This essay gives an insight on Emile Durkheim who has made significant contributions in the world of sociology. He dealt mainly on how society is held together. Despite the availability of early thinkers who argued that there had to be something uniting the community, Durkheim was the first to analyze the issue intensely (Ballantine, 2017). In his research, he came up with two distinct forms of solidarity which are traditional and modern.
In the old society, Durkheim came up with the idea that their similarity bound them together. To further confirm his theory he stated that they shared these aspects; cultures, ethnicity and their spiritual way of life. In the current society, the author relays that a variety of people is randomly placed together. They have nothing in common, and the way they interact or what binds them is not entirely known. They are generally required to co-exist, and this raises the question of how people that have nothing in common are supposed to co-relate. However, the mastermind behind this information relays that this kind of people merges to boost their economic status (Burrell, 2017). In the modern world, people rely on each other only to satisfy their economic interests since the economy only thrives when many minds are put together.
In addition to these, the author’s work on social order defines the importance of the intellectual synergy of people. His main idea of working in concert encompasses the need to have a co-relative environment where common backgrounds, values, and beliefs can be addressed. This brings the aspect of the social order. In the author’s brilliant approach to sociology, he describes that our current society is not just composed of human beings but consists of a whole entity of people who form a self-adjusting order. He also highlights that social unity can only be achieved if selfish desires are put aside, and togetherness embraced.
Moreover, Durkheim’s argues that people’s way of life can define their economic status. This is seen regarding their culture whereby the aspect of co-relation brings the idea of people working together (Durkheim, 1951). However, my view according to the author is that culture determines the social order in the sense that only through such interactions will the society observe synergy hence uplifting everyone’s economic statuses. These aspects are a significant contribution of Durkheim. However, his ideas form a co-relation with Max Weber that has also had significant contributions in the world of sociology.
According to Durkheim, social order determines how work is performed. In his study, he described how social order might be achieved through practice and gave an insight into the values that must be observed to ensure efficiency during the work process. He explains that within our societies, different individuals work according to their ethnicity, religion, beliefs, and values. If these aspects of our community are followed efficiently, they could be performed with the utmost positivism hence creating an economy with social order.
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In his brilliant works, the author describes social facts and how they apply to our current people. The idea of social events could be seen on two fronts. The first one tries to define that such facts exist in the external environment of the person. These external factors determine how the individual behaves and performs their work. In addition to this, a deviation from observation of such norms means that there will be a dis-equilibrium which will result to disorder in the society. The other social fact affects the individual on a personal level where they impact on the person’s character. Durkheim describes this fact regarding having control on the person’s nature where the primary determining factor is the rules that exist to instill a particular form of order in the individual (Hirschi, 2017). Once the individual fails to observe such norms, then the social order is not maintained, and the author’s idea on social facts that affect people on two fronts will not make any sense.
Durkheim contribution to the world of sociology also highlights the importance of physical, biological and social aspects observed in the world of psychology. Often, an individual’s cognitive abilities and factors determine the extent of social order that they maintain. These factors also learn how the person leads their life. From his work, social aspects of how individuals live to identify many other factors such as the togetherness with other people. This means that an individual’s way of life is not only determined by their behavioral abilities but also the cognitive aspects of their health. If someone has issues with making rational decisions then definitely there will be misunderstandings which fuel instances of disorders in sociality. In short, an insane person can never maintain social order (Ritzer, 2017). From his research, these two additional factors of behavior and psychology determine the social order in the lives of people at large.
The author’s work also defines how culture plays a role in determining individualism and the impact these social ways of life have on the maintenance of social order. Individualism was insignificant, and, social norms were controlling many people behaviors, that were corded in religion. Through participation in some rituals and actions, moral values were shared by people in traditional societies; this was referred to as collective conscience by Durkheim (Mestrovic, 2017). People often regarded themselves as members of a group in traditional cultures, and individual awareness was embarrassed by the collective conscience, the sense of personal option was also very little.
