What Held Societies and Social Groups Together

1096 WordsJul 13, 20185 Pages
Durkheim was a social theorist whose main concern was the basis of integration and solidarity in human societies. Initially, his focus was society as a whole, later he brought his attention to examining rituals and interactions of people in face-to-face contact. Durkheim’s main concern was to analyze how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern era, when things such as shared religious and ethnic background could no longer be assumed. In response to this concern, he wrote greatly about the effects of laws, religion, education and similar forces on society and social integration. He didn’t understand how individuals could feel tied to each other in an increasingly individualistic society. Durkheim wanted to…show more content…
Durkheim never lost sight of the individual, and the relation of the individual to society is a guiding question throughout his work. Rather than showing that individuals are wholly subservient to society for all aspects of their existence, Durkheim demonstrates that in order to understand the individual, it is necessary to situate them within the network of social relations that informs and influences their life. This is exactly what Durkheim’s sociology does, and its strength lies precisely in its illumination and deconstruction of those elements of society that have the greatest bearing on and realize themselves through the individual. In order to give his views on social order and disorder, Durkheim stated that there are several possible pathologies that could lead to a breakdown of social integration and disintegration of the society. The two most important ones are anomie and forced division of labor; lesser ones include the lack of coordination and suicide. By anomie Durkheim means a state when too rapid population growth reduces the amount of interaction between various groups, which in turn leads to a breakdown of understanding norms, values, and so on. Since people in society where in an anomic state of mind suicide became a common factor in society. “Indeed, Le Suicide
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