Durkheim's Study Of Suicide
In Emile Durkheim's (1997) book Suicide, he discusses both the causes of and the reasons for suicide. He also addresses the components of different sociological theories that show that what comes from within a person matters equally with their outside environment when it comes to the issues they face during their lives. Strong evidence is provides that peer pressure and the lack of a strong system of support can affect the suicide rates that are seen in a population (Pope & Danigelis, 1981; Irzik & Meyer, 1987). That is a very important issue to consider, because many researchers simply want to blame a person's genetic makeup or surroundings for suicide, instead of considering that there might be more than one reason for a person to have suicidal thoughts or actions. By making sure it is understood that there is more than one reason or cause for…… [Read More]
From the above description, it is clear that mechanical solidarity unites members of a society through personal bonds or social cohesion, which was particular to pre-industrial societies. This mechanical solidarity occurred, when all members of a society performed the same or nearly the same tasks as all others in a society. On the other hand, in the organic solidarity, as societies begin to modernize, they begin to industrialize and labor becomes increasingly specialized.
In modern, industrial societies, labor is tremendously divided. Individuals no longer perform the same tasks, have the same interests, nor necessarily share the same perspectives on life. Durkheim explains that this does not cause a society to fail or disintegrate; rather the organic solidarity is formed. Like the organs within an animal, individuals perform certain specific functions, but rely on the well-being and successful performance of other individuals. If one organ fails, the rest of them fail…… [Read More]
This argument brings Durkheim's theory into modern society.
Durkheim's Suicide Theory made a lot of sense in the early 1900s. Over the years, many changes in society have occurred, making some of his work appear outdated. However, Pescosolido's and Georgianna's "network" theory expands Durkheim's theory for modern times. Durkheim expected the circumstances of his argument to change, so it makes sense that modern sociologists should revisit and reapply his theory. There are more and more societies and religions, and therefore their inclusion is necessary to the acceptance of Durkheim's theory today.
Durkheim's theory seems to be flawed in some ways, some of his concepts are very helpful in trying to understand the complex origins of suicidal behavior. Durkheim's dismissal of mental illness as a key determinant of suicidal behavior weakens his thesis as a whole. However, his conceptualization of anomic, egoistic and altruistic suicide helps us to understand modern trends…… [Read More]
Emile Durkheim on Social Solidarity
Durkheim is considered the first French academic sociologist and a significant part of the life of this philosopher was surrounded by his work and writing though he also participated a lot in the affairs of the French as a society. Though a respectable academic, he was still faced with various obstacles among them being the resistance and opposition from his colleagues as scholar who represented a discipline that held little relevance or legitimacy in the society of that time.
The center of argument for Durkheim was the insistence on the study of the society as a social phenomena or "sui generis" and argued for the shunning of the reductionism and scientific approach to social life. He totally rejected the biological approaches to life study and even the psychological interpretation of social life and insisted on the determinants of the social problems of mankind to be…… [Read More]
Instead of losing its importance, sociology of religion should become more essential for study in sociology curriculum. It should be more than the anthropology and theology students who are asking such questions as, "What is the future of religion in society? Despite the growing complexity of society and the increase in stress and related emotional problems, why is there a decrease in formal religion attendance? Does modernity secularize as Durkheim noted? Can there be a complete break between "secularization" and "religiosity?" Where, how, and why can religion grow and survive in a highly technical world? What social forces and influences explain different religious outcomes? What impact does religion have in a country, as the United States, which is undergoing a major demographic change in cultures? What place does religion play in an increasing globalized world?
Apparently, however, Luckmann's concern for the study of sociology of religion is not coming to…… [Read More]
Sociology is an extremely important field of study that has dramatically changed the world in which we live. Emile Durkheim has played a major role in shaping sociology and its theories. The purpose of this discussion is to provide an overview of the theorist and his work. The discussion will focus on the work and an evaluation of the validity of the theory.
The Theorist book entitled Emile Durkheim, 1858-1917: A Collection of Essays, with Translations and a ibliography describes the socialist and his theories. Durkheim was born April 13, 1958 in epinal, France. Epinal is located in the Vosges region of Vosges. (Durkheim, emile) Thought and intellectual capabilities came to him easily as his ancestors were rabbinical scholars; in fact, Emile was supposed to become a Rabbi and continue this tradition. (Durkheim, emile)
There is very little known about his parents; the book reports that he rarely…… [Read More]
herever modern capitalism has begun its work of increasing the productivity of human labor by increasing its intensity, it has encountered the immensely stubborn resistance of this leading trait of pre-capitalistic labor" (eber, 1908).
Even if Marx and eber were in a state of disagreement over the importance of ideals or material realities in propelling the injustices of capitalism, the idea that ideas could change the world, coupled with Freud's psychological analysis of the inevitability of estrangement from one's original object of affection and Marx's economic analysis has proved attractive to critical theory and its own synthesized critique of capitalism. hat unites all three theorists is their generally pessimistic reading of the human being produced by modern life. To exist in society, a person must repress his or her innate sexual impulses and redirect them onto acceptable objects of affection like money. A person must sublimate his or her desire…… [Read More]
Theorist: Emile Durkheim
Emile Durkheim was a significant contributor to the field of Sociology. In fact, he is considered by many to be the father of Sociology. Durkheim was a proponent of functionalism in that he believed that the individual was not as important as the social structure in determining behavior. Further, functionalists believe that Sociology is a science (positivism) and that society is built "around a value consensus and social solidarity which is achieved by socialization and social control" (Bryant, 2012, p.1) Durkheim is also defined by his belief in control theory which stresses the belief that individual behavior is determined by outside social influences and thus controlled by society not the individual (Bryant, 2012, p.1). Thus, Durkheim is most closely aligned with my beliefs because of his beliefs in control theory, functionalism, and positivism.
