.
|Book III The Abnormal Forms
|Ch 1, "The Anomic Division of Labor"
|Ch 2, "The Forced Division of Labour"
|Preface to the Second Edition
- The Division
of Labor in Society (1893)
- [Excerpt from
Robert Alun Jones. Emile Durkheim: An Introduction to Four Major Works.
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.,1986. Pp. 24-59.]
Notes from UChicago Prelims Library
from Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society, (Translated
by George Simpson). by New York: The Free Press, 1947.
- The Emile Durkheim Archive
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