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Sociology essay - Book Report/Review Example

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Sociology essay

Central to Durkheim's analysis of social sciences is the way in which societies evolve. To him, society was to be identified as something independent, and as one consisting of social forces with social dimensions (Filloux 1993, p.2). They are particularly different social traits and factors, which are beyond the fields of psychology, or biology. These traits or forces are nothing but 'Social Facts'. According to Durkheim, a society is understood by social facts - those things that are not solely linked to the individual but, are rather external to him or her; they are a set of facts that are associated with the manner of acting, thoughts, and feelings that have the potential to subjugate, and control the individual (Ron, 2004) as Durkheim (1895) puts it "when I conform to them of my own free will, this coercion is not felt or felt hardly at all, since it is unnecessary" (1982, pp. 50-59). Thus social facts are, Durkheim argues, are mostly associated with social constraints, like for example, constructs and norms, value systems in a society, reciprocal arrangements and understandings. Social facts are causal to some other social facts, and in totality affect the direction and the way in which society functions and continue through the generations, even though individuals in the society pass away (Gingrich, 2000).

Though such societies are made of individuals, the society is more powerful than the individual itself, and they are a coercive group. These actions are different from any organic cause or material/physical cause, and exist only through the consciousness of the individual. Even then, analysis of this interaction reveals facts on human relationships in a particular fashion, and so that they do not fall under the analysis of mind; nor is the relationship to do with trade or commerce or finance - which fails it from falling under the domain of economic facts. Thus, it calls for a special branch of science that is 'sociology' according to Durkheim.

As Fillox (1993, p.2) observes, Durkheim's theories have a spurred a re-thinking in the field of sociology; and his ingenuity lay in the manner of his approach to the structure-function analysis, perceiving it from a dual standpoint. Rather than studying the problems through a psychological perspective or economic perspective, Durkheim posited a truly sociological theory of an unusual behavior; however, he hardly pinpoints the overall effects of this theory. This had not been attempted by other researchers, earlier.


Durkheim and Divisions of Labor
Even though social facts were important details, according to Durkheim, they are not the causal reasons for the formation of the society. The basis on which such social organization is constructed, are determinants such as moral values, rules, social solidarity, religion, and a congenial agreement in co-existence ...Show more

Summary

Emile Durkheim revolutionized the study of human relationships by establishing sociology as a separate branch of science, distinct from psychology and philosophy. For this reason, he is called the father of sociology (www.emile-durkheim.com). Some of his works like The Division of Labor (1893), The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Le Suicide (1897) are considered to be very important to in-depth understanding of modern sociology…
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Sociology essay Book Report/Review essay example
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