Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, is known for his contributions to the field of sociology. One of his most significant contributions is the theory of the social, which examines the relationship between individuals and society. In this article, we will discuss Durkheim’s theory of the social in detail.

The Basics of Durkheim’s Theory of the Social

Durkheim believed that society exists independently of individuals and that it has a profound impact on an individual’s behavior, beliefs, and values. He argued that society is made up of social facts that are external to individuals and exert a coercive force on them.

What are Social Facts?

Social facts are aspects of social life that exist independently of individuals. They include things like laws, institutions, customs, and traditions. According to Durkheim, social facts have two important characteristics: they are external to individuals and they exert a coercive force.

The Importance of Social Integration

Durkheim believed that social integration is essential for maintaining order in society. He argued that when individuals feel disconnected from society, they become more likely to engage in deviant behavior. Thus, social integration helps prevent deviance and promote social stability.

Social Anomie

Durkheim also developed the concept of social anomie to describe situations where there is a breakdown in the norms and values that govern society. When this happens, individuals may feel disconnected from society and become more likely to engage in deviant behavior.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Emile Durkheim’s theory of the social highlights the importance of understanding the relationship between individuals and society. He argued that society exists independently of individuals and has a coercive force on them through social facts.

Social integration is essential for maintaining order in society, and social anomie can lead to deviant behavior. By studying these concepts, we can gain a better understanding of how society functions and how we can promote social stability.