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Durkheim's Mechanical & Organic Solidarity -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Kretchmar, Jennifer;

2009 / EBSCO


Emile Durkheim, known as one of the founding fathers of sociology, was instrumental in establishing sociology as an academic discipline distinct from psychology and philosophy. As the society in which he lived became increasingly modern, Durkheim devoted himself to two fundamental questions - the relationship between the individual and society, or more specifically, the nature of social bonds; and the moral health of society in general. In addressing these questions, he identified two different types of societies - mechanical and organic - and differentiated them in terms of their shared beliefs, governing laws, level of individualism, and social ills. Durkheim also attempted to show how seemingly individual acts - such as crime and suicide - were social in nature.