The Division of Labor in Society

The Division of Labor in Society

Emile Durkheim

Language: English

Pages: 416

ISBN: 1476749736

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Revised for the first time in over thirty years, this edition of Emile Durkheim’s masterful work on the nature and scope of sociology is updated with a new introduction and improved translation by leading scholar Steven Lukes that puts Durkheim’s work into context for the twenty-first century reader.

When it was originally published, The Division of Labor in Society was an entirely original work on the nature of labor and production as they were being shaped by the industrial revolution. Emile Durkheim’s seminal work studies the nature of social solidarity and explores the ties that bind one person to the next in order to hold society together.

This revised and updated second edition fluently conveys Durkheim’s arguments for contemporary readers. Leading Durkheim scholar Steve Lukes’s new introduction builds upon Lewis Coser’s original—which places the work in its intellectual and historical context and pinpoints its central ideas and arguments. Lukes explains the text’s continued significance as a tool to think about and deal with problems that face us today. The original translation has been revised and reworked in order to make Durkheim’s arguments clearer and easier to read.

The Division of Labor in Society is an essential resource for students and scholars hoping to deepen their understanding of one of the pioneering voices in modern sociology and twentieth-century social thought.

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as well as the letter, of the original. In fact, the term has resemblance to the term "unconscious" in psychoanalysis, rather than to consciousness in logical theory. The terms "collective" and "commune" Durkheim employed interchangeably in referring to a conscience of such a sort. Their interchangeable character is shown by an error made in calling the conscience "commune" in the subtitle of chapter three of book two of the main text, and printing it as "collective" in the heading of that

societies, individuals are transformed in accordance with the changes produced in the number of social units and their relations. First, they are made more and more free of the yoke of the organism. An animal is almost completely under the influence of his physical environment; its biological constitution predetermines its existence. Man, on the contrary, is dependent upon social causes. Of course, animals also form societies, but, as they are very restricted, collective life is very simple.

into a multitude of incoherent corporations which almost seem not to be of the same species."{431} Espinas has expressed himself almost in the same terms: "Division," he says, "is dispersion."{432} The division of labor would thus exercise, because of its very nature, a dissolving influence which would be particularly obvious where functions are very specialized. Comte, however, does not conclude from his principle that societies must be led to what he himself calls the age of generality, that

totality of ties which bind each of us to society, which make a unitary, coherent aggregate of the mass of individuals. Everything which is a source of solidarity is moral, everything which forces man to take account of other men is moral, everything which forces him to regulate his conduct through something other than the striving of his ego is moral, and morality is as solid as these ties are numerous and strong. We can see how inexact it is to define it, as is often done, through liberty. It

derivation, he has deduced from it social arrangements,{250} when, on the contrary, it is the latter that explain the power and nature of the religious idea. Because all social masses have been formed from homogeneous elements, that is to say, because the collective type was very developed there and the individual type in a rudimentary state, it was inevitable that the whole psychic life of society should take on a religious character. Thus does communism arise, a quality so often noted among

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