Durkheim 's Division Of Labor And Specialization

2057 Words Dec 9th, 2014 9 Pages
Durkheim’s Division of Labor and Specialization: A Critical Response Decades after Adam Smith’ observation that the greatest improvements in output powers of labor appear to have been the effects of division of labor, Durkheim observes that economists regarded division of labor not only as necessary, but also as a fundamental law of human societies. In fact, it was a critical condition of their progress. According to Durkheim’s postulation, greater concentrations of productive power and capital investment appear to drive modern industry and business. Furthermore, the increased concentrations of productive forces seem to drive agriculture towards greater division and specialization of occupations. Perhaps, it even exacerbates the independence among the products (Durkheim 18). It seems that in a similar manner to Smith, Durkheim extends this assertion beyond the economic world, encompassing not only the administrative and political activities, but also the scientific and aesthetic activities. To some extent, even philosophy appears to have been broken into a range of special disciplines, with each of them having distinct ideas, methods and objects. It is noteworthy that Durkheim perceived the “law” of division of labor as applicable to human societies and biological processes as well (Jones 26). He notes the apparent relationship between the functional specializations of an organism’s parts and the scope of the organism’s evolutionary development. In this regard, he…
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