Durkheim and the dynamic density

In his book The Division of Labor in Society []Durkheim suggests that over time, societies go through a transition from being more primitive, i. Ritzer, According to Durkheimthe cause of this transition is an increase in dynamic density, an idea he drew from earlier sociologists. Rueschemeyer, In the animal kingdom, a single species of animallike sheep, cannot survive in very high volumes on a given stretch of land because each animal makes exactly the same demands on that land. Gibbs, They need to exist in symbiosis with other species, like the bees that fertilize the plants they consume, in order to thrive in greater numbers.

Durkheim and the dynamic density

In his book The Division of Labor in Society []Durkheim suggests that over time, societies go through a transition from being more primitive, i. Ritzer, According to Durkheimthe cause of this transition is an increase in dynamic density, an idea he drew from earlier sociologists.

Rueschemeyer, In the animal kingdom, a single species of animallike sheep, cannot survive in very high volumes on a given stretch of land because each animal makes the exact same demands on that land. Gibbs, They need to exist in symbiosis with other species, like the bees that fertilize the plants they consume, in order to thrive in greater numbers.

Gibbs, The same holds true within a human population. Had primitive societies increased in population density for many generations without an eventual specialization of tasks, competition for resources among the increasing number of people would have become so fierce that humans would have started dying off.

Merton, However, a growing population alone is not sufficient enough to spark a change in the division of laborbecause individuals and small groups of people can live in relative isolation from one another and still perform most of the tasks necessary for survival themselves, no matter how big the overall population gets.

Ritzer, A growing population must also increase the frequency with which people interact within and between social groups ; this increase in dynamic density is likely to spark a division of labor and the transformation of social solidarity.

There are two types of social solidarity.

Durkheim and the dynamic density

The first is mechanical solidaritywhere people are held together because they all serve the same purpose, or do the same things as in a hunter-gatherer societyand their collective consciousness is therefore very strong.

The people are all self-reliant, but they share the same experiences, understandings, and core beliefs, and can relate in that way. The second type of solidarity, organic solidarityis the result of a substantial division of labor that has occurred due to much growth of dynamic density.

The Division of Labor in Society ()

People in organic solidarity have more specialized skills, so individuals are no longer self-sustaining. An example of this is that a philosopher has neither the time nor the ability to grow his own food, and so he is dependent upon a farmer and various other individuals so he can eat.

In this situation, solidarity in society comes from the fact that people need the contribution of an increasing number of other people in order to function, and even to survive. Ritzer, The transition from one type of solidarity to another is readily apparent in history when looking at societal changes from repressive law systems to restitutive law systems.

A repressive law system is one in which any law breaker is severely punished for their crimes. This type of law exists in mechanical solidarity because the laws are based on the very powerful collective conscience, or set of social normsthat the people in a mechanical society all strongly believe in.

Any violation of these beliefs is seen as an extreme offense against society as a whole. In contrast, a restitutive law system is characteristic of organic solidarity.

Restitutive laws require an offender to pay for the harm he did to whoever was affected by his crimes, or he is just asked to comply with the law. With the growth of dynamic density and resulting division of labor in society, collective consciousness is weakened severely and people no longer have a unified sense of morality.

Muller, Everyone is no longer affected by or connected to every deviant action that takes place in society in organic solidarity, so the call for severity no longer exists.

Merton argues that Durkheim has no empirical evidence supporting a link between dynamic density and a change from mechanical to organic solidarity.Durkheim had shown how the organized structure (and thus the division of labor) had developed as the segmental structure had disappeared; thus, either the disappearance of the segmental structure is the cause of the division of labor, or vice versa.

Durkheim and the dynamic density

Durkheim places enormous store on dynamic density—observability, contiguity, and constant social contact—as the pre-condition for and guarantor of social and moral consensus. Moral or dynamic density, by fostering interaction, not only creates the division of .

In sociology, dynamic density refers to the combination of two things: population density and the amount of social interaction within that population. Context Dynamic density is a key component in Emile Durkheim’s theory of modernization.

Dynamic density - Oxford Reference

Dynamic density is a key component in Emile Durkheim’s theory of modernization. In his book The Division of Labor in Society ([] ), Durkheim suggests that over time, societies go through a transition from being more primitive, i.e. mechanical, to being more modern, or organic; the difference lying in the source of their solidarity, or.

Durkheim found that men, Protestants, wealthy people, and unmarried people in France had higher rates of suicide than women, Catholics, Jews, the poor, and married people An increase in dynamic density leads to the transformation from mechanical to organic solidarity. Collective conscience.

Emile Durkheim:Social ChangeHow does dynamic density cause the division of labor? Dynamic density increases competition among individuals who, if they are to survive the “struggle,” must assume specialized roles and then .

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