"On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity"
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In his essay, "On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity" the sociological theorist Emile Durkheim defines two of his most key anthropological concepts, that of mechanical and organic solidarity. This paper explains that these two different kinds of human, communal senses of social solidarity are what Durkheim used to delineate primitive versus modern capitalistic types of economic relations. It explains that through these different divisions of human solidarity, one primitive and one industrial, Durkheim proposed a theory of human interaction that suggested a great fissure or split occurred in human society with the event of the industrial revolution.
From the Paper:"On a literal level, as more people moved to cities, they had less ties to the community, and were now paid to do specific work, rather than to simply work as was needed on a subsistence basis. Where one individual used to, for instance, do all of the weaving for his or her own family, now that same individual threaded a simple spool or bobbin in a factory all day long, to earn wages to buy all of his or her needed goods and services from strangers. In primitive societies, in states of mechanical solidarity, individuals were dependant upon one another in close and intimate fashions, for trading goods and through integrated kinship structures. The weaver would trade a sweater for food with his neighbor. These structures were mechanical, in other words, society itself was dependant upon these structures to function. Society was synonymous, in this state of mechanical solidarity, with such systems of barter and the kinship structures that they generated between neighbors and between families when two people married. These economic and kinship structures were equivalent with society."
Cite this Essay:
"On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity" (2005, August 14) Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/essay/on-mechanical-and-organic-solidarity-60247/
""On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity"" 14 August 2005. Web. 11 March. 2014. <http://www.academon.com/essay/on-mechanical-and-organic-solidarity-60247/>