Positivism holds that sociology is a science and as such is governed by the…… [Read More]
Crime - Durkheim
hat does Emile Durkheim mean when he says crime is "normal"? In Durkheim's book, Division of Labor, according to author Stephen P. Turner, Durkheim said crime is inevitable and it is normal. hat was the justification for those statements? How did he come to make what today would seem an outrage?
In the larger context, Durkheim emphasized that law and morality are linked, and that what is considered "illegal" is generally believed to also be "immoral" in the opinion of the general public (Turner, 1993, pp. 71-72). He believed that if religion and morality had sufficient power and authority in society, if "socialization to society's values were perfect," and if existing religious and moral values were "perfectly known," all citizens would be behaving according to those values. Behaving properly would be what everyone did in that instance, and there would be "no challenge to the society's dominant…… [Read More]
The author's concept is based upon an understanding of how the human psyche operates, in addition to how societies operate collectively. The human psyche desires satisfaction in several areas of life. This satisfaction is based not upon what is immediately available, but rather upon the desire itself, which could be unlimited. Individual satisfaction can be limited by external social factors, such as a universally accepted moral value, or the material state of other individuals.
The author assumes that individuals are dissatisfied when all their desires are not met. He also assumes a fundamental difference between human and animal desire and fulfillment. Human beings have the faculty of comparing their own state of well being with what could potentially be acquired. This in turn is based upon what is observed for other individuals. A discrepancy between one's own acquisitions and that of others could lead to unrealistic hope for…… [Read More]
One interesting way of looking at cultural, historical, and sociological trends is to extrapolate the individual into society and vice versa. Trends that occur within the individual -- birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, illness, old age, dementia, and death -- also occur within society, albeit at a different pace and severity. The pathology of an empire, for example, the oman Empire, can be compared to more modern interpretations of the stages and psychopathology of the individual, and not only trends examined and compared, but a clear relationship between the way ome declined from within, eventually to merge into something quite different, and ways of looking at individual self-destructive behaviors.
Emile Durkeim (1858-1917) was a French sociologist who many consider to be one of the founders of sociology and anthropology. He was instrumental in establishing sociology as a true, scientific discipline, and also studied education, crime, religion, suicide, and the manner…… [Read More]
Nowadays, students have to choose between different academic disciplines: maybe one student prefers to be a psychologist rather than a physician. And then once the student has decided on psychology, he must choose, for example, to be a psychology major, as opposed to a physician major. Further more, there are even different categories within disciplines: social psychology, organizational psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology etc., each with its own concepts, terminology and methods. As in many other areas of activity, the division of labor in modern academia was a necessary phenomenon in the modern society given the economic and social conditions of the modern world, when the aim of education is to prepare students for different specializations and then, through working, interdependence and collaboration is necessary in order to reach the goal and obtain the wanted results. Durkheim's theory division of labor depicts the fact that in a society based…… [Read More]
Durkheim and the Study of Suicide
Emile Durkheim was primarily interested in how societies could remain coherent and integrated in present times when shared religious and ethnic background can no longer be relied on (Wikipedia 2005). Along with Herbert Spencer, he set the first scientific approaches to social phenomena that focused on social facts, instead of individual motivation. Durkheim suggested that social phenomena existed apart, independently and more objectively of individual actions and that these phenomena could be explained by other social facts other than society's, for example, climatic or ecological adaptation. This belief later came to be known as functionalism (Wikipedi).
His work, "The Division of Labor in Society," published in 1893, examined the different types of society, particularly the division of labor and how this division different between traditional and modern societies (Wikipedia 2005). He suggested a view that reversed the order of evolution among societies from a…… [Read More]
Whereas, in the original thesis, the main contrast was between repressive and restitutive sanctions, in the later article the contrast involves a classification of crimes into those that are fundamentally religious in character -- offences against shared moral tenets that constitute the collective conscience -- and those that are "individual," in the sense of involving the essentially private interests of increasingly autonomous individuals. Penal sanctions also change in quantity and quality, with a movement away from corporal punishment and toward depriving the individual of possessions or freedom, i.e. fines and imprisonment. This development corresponds to the increasing differentiation within society, and the increasing focus on the individual, in this case as criminal or victim. Durkheim makes an interesting point about prisons only coming into existence when a society reached a sufficiently advanced stage of material development to permit the existence of secure and fortified establishments, such as castles or other…… [Read More]
Another compelling component that confirms Dukheim's consensus is the fact that despite more women than men experiencing depression, the number of male suicides is consistently larger. (Ibid)
In Light of Suicide's Darkness In light of suicide's darkness, along with the contention that Durham's explanation of anomic and egoistic suicides is a valid reflection of social reality, several patterns of suicide that might be observed in contemporary American social life include:
Greater incidents of suicide may be probable in individuals who have experienced the loss of their family, as Durkheim noted that family life protects an individual from suicide.
Less incidents of suicide are anticipated overall (and among Jews in the U.S.) as the U.S. is currently engaged in war and Durkheim contended that:.".. peacetime suicide rates > wartime suicide rates among Protestants > Roman Catholics > Jews." (Pickering and alford 180).
