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Critically examine the analysis by Durkheim of the threats to social solidarity posed by industrialisation and discuss possible solutions to such threats.

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Introduction

Critically examine the analysis by Durkheim of the threats to social solidarity posed by industrialisation and discuss possible solutions to such threats. Many social thinkers have tried to understand the nature of the changes that have transformed the modern world. Industrialisation, indeed, as the focus and there has been a long time of debates of whether the industrialisation brought benefits to the society or do more harm than good. We actually are all living in a world where industry dominates our lives. We all touched by it and experiencing its consequences. When you read 'industrialisation', what would you associate with it? Several sociologists analysed it and drawn up to their own conclusions. Durkheim is one of them. In Durkheim's views, the social solidarity-maintained when individuals are successfully integrated into social groups and regulated by a set of shared values and customs1-has changed and caused threats to the society since industrialisation stepped on the 'stage'. Where did social solidarity change? How did this change affect the society? What kind of threats did industrialisation gave to us? People used to live in a society which was based on agriculture and small towns, therefore, people had their common ideas toward a common goal and gradually the whole society in which the basic conditions of its members' lives are homogeneous. ...read more.

Middle

We propose to call the solidarity which is due to the division of labour, organic. 'The lose of a part from a mechanically solidarity has little or no implication for the other parts, but the loss of one part from a whole made up of internally differentiated, functionally interrelated parts can have great consequences for the others.'( Hughes p171)5 It is a system of different and special functions united by definite relationships, an increased complexity of division of labour leading to a specialisation in occupations in which individuals are now depend on each other to carry out functions which they as themselves cannot perform. Mechanical Solidarity Likenesses Interaction Moral rules powerful Integration similarities concrete collective conscience repressive law Organic Solidarity Mutually Complementary Interaction Moral rules weaker Integration Differences (D of L) more abstract collective Conscience restitute law Difference between mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity (Red box in library)6 As can be seen from the illustrations above, it clearly points out that there is a limited collective consciousness in organic solidarity. Such a rapid and big change posed by industrialisation cannot avoid making problems to the society, where people need to adjust considerably. ...read more.

Conclusion

The taken place of old society based on agriculture and simple division of labour by the modern society based on large cities disorders the society for a while. Along with the praise Durkheim received for his work on suicide, he also received much criticisms. For example: can suicide really be a combination of anomic and egoistic? Christie Davies believes that Durkheim's theory is approached too simply and Halbwachs(1930) argues that several of the factors that Durkheim isolates as being associated with high rate of suicide are in fact combined in the conditions of modern urban life.8 As things happened and developed, it can be only analysed, drew up to a theory according to the social facts, and sociologists try their best to predict then leave a guide to the society. It is hard to distinguish which one is right due to there are many other areas of debates and the limited human capability. But we could not deny the contribution of the sociologists and the work they provided which are significant and influencing people's behaviour a lot. Solutions to the problems of industrial life style are changing following the change of the social facts; therefore there will never have a perfect way to resolve the threats at one time. ...read more.

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