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Durkheim and The Division of Labour

            "The aim of the book is to attempt to treat the facts of the moral life according to the method of the positive sciences" ( Durkheim 1933, cited in Bierstedt 1966 ). According to what the French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858 - 1917) says in his masterpiece, "The Division of Labour," sociology must study moral life in a more scientific way. Thanks to Durkheim, sociology became a science and he also founded the "L'Anne'e Sociologique," the first journal dedicated to social sciences. It is possible to define Durkheim as a positivist for his ideas about the method to study sociology. Durkheim wanted to find out, with his philosophy, how to maintain social order and create a cohesive society. .
             "The Division of Labour" was one of his first works and was published in France in 1893 and forty years later in England. It was divided into three main parts: 1) the analysis of mechanical and organic solidarity linked to the individual; 2) the explanation of the shift from the mechanical to the organic solidarity due to the development of the division of labour, the causes ; 3) the problems, anomie, that may occur if the division of labour fails to attempt his function to unify the society ( LaCapra, 1985 ). Why if the individual becomes more independent he still rely on society? In modern societies as well as the individual develops himself, at the same time social relationships do not vanish but change. The division of labour is a specific feature of advanced societies and it has to create interdependence between the members, also called solidarity.
             At the time he wrote "The Division of Labour," Durkheim was not influenced by sociologists from overseas; his starting point was the analysis of the traditional moral philosophy and the philosophy of Comte and Spencer. Against the former Durkheim argued that the different moral codes must be studied empirically. As it is state in Bierstedt (1966), he gave credit to Comte to have understood that the division of labour is not merely an economic phenomenon, but it goes beyond the economic sphere.

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