Greater incidents of suicide may occur in work environments…… [Read More]
I am unhappy, why not kill myself?' An anomic suicide might say, 'the old gods have been shown to be false, so their prohibitions against suicide are also false, why not kill myself since I am unhappy?' ("Individual and society," Sociology at Hewett, excerpted from Coser, 1977:132-136).
These are the most common types of suicide, although Durkheim also gave some other examples of the social causes of suicide, such as altruistic suicide, which is the opposite of anomic suicide -- altruistic suicide is caused by too much social regulation, including as individuals who commit suicide to avoid dishonoring their family, or in extreme cases, because social conventions compel them to commit suicide like the Hindu practice of the ritual suicide of widows or Japanese harikiri, where samurai warriors kill themselves if their lord is dishonored ("Individual and society," Sociology at Hewett, excerpted from Coser, 1977:132-136).
Individual and society."…… [Read More]
Durkheim Four Principles of Deviance
In looking at the four functions of deviance in the context of examples. Namely rock and roll music and marijuana smoking, etc. In the 1950s and 1960s compared to today.
The first function according to Durkheim is that deviance gives affirmation to validate the values and cultural norms that guide behavior in society (Macionis, 2006).
In America a guiding principle of society has always been morality. Since the country was founded on a primary belief in Godly ("In God we Trust") principles of right and wrong. Along with the freedoms that comes with allowing people of all religions to determine their own destinies. With this freedom comes the realization that there will be differences in opinion about behavior and the type of attitudes that accompany a moral premise. If there is a virtue of what is 'acceptable' or good in society there has to be…… [Read More]
Durkheim were alive today, what elements in the post-industrial world would he say are representative of "mechanical solidarity" and what elements represent "organic solidarity?" Could his theory account for both of these co-existing in post-modern society? Why or why not?
According to Ritzer, the sociologist Emile Durkheim viewed human solidarity under two basic divisions or constructs. The first is that of mechanical solidarity. If solidarity is a form of social cohesion, mechanical solidarity is based upon a sense of physical likeness or ritual similarities between individuals in any particular society. It is dependent on shared customs routines. Although Durkheim usually discusses this concept amongst prehistoric societies and suggests that the need for this solidarity has decreased in post-modernity, this may not be the case -- as much as the sociologist might have liked.
Firstly, the adoption of 'trends' from the street and the mechanical, commonly shared rituals of commuting to…… [Read More]
It causes more days that people are not in work and productive than any other single factor. What an astounding figure -- my mind boggles: $300 billion, or $7,500 per employee, is spent annually in America on stress-related compensation claims, decreased productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses (almost 50% higher for workers who report stress), and employee turnover. o compensate for the loss in productivity, organizations are driving people harder to remain competitive and successful. his, naturally, increases the stress even more on the personnel. What a horrible situation. Now, job stress is even called "an epidemic."
his situation saddens me greatly. Will American society continue to break down so greatly that it can no longer be cohesive? Where people will rely only on their individual (and selfish) basic needs (as this social scientist Abraham Maslow described) without regard for the larger social issues? I read that there…… [Read More]
His underlying interest was to understand the basic forms of religious life for all societies. In Elementary Forms, Durkheim argues that the totems the aborigines venerate are actually expressions of their own conceptions of society itself. This is true not only for the aborigines, he argues, but for all societies (ibid).
eligion, for Durkheim, is not "imaginary," although he does deprive it of what many believers find essential. eligion is very real; it is an expression of society itself, and indeed, there is no society that does not have religion. We perceive as individuals a force greater than ourselves, which is our social life, and give that perception a supernatural face. We then express ourselves religiously in groups, which for Durkheim makes the symbolic power greater. eligion is an expression of our collective consciousness, which is the fusion of all of our individual consciousnesses, which then creates a reality of…… [Read More]
The Sociological Method
The sociological method was viewed very differently by Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. One focused on objectivity, the other on subjectivity. The consequences of their different methodological principles in terms of each author’s understanding of society can be found in how people today view, discuss, think about and manage the development of society. Durkheim’s methodology helped lead to the establishment of the use of statistics in social analysis and the management of what the Frankfurt School would go on to call the culture industry, as the prime dictator of social facts. Adorno and Horkheimer were more influenced by Weber’s antipositivism, however, and Weber’s methodology helped lead to the formation not only of the Frankfurt School but also of the Austrian School of economics, which acknowledged the problem of accurately determining the relative value of goods for which reason no centralized planned economy could ever work efficiently in…… [Read More]
Emile Durkheim came to prominence at a time when Europe was attempting to redefine itself. It had already experienced a significant and major break with the past (its customs and traditions) during the Protestant Reformation in the 15th and 16th centuries, when Catholic Europe splintered apart. The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment that followed led to a new rationalist spirit in Europe (England and France in particular), which served as the basis of modernism. A counter-swing (and prelude to post-modernism) was the Romantic Era, out of which Durkheim emerged in France -- a beneficiary of the Enlightenment doctrine's emphasis on rationalism and the Romantic Era's emphasis on imagination, and feeling. As French society attempted to redefine itself in the wake of political chaos (the Napoleonic Wars had destabilized the country), Durkheim offered a new approach to the science of society -- sociology -- and he became, so to speak, the father…… [Read More]
It almost seems that people communicate more by phone, cell phone, email and the Internet than they do in person. Almost every where in the world there is some type of violence or the threat of war. In the United States, stress is mounting as people are concerned about the problems with the war, mounting costs of oil, food and other commodities, and the questionable economy. The road rage is entering other areas, as people rush through the drive-ups, grocery stores and drug stores to quickly pick up what they need and hurry off again. To Durkheiim, this was called anomie.
