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Essay Example on the Division of Labor in Society by Durkheim

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883 words
Boston College
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The French sociologist Emile Durkheim offers an influential doctoral dissertation in sociological theories known as The Division of Labor in Society. In his argument, Durkheim advances two different forms of solidarity, the mechanical and the organic, through which social order was maintained in societies (Durkheim, Lukes, & Halls, 2014, p. 253). Additionally, he suggested that social order in societies was maintained on the basis of a transition process from the primitive societies where there was less exposure to advanced industrial societies where people were more enlightened.

In his arguments, he suggests that in a primitive society setting, there is the effect of mechanical solidarity where a population thinks alike with a common collective conscience. With such a uniform conscience, we are easily bound to witness maintenance of social order within a society. He views crime in such a society as an act that entirely offends the overlying strong and defined states of the existing collective conscience. However, he maintains in his arguments that crime is a normal social act that exists within a normal society setting.

Durkheim also reflects on the advanced industrial capitalists society that bears a complex system of division of labor. In this case, people are allocated in the society on the basis of merit, and for that case, are rewarded accordingly, and based on their qualifications. In this argument, he reflects upon issues of natural inequality, social inequality, and many other factors of discrimination (DUIKER & Spielvogel, 2013, p. 138). His argument suggests that the aspect of moral regulation moral and economic regulation is very essential in maintaining order, which in this case is the organic solidarity. People must be able to compose their differences based on social class, religion, race, and other social factors in a peaceful manner.

The industrial capitalists have their own perceived way of what civilization entails. In this case, it offers a broader platform of reason when it comes to the aspect of incorporation into the society. A complex system of operation brings about different classes of living within the society. People are branded names and positions which act as a media of accessing the various resources that exist in the society (Durkheim, Lukes, & Halls, 2014, p. 324). The end result is inequitable allocation of resources and unbalanced forms of life. Based on the industrial capitalists, the issue of race comes in as a major challenge for the perceived developed society.

Division of labor as it relates to the issue of race is entirely based on the industrial capitalists society that is perceived to have advanced in terms of development and availability of opportunities. People in the primitive society who share a common school of thought have a silent way of expressing the various issues of stratification that exist within their society. This is completely different when dealing with the more advanced society where everyone has a unique way of perception.

The race is one of the factors that stratify the society apart from social class, religion, ethnicity, and gender. In this case, we witness a more advanced society system that has unbiased systems of governance. The global world witnesses a growing democracy that is aimed at curbing the various forms of discrimination especially when it comes to race. However, racism has had its roots grow deep to the extent where it is camouflaged and practiced in disguise. The level of damage caused in this case is more destructive compared to when racism was shown openly in the past.

The industrial capitalists based on Durkheims argument lack solidarity in their thought. For this reason, the society experiences unbiased systems of operation in the education sector, security, settlement patterns, and many sensitive areas. Most countries still witness a situation where people with the black skin have specific estates and states where they would prefer to live. The same situation would be seen in education where a certain race would prefer to take their children to a specific school (Schinkel, 2017, p.170). In other areas, the management would display unfair judgment for children with a specific skin color. One would fail to understand why the level of stratification would increase in a society that is more advanced.

Racism in a more enlightened society is accelerated by the consistent need for people to step up and feel part of development in an economy. They would want to be part of a system that is fair and appreciates the need for equitable distribution of resources. When their expectations are not met due to discrimination based on their skin color, the whole issue is diffused within the populations that feel oppressed. Different judgments and thoughts are felt leading to unnecessary tension.

The act of a specific race feeling special makes a select portion of the population feel entitled to certain rights. It ends up in a situation where employment opportunities are not awarded to a certain race. Skilled people who are meant to bring their unique qualities in the workplace are locked out, which affects the economic growth of the society. Therefore, it questions the legitimacy of how developed the industrial capitalist society is.



DUIKER, W., & Spielvogel, J. (2013). The Essential World History. Wadsworth.

Durkheim, E., Lukes, S., & Halls, W. (2014). The Division of Labor in Society. Free P.

Schinkel, W. (2017). Imagined Societies: A Critique of Immigrant Integration in Western Europe.



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