Division Of Labor In Emile Durkheim, Adam Smith And Karl Marx

1128 Words5 Pages
The division of labor is the process through which community members perform specialized types of work with a common objective. This has received significant theoretical discussions based on social thoughts from the theories of Emile Durkheim, Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Throughout human history, the division of labor has been present from the cultural perspective in its most essential form. Division of labor was mainly based on gender such as the case of hunter-gather societies. In this case, while women gathered food and took care of their children, men hunted for game meat. This paper will discuss several theorists developed to define the concept of division of labor.
According to Muldoon (2013), increasing levels of specialization also lead to lack of enthusiasm among workers in addition to reduced overall skills in their work. This perspective was refined and extended by Karl Marx who was a popular economic theorist. However, Karl Marx labeled this process as alienation, where workers were turned to be more specific individuals coupled with work repetitious eventually becoming completely alienated (Calhoun 2012). In fact, Marx indicated that such division of labor among workers was physically and emotionally depressing and compared it to a machine’s condition. In this regard, he was guided by the firm belief that the fullness of production was a prerequisite to the process of attaining liberation in human beings and accepted the notion of a strict division of labor as a necessary evil that was only temporary.
However, the most important theoretical contribution that Marx made towards the concept of an economy, was his sharp distinction between the economic or technical division and social division of labor (Muldoon 2013). That indicated that some form of co-operation in employment was as a result of technical necessities. However, some evidence suggested that others resulted due to the functions of social control that is related to the concepts of status and class hierarchy (Calhoun 2012). If individuals conflated these two roles, it often appears as though the existing labor division is technically immutable and inevitable as opposed to the notion of an influenced or constructed by power relationships.

More about Division Of Labor In Emile Durkheim, Adam Smith And Karl Marx

Get Access