Durkheim wrote of the effect of anomie on human goals and the resulting happiness. As social restraints weaken, people decrease their limits upon their desires and aspirations. In the past, their goals were limited by social order, but now these goals are becoming out of hand -- look at…… [Read More]
As in Durkheim's day, persons often come to cities, leaving family and home behind to seek their fortunes but only find loneliness. Also, one would also expect to see suicides more often in college students and young worker who traveled far from their original homes, and were unable to adapt to a new community. These persons are often forced to form social ties with strangers, and forced to create a new schema of values that might conflict with their parental values. If unable to do so, they may feel unable to return to their own way of life, but seem to have no future.
Rural communities might also show high levels of suicide, if sufficiently isolated from nearby towns, and if populated by houses that are sparsely, rather than closely located together and discourage community ties. These communities could be just as lonely as urban apartments. Diverse communities, without social…… [Read More]
Durkheim called the unfortunate mental state produced by modernity "anomie." Anomie is best expressed as the state of alienation felt by the modern urbanite, dwelling far away from traditional family structures and religious rituals. "Anomie is impossible whenever interdependent organs are sufficiently in contact and sufficiently extensive. If they are close to each other, they are readily aware, in every situation, of the need which they have of one another, and consequently they have an active and permanent feeling of mutual dependence." (Durkheim, p.184, cited by Dunman, 1996)
In contrast to eber, rather than fearing too many constraints as a result of industrialization, Durkheim believed that the dangers of alienation lay in having no connections or confines within accepted laws of family, culture, and traditional governance. (Dunman, 1999) Durkheim felt that a lack of societal limits on behavior in an anonymous, modern society led to sadness and despair, which he…… [Read More]
662). In other words, individuals coalesce around environments repetitively to form the collective. The collective structure stays even when the individual is alone. This is close to the collective representations of Durkheim, but it is based on innate or genetic structures that connect during the repetition of social encounters (which in Allport are not religious). The social bonding function is similar: "The collective-structure event-format (so called 'reality of the group') is thus preserved, though the particular contacts of individuals may vary in space, time, and number" (Allport, 1955, p. 662).
This interweaving with the collective has lasting effects on the individual structure. He says, "It is also worth noting that the collective structure itself is often represented, usually in a schematic or abridged format, in the meaning-cycles of the individuals involved, on the basis of their contacts with other individuals in the regular and repetitive course of the structure's operation"…… [Read More]
Individuals can find some sanctuary in the diverse population of urban areas. Unlike small family groups, which enforce social restrictions much tighter, larger urban areas give their inhabitants more freedom to explore diverse paths without fear of judgment or social outcast. More subgroups within a population lead to more individual exploration with fewer worries than lesser populated areas.
Coser, Lewis a. "Georg Simmel: Biographical Information." 1977. Sociology in Switzerland. Retrieved on November 28, 2007 at http://socio.ch/sim/bio/htm
Durkheim, Emile. "hat is Social fact?" The Rules of the Sociological Method. Free Press. New York. 1982. pp.50-59. Retrieved on November 27, 2007 at http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theoryeb/readings/DurkheimFactForm.html
Emile-Durkheim.com. "Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)." Retrieved on November 27, 2007 at http://emile-durkheim.com
Elwell, Frank. The Sociology of Max eber. 1996. Retrieved on November 27, 2007 at http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theorist/eber/whome.htm
Marx, Karl. "Bourgeoisie and Proletariat." The Communist Manifesto. Retrieved on November 27, 2007 at http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/courses/COMMAN.htmL
Simmel, Georg. The Metropolis and Mental…… [Read More]
Goffman, Mead, Parsons and Durkheim about way people behave in society. It has 2 sources.
During the 19th century and the 20th century, the emergence of the industrialization has introduced a new breed of family structure that we have come to know as the nuclear family. Social theorists like Talcott Parsons, GH Mead and Goffman all attempt to define the roles of women and men in this new society by redefining their roles. According to Parsons, the industrialized nations have given rise to the nuclear family in which men and women have equal roles in their family. The women have an expressive leadership role while the men have instrumental leadership roles. Yet these designated roles did not come about easily. Erving Goffman for example explains that social roles come with individual perceptions. People have certain ideologies for behaving the way they do. These are communicated through body language as well…… [Read More]
collective ideals, religion is reinforced through ceremonies and rituals," (Calhoun, et al., 2012, p. 199). One of the most important ceremonies that reinforces cultural norms and institutions is the wedding ceremony. I had the opportunity to attend a wedding at a church recently, providing an opportunity to analyze Durkheim's sociological theories and apply them to daily life. I selected this ritual because I do not attend many other rituals that have a religious context like this one, and because I have attended two other weddings and none of the three were from the same religious tradition. Therefore, my observations highlight some of Durkheim's core theories about the ways social bonds are reinforced through ritual, regardless of the technical manifestations of those rituals. My observations also show how even in modern, secular societies, the concept of the "sacred" remains salient for individuals and their communities.
