The Durkheim Social Work Division

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The Durkheim Social Work Division

Durkheim’s work on the division of social work (1893) was translated into English forty years after his publication. He maintains that this has a double value since, on the one hand, it allows a reconsideration of the role played by it in the development of modern sociological thinking and, on the other hand, it attracts attention to several fundamental conceptions for much of the investigation Contemporary.

Durkheim’s positivist thinking comes from Comte, thus seeking to adopt the methods and criteria of physical sciences for the determination of those mechanically induced social laws. Within this positivist tradition, the division is classifiable by making an anti -individualistic and anti -intellectual approach. It is a rebellion against utilitarian and individualistic positivism that characterized much of English social thought. Durkheim, it seemed like a radical sociologism to maintain the autonomy of sociology as an independent discipline. The division shows an objective approach.

This author maintains that the source of social life is double since we find the similarity of the consciences and the division of labor.

In "first" societies, solidarity is caused by a community of representation that give rise to laws imposed by uniform individuals, beliefs and practices under the threat of repressive measures. These laws are external indices (in the positivist sense) of the "mechanical solidarity".

In addition to mechanics, we find organic solidarity which is based on the interdependence of individuals and groups that act in cooperation. This solidarity defines the nature and relations of functions. These can be called, restitution laws since their violation brings with it repair consequences. The movement was from mechanical to organic solidarity, although mechanics has never disappeared due to the increase in the size and density of populations with the increase in social interaction. Primitive societies also have corpus of restorative civil laws, which involve rights and duties among individuals. The existence of these relationships distorts Durkheim’s praiseful theory of unilineal development. In addition, by affirming the predominance of organic solidarity in modern societies, Durkheim despises the community of interests.

From "The Division of Social Work", Durkheim, presents a suggestive and incisive analysis of a certain social process and its structural correlates. Although his conclusions are too radical, and his method is sometimes defective, it could still be recognized, that the book remains one of the top contributions of modern sociology.


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