Durkheim: Solidarity and Skills

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Social Solidarity

  • Durkheim argues that society needs a sense of solidarity; that is, it's individual members must feel themselves to be part of a community. 
  • Without social solidarity, social life and cooperation would be impossible because each individual would pursue their own selfish desires. 

  • The Education System helps to create social solidarity by transmitting society's cultures-it's shared beliefs/values.
  • For example, Durkheim argues that the teaching of a country's history instils in children a sense of heritage.

  • School also acts as a "Society in Miniature", preparing us for a life in wider society.
  • For example both in school/work we have to cooperate with people who aren't family/friends. 
  • Likewise, both in school/work we have to interact with others according to a set of impersonal rules that apply to everyone. 
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Social Skills

  • Modern industrial economies have a complex division of labour, where the production of even a single item usually involves the cooperation of many different specialists. 
  • This cooperation promotes social solidarity but, for it to be 
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