The wedding I attended took place…… [Read More]
The Kula provides a different perspective on the purpose and function of economics. One could imagine our ancient ancestors beginning trade as a social event. When we lived in small bands, every band was self-sufficient and had to supply their own basic needs. I had never thought of economics as a purely social function until reading this article. It changed my perspective on the purpose of economics.
Article Summary #14
Radcliffe-rown, a. (1940. On Joking Relationships. In Anthropological Theory: An Introductory Theory. Fourth Edition. R. McGee and Richard Warms. McGraw Hill.
Joking and teasing is a cultural construct that has different rules among different cultures. The purpose of this article is to examine the purpose and function of joking relationships among African Tribes. The author discovered that joking relationships among in-laws helps to relieve tension and diffuse what could be volatile social relations. Joking is not random and has a…… [Read More]
Emile Durkheim is regarded as one of the proverbial founding fathers of sociological research and theory. The two main works of his that can easily be considered his most brilliant and affecting works are The ules of Sociological Method and The Division of Labor in Society. This particular report focuses on a particular article that was written for and appeared in a scholarly journal article in 2011. The article spoke of Durkheim's theories and how the theory and practice of society very much confirm and verify the assertions that Durkheim made. Specifically, the article focuses on the Moral Education treatise offered by Durkheim. While sociological theory and insight is not an exact science is far from definitive even in the modern day, it is clear to anyone who would pay attention why Durkheim is held in the same fairly high to very high regard as other sociological theories such as…… [Read More]
Fathers of Sociology
As a discipline, sociology is relatively young. Therefore, many of the great thinkers of the last two centuries have had a tremendous impact on the face of modern sociology. Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, and .E.B. Du Bois all contributed to the historical development of the discipline of sociology. One can see the lasting impact of those contributions in how sociologists approach human behavior in modern American society.
Emile Durkheim may be the man most responsible for transforming sociology from unscientific observations of human behavior into a disciplined science of human behavior. He drew upon Comte's work in sociology, but felt that his foundations were too vague. Instead of vague assertions about human behavior, Durkheim felt that in order for sociology to be a science, it "must study social facts, i.e. aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals" (Agarwal, N.p.). hile Durkheim's work…… [Read More]
Many different views abound on the origins of modern capitalism, causalities that range from economic to political, from religious to cultural, or for some, an amalgamation of societies need to expand and the resources necessary to fuel that expansion. Max Weber's the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a study of the relationship between the ethics of ascetic Protestantism and the emergence of the spirit of modern capitalism. An ascetic Protestant is one who practices self-denial and self-discipline. Weber argues that the religious ideas of groups such as the Calvinists played a role in creating the capitalistic spirit. Calvinism focused on predestination and God's infinite power, a hierarchical system that transcended religion and moved into economic and social activities.
This is true not only in cases where the difference in religion coincides with one of nationality, and thus of cultural development . . . . The same thing…… [Read More]
While in Durkheim's concept of moral density, competition is a pre-existing condition, rationalization and social change in Weber's terms is determined by the enhancement or development of humans in their ability to adapt to their social environment. Competition, although a factor in the individual's social environment, did not become the focus of Weber's process of rationalization, as compared to Durkheim's conceptualization. Marx's dialectical materialism is likened to Durkheim's concept of competition in that through this concept, human society is illustrated to be part of an ongoing history of social change premeditated by class conflict, which emerged out of the unequal control of the mode of production or technology. The relationship between the forces (elite and working classes) and mode of production determine the existence of a class stratification and conflict in the society. This class conflict led to differentiated roles in the society, resulting to formal rationality, and ultimately, after…… [Read More]
Comprehending September 11 attacks through the eyes of Emile Durkheim
This research paper discusses a current event through the eyes of a social theorist. The orks Cited five sources in MLA format.
Societies form individuals and social orders of different kinds produce different individuals. Hence our research paper will revolve around the following thesis statement:
An individual is the product of his/her own society therefore those who take extreme measures to become what they grow to expect themselves to be and those who strive hard to cooperate with certain groups even at the cost of their own lives, do so as a result of the social external forces that are at work. Both social as well as political elements, primarily cultural components play a pivotal role in forming various groups including the main example of terrorist groups and suicide commandos including those that made the orlds' skyscrapers disintegrate into…… [Read More]
Sociology as a field of study entails examining and understanding the behavior of human groups and associated social behavior. In understanding these aspects, the sociologists have, their focus primarily concentrated on the human interactions. These human interactions revolve around how the different social relations influence the behavior and attitudes of the people and how the societies originate, form and change. Human interactions are vast, and so is the field of sociology. It covers virtually all the topics of human life, from gender, race, religion, education, politics, health, group behavior and conformity among others. Sociologist focus on how the society and people influence other people since most personal experiences has their origin from external or social forces.
The social and external forces exist within the society in the form of interpersonal relationships between families and friends. Additionally, these relations form from the encounters in the academic, religious,…… [Read More]
Classics of Criminology edited by Joseph Jacoby is a collection of documents and essays by expert criminologists. Rather than present the different theories and histories of crime and the formulation of law, Jacoby includes the original writings by the men and women who created them. For example, instead of a summarized account of Jeremy Bentham's "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation," the entirety of that text is presented in the book. The thesis of the compilation is that "if students read only about and not in criminology, their experience is but secondhand, and their conclusions are determined by textbook authors" (Jacoby 2004). This is why Jacoby does not include his own positions on the essays in the book. He wishes for every reader to view the original documents and formulate their own opinions about what they have read and now understand. There were several interesting and education…… [Read More]
Macro Theory of Sociology
Regarding The Classical tradition and Social Imagination: Overall, what kinds of messages do we inherit from the "classical tradition"? How does the "sociological imagination" inspire and direct our activities as students and practitioners of the social sciences? How might an understanding of the key ideas of long-dead theorists inform how you live your personal life today? How might a reading of the classics benefit your everyday work life?