The organic form of solidarity is the second form of solidarity described by Durkheim. Through this sociocultural environment individuals are less similar, but for their very survival, they must depend on each other. However, this dependence determines and defines their relationship. But specific disparities are seen in the way people perform the task in modern economies. My point of view, in this case, is that different people have different preferences. These differences are seen in their choices, beliefs as well as the decisions they make. In addition to this, individualism has been a significant issue discussed by the author. His work states that individualism has for a long time been developing in our societies due to the failure of individuals following universal norms and beliefs (Stanley et al. 2016). Moreover, individuals have different approaches to life hence the decisions they make tend to alienate themselves thus bringing distance. This idea has can also be seen with the susceptibility of people to mind their own business. This weakens the social force that keeps people together thus minimizing social order. This detachment in the relationship with people also leads to aspects of changes in the values and culture. Durkheim even tries to explain the reason behind this disparity in the social networks of people. These individuals who alienate themselves from others tend to think that their actions will cause or have a negative impact on other people. This mindfulness of the effects of people’s traits on other people propels the need to introversion which makes people want to stay alone. As can be seen from the author’s description, social togetherness will be affected,
Suicide is also a common issue discussed by the author. He roots the cause of this act to behavioral, emotional and physical tremors that push an individual into the decision of killing themselves. However, the writer’s ideas concerning suicide show that disruption of the social order within an individual is the leading cause of committing this act. In addition to this, he gives an example of Bryan Cadwallader who killed himself. According to Durkheim, the psychological a biographical analysis of Bryan would provide an insight into why he could decide on this sinful act. In addition to this, the author explains that such decisions result from cognitive imbalances within an individual which pike up the desire to alienate themselves from the world (Durkheim, 1951). This research, however, highlights the causes of such inequalities have been associated with the social aspects of such individuals. Moreover, the determining factors into such an act are behavioral, psychological and biographical.
Additionally, Durkheim addresses Bryan’s cause of death as resulting from kinship ties. From his analysis, the victim was adversely affected by athlete’s foot and social alienation from his family. The association between Bryan and his father was however not strong enough and might have probably fostered such an inhumane act of suicide. Also, during his time of death, he suffered a terrible bite from his pet dog.
The above instances of suicide can be attributed to emotional and behavioral factors. Moreover, kinship ties have been shown to be determining factors into one’s social being. If the relationship between parents and their children isn’t cultivated early enough, the social order in the family is affected as evidenced by the case of Bryan. In addition to this, social factors such as religion, age, ethnicity, and race would propel acts of suicide (Wright, 2017). Also, the extent to which people commit death is different and can be caused by various factors all which relate to their social well-being. All these factors are also associated with psychological issues which can either be innate or congenital.
Another example which exists in the current world today is gambling. Often gamblers are seen to be impulsive to some extents of suicide in some of them once a bet is lost. This perfect example relates to Durkheim’s theory of sociology since gambling is observed in more than two people hence is a human input to cases of suicide.
Many questions are still unanswered, for example; why is it that Catholics are less suicide-prone compared to protestant? Why are there uniform rates of committing suicide each year in societies of similar groups? As Durkheim suggests, it is difficult in explaining the behaviors and characteristics of individual groups by psychology, but a cognitive approach would come in handy. Also, clinical, cognitive behavioral therapy would be a better approach to the understanding of the root to such thoughts of suicide. Another research performed by the author is the comparison of different extents of deaths in various religious groups (Stanley, 2017). From his study, occupants of a particular belief show similar cases of suicide since, in the respective groups, related issues affect them. He analyzed the unity among different groups and noticed that those lacking proper associations have its member’s committing suicide often. In addition to this, the rate at which such occupants solve issues of crisis is diminished, and arguments often arise in them.
Durkheim researched how the groups brought solidarity and social cohesion among group members so that he could explain differential rates of committing suicides among various occupational and religious groups. A group that is having weak social cohesion had a significantly higher rate of deaths and its members don’t have protection when experiencing a personal crisis. Ends differ with the degree of social integration; Durkheim determined this through analysis and examination of government data.
In his examination, Durkheim addresses three models of suicide. The initial one is Egoistic suicide which is commonly observed in males and females who fail in the incorporation to the society. This example, as he describes, is resultant due to the failure of proper association with such individuals who in turn shift to more natural means such as killing themselves since they feel the terrible notion that they do not belong in the society (Homans, 2017). There lacks moral support in these persons which may be due to differences in ideologies, religions and the way they handle themselves. Also, management of stress in such individuals is not as good hence a pile-up would result in suicide. This is a perfect example of a social disorder.
Secondly, the author talks about Anomic suicide which results when one individual who belongs to a particular group fails to fit in. Social alienation of such a person will result in anomic suicide. In addition to this, failure to relating properly in communities, ethnic groups such as Catholicism and families might occur in this kind of death. Also, less cohesion between members of a group may stir up the feeling that someone is unwanted or considered a pariah. In this case, research has shown that such individuals turn to suicide as an alternative (Furseth, 2017). The third form is altruistic suicide. This is a fascinating type of death as described by the author. It involves the sacrifice of one’s life concerning a firm belief of religion. This is mostly observed in cults and rituals such as Islam who believe that killing themselves preserves a divine realm for them in heaven. These individuals who commit suicide are the one’s true believers. From the above essay, the author clearly states factors influencing social order and the concept of sociology in relation to the modern world.
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