Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist who is known for his work on social order. Durkheim’s theory of social order is one of the most influential theories in the field of sociology.
It explains how society is held together and what makes people behave in certain ways. In this article, we will explore Durkheim’s theory of social order in depth.
What Is Social Order?
Social order refers to the way that a society is structured and how individuals within that society interact with one another. It includes the rules, norms, and values that govern behavior within a particular group or community.
Durkheim’s Theory of Social Order
Durkheim believed that social order was necessary for the survival of society. He argued that social order was maintained through two types of solidarity: mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity.
Mechanical solidarity refers to the type of solidarity found in traditional societies where individuals are bound together by shared beliefs, values, and customs. In these societies, there is little division of labor, and individuals perform similar tasks.
Organic solidarity refers to the type of solidarity found in modern societies where individuals are bound together by their interdependence on one another due to the division of labor. In these societies, there is a greater diversity of roles and tasks.
The Importance of Social Norms
Durkheim believed that social norms were essential for maintaining social order. Social norms are unwritten rules that govern behavior within a particular society. They provide guidance for how individuals should behave in different situations.
- Regulative Norms: These norms regulate behavior by imposing sanctions on those who violate them.
- Constitutive Norms: These norms define what is considered acceptable behavior within a particular society.
The Role of Religion
Durkheim also believed that religion played an important role in maintaining social order. He argued that religion provided a sense of community and helped to reinforce social norms.
Durkheim believed that religion helped to create a collective consciousness within society. Collective consciousness refers to the shared beliefs, values, and customs that bind individuals together.
Durkheim’s study of totemism among indigenous Australian tribes provided evidence for his theory of social order. He found that totemism helped to create a sense of community and reinforce social norms.
In conclusion, Durkheim’s theory of social order is based on the idea that society is held together by shared beliefs, values, and customs. Social order is maintained through two types of solidarity: mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity.
Social norms are essential for maintaining social order, and religion plays an important role in reinforcing these norms. By understanding Durkheim’s theory of social order, we can gain insight into how societies function and what makes people behave in certain ways.