The Classical tradition of sociology stresses the importance of rational understanding of one's social and economic purpose in life. In other words, to be a fully functioning human entity in an ethical and moral context, one must be philosophically aware of the way one's social context has evolved, historically, and think critically to create an ethical system of morality. Even though the current postmodern conception of the sociological imagination may not be commensurate with, for instance, all of…… [Read More]
As the roles and functions of religions and their leaders changed according to the changing needs of the communities they served, they provided both stability in times of change as well as the leadership to effect changes as necessary.
Of the three theorists, Marx appears to include the most negative elements in his considerations of religion. It must also be noted however that Marx places more focus on elements other than religion, whereas the other two theorists study religion in itself as it connects with society and its needs. Marx instead viewed religion as one of the elements that could be detrimental in effecting social change when necessary. Durkheim in turn places greater emphasis on the spiritual and esoteric quality of religion than the others, but nevertheless also places it within the context of a society that creates their gods as reflections of themselves. Weber is the most practical of…… [Read More]
In this view, the fact that underprivileged subcultures already promoted a different set of social values emphasizing "street smarts" and toughness instead of socially productive attributes and goals combined with the substitution of deviant role models for father figures is a significant source of criminal conduct, particularly in poor communities (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2008).
Other modern sociological perspectives began reconsidering crime and other forms of socially deviant behavior as primarily a function of individual psychology.
However, whereas earlier theories of individual responsibility focused on the role of rational choice, the modern approach viewed crime much more as a function of the cumulative psychological effects on the individual of the consequences of social labeling.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that much of the difference in crime rates in underprivileged communities also relates directly to the different types of characterizations and institutional responses to different types of crime in American society.…… [Read More]
Bethany Moreton's "To serve God and Walmart: The making of Christian free enterprise." (Harvard University Press, 2009)
Author Bethany Moreton's work provides an insight into Walmart's corporate history and its swift climb, within 50 years, from a little discount retail chain opened up by Sam Walton to an international retailing giant. The author goes beyond readers' expectations to include Walmart Country's religious, social, and cultural history (the term 'Walmart Country' would refer to its politically charged birthplace and surroundings of East Oklahoma, north-western Arkansas, and south Missouri). It is a place where the retailer's customers, supervisors and staff collaborate with missionaries, evangelical housewives, and pastors, within a doctrine of free enterprise and community service.
Moreton has penned an in-depth and captivating analysis of the popular global retail giant, America's largest private-sector employer, and the largest global public company. Through an elaborate case study, the author has effectively assimilated its cultural…… [Read More]
Industrial evolution: esult of an Agricultural evolution?
The Industrial evolution which began in Great Britain in the eighteenth century, and still continues in certain parts of the world, is considered by some historians to be the most significant transformation in the economic environment of human civilization after the Neolithic evolution. There are a number of reasons that triggered and sustained the transformation of an agriculture-based economy to an industrial-based economy, but perhaps the most significant was the occurrence of an 'Agriculture evolution' in Britain in the century following 1750. In this essay, I shall discuss why this was so, besides describing the following:
The causes and outcome of the Agricultural evolution
Features of the Industrial evolution
The Social Consequences of the Industrial evolution
Karl Marx and Emile Durkhiem's theories about the Industrial evolution
How an Agricultural evolution in Britain triggered the Industrial evolution?
Most historians are in agreement that the…… [Read More]
The popular media's negative coverage of the insanity defense in contested cases when a defendant claims not to have the rational capacity to commit a crime or has a diminished capacity to conceptualize a criminal intent has caused the public to dismiss forensic psychiatry as providing rationalizations or excuses for bad behavior, rather than possessing a real scientific method. The use of the insanity defense is clearly subject to sociological and societal factors, such as the statistically greater willingness to believe a man who kills his child is competent vs. A woman. However, the authors contend that this ignores the many cases where the defense and the prosecution both agree that the criminal in question was not competent and was operating upon a different schema of 'reality' that affected his or her ability to judge circumstances in the same fashion as a sane person. (It might be argued, in the…… [Read More]
From this perspective, the field of sociology is involved in the analysis of the patterns of these interactions. Therefore, for Simmel Sociology is more than just the study of "natural laws." Simmel also emphasized the study of small groups. This differed for the classical theorists like Durkheim and Marx.
The primary contemporary interest in Simmel's work stems from the analysis of individual action within the ambit of the structural approach. An essential difference between Simmel's view of sociological analysis and other major theorists is that while theorists like Durkheim considered the aim of sociology to be the creation of logical and inclusive overarching theoretical constructs, Simmel viewed society, as it were, from the bottom up: with the focus on the way that smaller groups and individuals interact. This approach is more in line with contemporary phenomenological and existential theories.
