Durkheim's second argument was that, if the division of labor has no other role than to make civilization possible, then it would have no reason for existence  ‎The Function of the Division · ‎The Causes of the Division. The Division of Labour in Society is the doctoral dissertation of the French sociologist Émile Durkheim, published in It was influential in advancing. Durkheim's second argument was that, if the division of labor has no other role than to make civilization possible, then it would have no reason for existence  ‎The Function of the Division · ‎The Causes of the Division.


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Where organisms are different and pursue different needs, on the other hand, what is useful to one organism will be of no value to another, and conflict will diminish.

Human populations, Durkheim argued, adhere to the same law. In so far as a social durkheim division of labor is "segmental" in character, each segment has its own organs, kept apart from like organs by the divisions between segments.

With the growth in the "material density" and "social volume" of the society, these divisions disappear, the similar organs are put into contact with one another, and competition between them ensues.

Sociology - Notes on Durkheim

Those groups which triumph then have a larger task, which can be discharged only through a greater internal division of labor; those organs which are vanquished can henceforth maintain themselves only by specializing on a fraction of the social function they previously performed; but in either case, the division of labor is durkheim division of labor.

Thus, the conflict and competition resulting from an increase in social volume and density produces durkheim division of labor in the division of labor just as the latter mitigates against the negative consequences of the former. In the modern city, for example, large and highly condensed populations can coexist peacefully as a consequence of occupational differentiation: Each of them can attain his end without preventing the others from obtaining theirs.

Finally, Durkheim argued, it is a corollary of this law that the division of labor can be established only among the members of an already constituted society.

The Division of Labour in Society - Wikipedia

For the effect of these same forces e. Durkheim thus argued that the individuals among whom the struggle for existence is waged must already belong to the same, mechanically solidary society. In opposition to Durkheim division of labor view that a society is the product of cooperation, therefore, Durkheim supported Comte's argument that cooperation already presupposes the spontaneous existence of society.

Far from being destructive of the social order, individualism is itself the product of society, and expresses a particular stage in its ongoing, structural evolution.

Durkheim had thus argued forcefully that the division of labor is caused by changes in the volume durkheim division of labor density of societies. But this was not yet a complete explanation, for Durkheim recognized that such specialization was not the only possible solution to the struggle for existence which then ensued.

Others included emigration, colonization, resignation to a precarious existence, and even suicide.


The division of labor was thus a contingent rather than a necessary consequence of changes in the social environment, and for it rather than its alternatives to result, it was essential that the influence durkheim division of labor at least two secondary factors -- the conscience collective and heredity -- be durkheim division of labor reduced.

Durkheim's argument concerning the "progressive indetermination" of the conscience collective has already been described; but now Durkheim attempted to explain it, focusing equally on the growth of rationality and the decline of tradition. In early societies, Durkheim began, everyone is related to specific objects of their environment e.

As these societies become more voluminous and their populations more diversely situated, however, common objects can no longer create common experiences and representations; in so far as it is to remain "common," therefore, the conscience collective must necessarily become less concrete and well-defined, and more general and abstract.

Sociological Significance of the Durkheim’s Division of Labour

The "animal" becomes the "species," the "tree" durkheim division of labor "trees in general and in abstracto," the "Greek" and the "Roman" become the concept of "man"; and a similar process of progressive abstraction up to the level of universalizable concepts persists in law, religion.

This explains the difficulty we have in understanding primitive societies.

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Our own minds, dominated by the logic and rationality this evolutionary process has produced, see in earlier societies only bizarre, fortuitous combinations of heterogeneous elements; but in fact, these are simply societies dominated by concrete sensations and representations rather than abstract concepts.

Precise durkheim division of labor of conscience act in a manner analogous to instinctive reflexes; more general principles affect behavior only through the intervening reflections of intelligence.

Thus, "deliberated movements have not the spontaneity of involuntary movements. Because it becomes more rational, the [ conscience collective ] becomes less imperative, and for this very reason, it wields less restraint durkheim division of labor the free development of individuals.

Still more important than the "progressive indetermination" of the conscience collective, however, is the decline of tradition; for the strength of the conscience is due to the fact not only that its states are shared, but also that they are the legacy of previous generations.

This authority of tradition is well supported in societies of the segmental type, which, as we have seen, have a familial as well as a political base; but as the segmental organization is undermined, individuals no longer feel bound to their kin-group or even their place of origin; migration ensues, and the authority of tradition weakens commensurately.

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