The Features of Durkheim's Social Realism

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Durkheim is a highly influential name to remember when thinking of sociology. Durkheim’s mission was to develop sociology so it could be defined and to develop a method on how sociology should be used. Durkheim’s main concern in his career was primarily associated with how societies might preserve their integrity and rationality within modernised society, when things such as shared religious views and ethnic backgrounds are seen as things of the past. In relation to Durkheim’s social realism his concern was with the growing individualism in society. Durkheim argues that we are in an era which is imperfectly moving towards a morality based on individualism as “Durkheim regarded individualism as a collective representation, a force that would impress itself on human minds regardless of their subjective opinions, as well as the manifestation of the egotistical will”. (Mestrovic 1988: 8). Ultimately Durkheim was a strong believer that it is society that defines the individual rather than the individual shaping society. For this reason we can clearly see why Durkheim was highly concerned with growing individualism in society, within a society which he believes shapes an individual therefore individuals are highly dependent on society. This can be seen in Durkheim’s theory of the division of labour. Durkheim argues that in a primitive society which is a society which is seen as having more morals and was a much better society to live in this is because society is seen as having deteriorated as civilisation has developed and become modernised. The division of labour within a primitive society therefore is to create or maintain a mechanical social solidarity in which there is a common consensus which allows social order to be maintai... ... middle of paper ... ...dividuals living within society. Works Cited Calhoun, C. Et al. (2007) Classical Sociological Theory (2nd edn). Blackwell. Craib, l. (1997) Classical Sociologucal Theory. London:Oxford Univeristy Press Hughes, J. & Martin, P. & Sharrock, W. (1997) Understanding Classical Sociology: Marx, Weber and Durkheim. London: Sage Durkheim, E. (1976) The elementary forms of the religious life. Biddles Ltd Durkheim, E. (1984) The division of labour in society. Great Britain: Macmillan Durkheim, E. (1982) Rules of sociological method. United States of America: Macmillan Bellah, R. & Durkheim, E. (1973) On Morality and Society: selected readings. London: Chicago Press Mestrovic, S. (1988) Emile Durkheim and the reformation of sociology. London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Weber, M. (1978) Sections in translation.Cambridge: Cambridge university press

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