It is in this light that a reassessment of the work…… [Read More]
Anomie and Alienation
Lost, With No Possibility of Being Found
Running through the literature of classical late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century sociology are themes of isolation, of the poverty of life lived in isolated cells, of the fragility of a life in which we can almost never make authentic connections with other people, in which we are lost even to ourselves. We have -- and this "we" includes the entire population of the industrialized world, or at least most of it -- have raised the act of rationalism to an art form, but along the way we have lost so much of our humanity that we can no longer form or maintain a community. Four of the major social critics of the twentieth century took up these themes for essentially the same reason: To argue that while ailing human society could be transformed in ways that would give it meaning…… [Read More]
health care debate that has been going in the United States. It discusses the Obama Care Act and how it impacts the society. Functionalist perspectives and theories are utilized in analyzing the situation and what outcomes are expected. The major themes and concepts of the functionalist theory are discussed in detail.
The Health Care reform proposed by the Obama Administration has long been the area of debate in America and in countries all over the world. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go on to cut down the number of people who are not insured. It requires small businesses to provide medical insurance to all the people working in the business. The employers are obliged to provide a good quality medical insurance. Failure of the small business to provide a good health care system will result in a penalty for any employee that goes uninsured. This act applies to…… [Read More]
Crime is a normative aspect of any social construct. That however does not in any way imply that a criminal is a set of or his psychological and biological endowments, if that may be called so. These are actually two very different queries on altogether different premises. The differentiation is better captured when sociological pursuits (fraud, slander, calumny, insults, etc.) are ingrained into the discussion about criminality. It also discount the fact that criminality should be looked down upon, though crimes are an accepted social construct. In ways similar to an individual avoiding pain, so does the society abhor crime. As an extension, similarly as pain cannot be wished away and does form a feature of life, so does criminality about a social structure. That is however not at all to defend crime. Such a posit would be against the moral obligations that has tangible outcomes and become…… [Read More]
The emphasis on social stability, as seen in many institutions' suspicion regarding social change, can lead to the perpetuation of social inequality. In some instances, there is even a stronger link between religion and power structures.
The caste system in India privileges the rights of the priestly class. However, political leaders in India have also formed strong ties with the Brahmin class. These ties serve to "legitimize" the power in the political government.
Evaluating conflict theory
Conflict theory provides several important insights regarding the conservative role that religion has played in society. McGuire and Collins' study provide specific cases that uphold Marx's original premise. These studies show how conflict thinking still remains relevant, even until today.
However, the emphasis on the conservative and status quo orientation of religion also glosses over religion's liberating potential. Theologians like Gustavo Gutierrez, a priest who served in a Peruvian slum in the 1960s, argued…… [Read More]
shift from agrarian to industrial society a simple substitution of one form of economic behavior for another, hanging up the hat of the farmer to put on the hat of the factory worker. But there was in fact a substantial shift in nearly everything about daily life for those generations caught up in the transition from rural to urban worlds. The most obvious change was in the relationship between people and the land itself. No longer were people defined by their place of birth, by where they had always lived. They were defined - by others as well as themselves - by a series of portable skills.
The magnitude of this change is difficult for those of us who have grown up in a world in which mobility is the norm. But it must have been for those living at the beginning of the Industrial evolution a shattering (as well…… [Read More]
Accordingly, the significance of the application of the conflict perspective to American food is that its accuracy is so blatantly valid that it has progressed almost unnoticed through our nation's history. Out of the philosophical roots of Marx, conflict theory has evolved and broadened its scope; today, it is most commonly used to evaluate the legal system, but the core conflict remains that between the proletariats and the owners of the means of production. In this way, the conflicts surrounding the exponentially expanding fast food industry reach between the working class and the social elite. McDonalds's, in particular, represents one of the most glaring examples of how the social elite in society have managed to package, sell, and justify their prominent position in American society to the masses.
The central premise of social conflict theory is that individuals and groups within society generally use their power -- as much of…… [Read More]
Suicide and Society
Suicide: An Individual Phenomenon or a Societal Construct?
Statistics show that suicide rates in the U.S. are highly predictable. It is annually expected each year that over 30,000 suicides will occur, as compared to about 17,000 homicides. This stable and predictable estimate of suicide rate stems from a precise analysis of social factors describing four separate categories of suicidal influences: egoistic, altruistic, anomic, and fatalistic. According to the functionalist theory described by Emile Durkheim, rates are social facts based on other established social facts, and thus have a sociological basis. As suicide rates are social facts, Durkheim set out to provide an empirical basis of social explanation regarding suicide, providing a far different account of trends than the previously perceived notion that suicide is based purely on individual or psychological reasons. Thus, the phenomenon of what actually motivates the occurrence of suicide can be examined from a…… [Read More]
Religion is an analysis of seven works that the author, Daniel Pals, believes have shaped the understanding of religion in the past century. These theories represent seminal attempts to see religion in its social context as a system of values and beliefs, something that would be popularized by French structuralists and students of myth and semiotics in the last half of the 20th century. The theories reviewed put forth a 'scientific approach to religion' that 'first caught the imagination of serious scholars' in the 19th century. (pg. 10) These theories 'exercised a shaping influence not only on religion but on the whole intellectual culture of our century.' Some of the names put to us are familiar to us, such as Freud and Marx, whereas others are more obscure, such as Tylor and Frazer, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, and Clifford Geertz. The author picks what might be called the…… [Read More]
individual in society: To what extent are individuals the product of society?
