Modernity and Classical Sociology Theory Essays

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Paul de Man once said, “Modernity exists in the form of a desire to wipe out whatever came earlier, in the hope of reaching at least a point that could be called a true present, a point of origin that marks a new departure.” But what is he really trying to say? Modernity takes out the old and brings in the new, continually upgrading to something else? Modernity appears as a concept of change. It most commonly refers to the social conditions, processes, and discourses resulting from the Age of Enlightenment. The concept of modernity captures the progress of societies, from primitive civilizations, which evolved gradually through discrete stages, reaching a modern age characterized by industrialization and capitalism, concluding in the …show more content…
“The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles” (Marx, pg. 96), explains that all history displays society as a constant battle between the well off and the have not's. We see the oppressor and oppressed in constant opposition to each other. This fight is sometimes hidden and sometimes open. However, each time the fight ends in either a revolutionary reconstruction of society or in the classes' common ruin. Therefore, the system of socialism would be ushered in and gradually evolve into pure communism, or a classless society. This pushed forward change within the society. Emile Durkheim saw modernity in terms of a rising division of labor. By division of labor, he meant specialized economic activity which led to a division of human solidarity. Because modernity was characterized by high division of labor, interaction in separated groups formed resulting in problems of social integration. Durkheim’s solution to this problem was one form of solidarity: organic. Durkheim talks about two different solidarities which characterized societies: mechanical and organic. He saw a shift from mechanical solidarity to organic
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