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Emile Durkheim was interested in the transformation of society; he tried to understand and explain social change.

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Introduction

Emile Durkheim was interested in the transformation of society; he tried to understand and explain social change. Within Durkeims first book Division of Labour in society 1893 he conceived the divisions of labour within society as the most basic presedenting fact, and that rapid changes within the division of Labour would lead to a disruption of "Social Solidarity". He argued that changes in the division of Labour would result in the decline of beliefs and values, and changes would occur from tridional stable communities to a more complexed society with different needs and goals. Despite he concerns he remind optimistic and for this reason was labeled a positive. It could be argued that Durkeims experience of living in France and experiencing the changes within industries and the French revolution enabled him to witness what he perceived to be the breakdown of tridional instions and the decline of systems of authority and morality***. Therefore creating a loss of security for members of the community. New ideas of indridualms, socialism, democracy and "humanism came to the surface. This could have promoted Durkheim to adopt a collectivist approach to characterize and understand social change. Within Division of Labour Durkeim referred to Social Solidarity as a bond between indriduals within society (Division of Labour 1893). Within his first work he considered social cohesion in Pre industrial societies he referred to this as "Mechanical Solidarity". ...read more.

Middle

He is suggesting here that humans are like organs in the human body and have a key role and function to play within society. Society can not therefore perform to its best ability unless all the "organs" (people) are working in harmony and supporting each other. Indriduals become reliant upon each other therefore are collective conscience in modern "organic" society is collective and increased towards achieving goals. A new form of cohesion has occurred, and the collective conscience which in mechanical is based only on similarities between indri duals and shared morals. In "organic" society increased to more of a "moral code" a set of complicated beliefs with "moral awareness" a sense of "fairness" "justices" and "responsibilities" to one another. The above being the key elements to the collective conscience steaming from the organic solidarity. Durkeim perceived this as being a complicated set of "moral" exchanges which would take place. Perhaps it is this positive view that leads him to be critized for being a positivist. It could be argued that "organic" society has problems with the increase division of labour, the increasingness of individualism and following self interest. Creating stress upon "personal freedoms" thus threatens cohesion and the moral unity is declining. Religion in Durkeims eyes offered no answers and the "state" can only provide a temporary answer which many might find frustrating. ...read more.

Conclusion

The state however could still offer an important part in preventing anomie from occurring. Through the use of education (hidden national curriculum) indriduals could without knowing be taught ethics and morals; the notions of right and wrong, and the importance of cultural history enabling them to have a feeling of belonging to a society and how to act moral within society. Although we know in mordon society cases such as the James Bulger case where the "socialation" of two boys with in the hidden education system. In essence did not happened and the consequence that Durkeheim feared (the increase of crime did occur.) with the murder of James Bluger committed by the two boys. Thus suggesting that education can not sole be responsible for making sure anomie (breakdown of common values, norms, and ethics) does not occur. Durkheim offered further solutions other then education, he offered the resurrection of occupational guilds and extension of professional associations which would be self regulated. He proposed that indriduals should be responsibility for there needs and their co-workers by Trade unions. In addition having standards of work, working methods, working materials. BY having the above with a general code of conduct and offering indriduals responsibilities within work place. The economy would be able to offer its workers a professional code which would protect its members but set standards. Hence forming a greater unity and community and therefore deterring anomie from occurring. ...read more.

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