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Outline and Assess Durkheim's Account of the Importance of Rituals in Modern Society - Essay Example

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Outline and Assess Durkheim's Account of the Importance of Rituals in Modern Society

Rituals form of everyday life in the modern society. Durkheim ascertains that rituals form an essential component of a meaningful life. The modern society applies rituals in almost all activities. This paper seeks to outline and assess Durkheim’s account of the importance of rituals in modern society. More specifically, the paper will focus on the works of Durkheim and his arguments on the role that rituals play in contemporary society. Properly constructed rituals alter intentions, thoughts, and feelings into actions, which may be symbolic. Such actions have considerable power, which can bring change of mind. Rituals may mark a transition from a mode to another, thereby altering a person’s consciousness. Durkheim suggested that rituals play a significant role in the modern society (Durkheim, Cosman &Mark, 2001, p41). The use of rituals has become so consistent in the world of today. Human beings apply rituals in numerous aspects of their lives. This has made use of rituals fundamental in the modern society. Therefore, we cannot down look the central role that rituals play in today’s society (Flood, 2012)....
Durkheim also argued that through rituals, institutions that constitute the society can be understood. Rituals represent the ideals of people, which relate to their ways of life. Institutions such as the family, religion, and morals have rituals that govern them. Furthermore, rituals apply in other institutions such as schools, polity, and health institutions (Alexander 2006, p53). To Durkheim, rituals act as the beginning of almost all activities in the society. All aspects of the society are ritualistic; therefore, rituals serve a fundamental purpose in explaining aspects of modern society. Thus, rituals can be regarded as crucial in identifying structure of the contemporary society and its institutions (Flood, 2012). Durkheim argued that rituals provide people with a code of acceptable behavior. In his arguments, Durkheim purported this behavior regulates behavior in the modern society. Rituals refresh morals that govern the society. Since rituals lay down norms of acceptable behavior, they ensure security of all members of the society. Durkheim saw any deviation from the acceptable norms leads to crime. The society achieves social solidarity when all the individuals follow and obey the set rules (Durkheim, Cosman &Mark, 2001, p44). Therefore, rituals create a sustainable society where peace, harmony, and unity prevail. This can be seen in the modern society where deviation from certain cultural norms can lead to instability. Members of the contemporary society should respect the rituals to enhance solidarity in society. Failure of the people to obey rituals leads to chaos and constant conflicts in the society (Jeffrey1990, p22). Durkheim emphasized that, in the modern society, rituals set down the ...Show more
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Summary

Rituals entail practices or things, which a person does frequently in the same manner each time they do it. For example, morning routine can be classified as rituals since a person does them every day. …
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Outline and Assess Durkheims Account of the Importance of Rituals in Modern Society
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