Emile Durkheim and his theories Essay

Emile Durkheim and his theories, 500 words essay example

Essay Topic:talent,class,division,words

Emile Durkheim was a well-known sociologist famous for his views on the structure of society. His work focused on how traditional and modern societies evolved and function. Durkheim's theories were founded on the concept of social facts, defined as the norms, values, and structures of a society. Durkheim's theories were founded on things external in nature, as opposed to those internal in nature, such as the motivations and desires of individuals. According to Durkheim, collective consciousness, values, and rules are critical to a functional society. Durkheim viewed that humans are fundamentally social. He believes that our social life's at home, work, play and worship is what defines us. He thought that we were becoming more differentiated from one another in all kinds of ways. Emile Durkheim only made brief mention of inequalities within societies.
Durkheim saw two types of inequalities within societies which he called external inequality and internal inequality. As he described them in The Division of Labor external inequalities are those imposed on the individual by the social circumstances of birth, in other words, ascribed status. It was in mechanical solidarity, or preindustrial societies, that these external inequalities predominated. In industrial society, on the other hand, there was a need for internal inequality "All external inequalities compromise organic solidarity" (Durkheim et al. 1985)-that is, threaten social order and the proper functioning of the division of labor in industrial societies. Internal inequalities were seen as inequalities based on individual talent, or achieved status. Durkheim saw white men as upper class and women lower because he thinks men are natural born special. Women would be considered the affective and aesthetic because they are naturally the care givers and are good at it. Men are the instrumental and intellectuals because they are strong and go out and work. He also believed that color people had no talents. The saying is individuals do what they are good at and what they like. So it's not like they all want to change what they do they just like it and are good at it. For the proper functioning of the industrial system, Durkheim implied that the people with the proper talents must be allowed to move into positions for which their talents are best suited.
What Durkheim anticipated was a meritocracy based on equality of opportunity. Inequality would be there, but he believed an inequality based on merit was needed. And although Durkheim's ideas paralleled somewhat those of many modern functionalists, given his overriding concern with solidarity and moral integration in society, his stress was different. The dominance of internal over external inequality, he believed, was most important for the maintenance of social solidarity. If external inequalities were forced on individuals, "constraint alone, more or less violent and more or less direct binds them to their functions in consequence, only an imperfect and troubled solidarity is possible (Durkheim, Giddens, and Durkheim 1972). Durkheim was more concerned with moral integration and cooperation than he was with the efficient staffing of "important" positions in industrial society.

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