What Is The Social Theory Of Emile Durkheim

Decent Essays

1. Explain Durkheim’s notion of the social then explain Ferguson’s rethinking of the social.
The word social refers to aspects of life that are connected with the society and the way it is organized. Society refers to people in general, living together in communities, sharing similar customs. This essay, will explain the different ways in which two scholars understand the social. These scholars are Emile Durkheim (the founding father of Sociology) and James Ferguson.
Durkheim’s notion of the social.
Durkheim argues that, the social life is entirely made of representations. He draws upon social facts to understand the functioning of the social, social facts constitutes of beliefs, tendencies and practices of the …show more content…

A social fact is identifiable through the power of external coercion which exert or capable of exerting upon an individual. In other words, our daily actions and thinking may seem to be stemming from us as individuals, when in all fact they are influenced by the wider society, and this happens subconsciously. The things we do are either good or bad according to society standards and stand to be praised or shamed by the society. For example, picking up your nose, or spitting in public is regarded as being rude, while doing well at school, and helping others is praised by society. It can be argued that our daily social life is guided by society’s established norms; hence Durkheim stated that social beliefs and practices act upon us from the …show more content…

These schemes provide a mix of child and disability grants, and old-age pensions. Often they are the only regular source of income that are reliable, predictable and many families owe their survival to them. He argues that social grants should not be considered as a gift, or form of charity or market exchange but as a foundation that enables survival and allows for dependencies on others to be sustained. Social grants are not to be viewed as substitutes for income rather as catalysts. The focus of Ferguson is in distributive politics that forces us to shift our economic and socio-political analysis from production to distribution. Ferguson argues that these politics create a different figure of the social, “Not the abstract membership, citizenship and social contract of the nation state, but a concrete and embodied presence (Ferguson:

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