The idea of 'the individual' has become such an accepted construct in modern life it is easy to forget that the idea of an isolated, all-important private and individual 'self' is a relatively new development in human sociological thought. Even today, human beings define themselves, not simply as individual selves, but as persons who must function within particular social contexts of family, work, and school. Quite often, when one asks 'who am I,' one's societal roles of child or parent, worker or employee, or student formulate one's answer. But although societal ideals and ideas have produced the modern notion of the individual as an isolated, psychologically contained essence, this idea has grown so powerful that even as societal institutions of church and education continue to shape the collective, individual persons now seek a sense of empowerment and actualization…… [Read More]
(40) The foundation of the story demonstrates the social pull of religion as a way of life, that is inclusive, despite its obvious contradictions to the modern world, belief systems and economy. In a sense the social desire to fit in and be seen as different are met by the acceptance of the church as a lifestyle. According to Durkheim, "Deep down, no religion is false.... Each in its own way is true, for each answers given conditions of human life."
Blend et al. 30)
Max eber also committed a great deal of his life and scholarship to the sociology of religion, affirming repeatedly that religion must exist to transform society into a moral society, rather than one that meets the conditions of the natural instincts of man, being amoral in the sense that they are often simply self serving, yet he also reiterated the importance of studying the ways…… [Read More]
United States has the highest rate of confinement of prisoners per 100,000 population than any other Western country. Analyze this phenomena and discuss actions that you feel are necessary to combat this problem.
The United States currently has the highest incarceration rate of any nation worldwide. For example, greater than 60% of nations have incarceration rates below 150 per 100,000 people (Walmsley, 2003). The United States makes up just about five percent of the world's population and yet it houses 25% of the world's prison population (Walmsley, 2009). In 2008 there were more than 2.3 million people held in United States prisons and jails, a rate of approximately 754 inmates per 100,000 people (Sabol, West, & Cooper, 2009). So if we only count adults in the population that translates into a one in 100 American adults is locked up. ussia is the only other major industrialized nation that comes close…… [Read More]
Any one who tried to gain enough power and wealth would be considered a threat to the power of the church and was therefore quickly deposed of their wealth.
Weber proposed that even though Catholics tolerated a greater display of outward wealth, Protestant doctrines asked the followers to concentrate on mundane pursuits. It also asks its followers to accept a lower station in life without a hierarchical structure to force the issue. There were no examples of upward mobility or examples of extravagance to follow. The Protestant faith in promoted a pride in one's work and the "work and Save" ethic. The members were self-motivated, not forced into submission by the Church. This was a key difference between these two philosophies. Weber claimed that this attitude was much more productive than the Catholic idea of wealth attainment. The Calvinists had a word which meant ones calling, or duty on earth.…… [Read More]
Anthony Giddens defines prejudice as "the holding of preconceived ideas about an individual or group, ideas that are resistant to change even in the face of new information."
Examples of the worst form of prejudice include American slavery during the first two centuries of this country and the extermination of millions of Jewish people by the Nazis during World War II. In both of these cases, the blacks and Jews were seen as lower forms of humans or even non-human. Unfortunately, prejudice against the blacks and Jews continues to this day. They are often considered "scapegoats," or blamed for things they have not done.
In this same vein, stigmatize, according to Tony Bilton (1996) is "a process of experience in which some form of social behavior or attribute is subject to social disapproval and becomes discredited, resulting in a spoiled identity in the eyes of others and possible exclusion from…… [Read More]
Merton also incorporated Durkheim's observations of the difference between intrinsic motivation for work and economic profit and purely superficial extrinsic motivation for the tangible trappings of success and/or social status. Since post-Industrial evolution social values tended to focus so much more on acquisition and less on contributing to society through work, individuals experiencing psychosocial strains from the lack of available opportunities for legitimate work often sought to acquire the same outward social status through deviant and criminal means (Schmalleger, 2008).
The documentary traced the evolution of organized neighborhood protection and political rights organizations in vast criminal enterprises after the discovery of the economic profit potential associated with selling illicit narcotics. In Los Angeles, a parasitic relationship developed wherein the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) extracted protection money from the gangs while simultaneously increasing their official budget to upgrade their facilities and equipment on the basis of the increasing firepower and…… [Read More]
VI. DURKHEIM'S ANOMIE
Another theory in criminology is known as 'Durkheim's Anomie' which was conceived by Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist who first introduced the anomie in the work entitled: "The Division of Labor in Society" in which the anomie was utilized in provides a description of a "condition of deregulation that was occurring in society." (Criminological Theory, 2001) This anomie was used to describe how that the mores' of behavior in society was unclear and due to this breakdown in a code of proper social behavior resulting was the 'anomie' or the failure to know what to expect between individuals. It was posited by Durkheim that: "...societies evolved form a simple, nonspecialized form, called 'mechanical' toward a highly complex, specialized form, called 'organic. In the former society people behave and think alike and more or less perform the same work tasks and have the same group-oriented goals. When societies…… [Read More]
Review of Student PowerPoint
The paper evaluates a PowerPoint summarizing a workshop given at Murdoch University by Dave Palmer in 2009. The workshop addressed the community building movement, an initiative that has gained popularity in Australia.
Slide three stated introduces a group of four students, although while these are presumably the authors of the PowerPoint, this is never explicitly stated and should be explained clearer. Slide 5 ("Introduction by Dave), which discussed the impetus for Mr. Palmer's presentation (the Aboriginal emphasis on the land and the need to return to this state) also included a picture of the presenter, which usefully allows one to connect the information with the face of the person delivering the material. Still, there was an almost excessive amount of text in this slide, and it would have been helpful for it to have been condensed. This set the standard for a dynamic in which…… [Read More]