Emile Durkheim -Social Solidarity

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Durkheim on social solidarity This essay will attempt to look at Durkheim’s view of ‘Social Solidarity’. In order to look into this topic, we shall look at one of Durkheim’s most influential pieces of work, that is religion. Emille Durkheim dedicated a lot of time and effort into his writings: “The Elementary Form Of Religious Life” published in 1912. It was in this piece of writing that Durkheim conveyed the need for ‘social solidarity’ and its importance, which is still used today worldwide by many other sociologists. Emille Durkheim was as many know a functionalist and like any other functionalist he examined religion in terms of what a societies needs where. Functionalists are concerned with the way religion contributes to meeting the needs of a society. “The function of religion is the contribution it makes to meeting such functional prerequisites - for example, its contribution to social solidarity.”# Durkheim set out to establish the fact that religion was not divinely or supernaturally inspired but was in fact a product of society. He sought to identify the common things that religion placed an emphasis upon, as well as what effects those religious beliefs (the product of social life) had on the lives of all within a society. To have some insight into Durkheim’s view of religion and social solidarity, we shall firstly look at his idea of the sacred and the profane. This is classified as: “a unified system of beliefs and practices related to sacred things, that is to say things set apart and forbidden”# The Sacred were part of rites, objects or behaviours deemed special by religious belief. It must be made clear that it was not only gods or spirits that were deemed sacred but objects such as trees, rocks etc. It is not that these objects hold anything special in particular it is what they symbol to society that is sacred. The
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