Division Of Labor Essay

1476 words - 6 pages

How does it come about that the individual, whilst becoming more autonomous, depends ever more closely upon society?... Such is the nature of the problem that we have set ourselves. (The Division of Labour in Society, p. xxx)
This problem is Division of labor. In a society, whose members claim to being individuals and self sufficient, each member depends upon its society and members even more than ever to live. Division of labor is occupational specialization that encourages an emphasis on the specific attributes of individuals. It is part of nature’s course for division of labor to occur many sociological thinkers would say and that it was occurring for the advancement of civilization, ...view middle of the document...

I say simple society since the members of this society all acting the same, and thinking the same way, will most likely have the same ideas and concerns as one another leading to a strong conscience collective which results in social order being maintained quite easily. In a society like this it was much easier to make more of society’s members happy since most likely in making one person happy with a choice many more would be just as happy with that choice unlike in an organic society.
An organic society, better known as the advanced, industrial, capitalist society has in place a system known as division of labor. This means that the people in this society are placed in society according to their skill or merit and are rewarded accordingly. What this means is that not everyone can or will receive the same amount of “reward” for the work they have done as someone who has a different job than theirs. This is social inequality, which is thought to be a simple reflection of what is known to have already existed, natural inequality. Durkheim argues that in order for this organic society to work there must be moral regulation as well as economic regulation, to maintain order in society, so that people can voice their differences peaceably. In a society such as this one the law would be restitory more than anything else, since the idea was to restore rather than punish. Since the members in an organic society would not have as strong of a collective conscience as those in a mechanical one, it is likely that it is much harder to make everyone in that society happy with a choice.
Durkheim believed that the transition of a society from "primitive" to advanced may bring about major disorder, crisis, and anomie. He did though believe that once the society had reached that "advanced" (organic) stage, it becomes much stronger and is done developing. This is where I disagree with Durkheim and lean towards how Karl Marx saw the society’s future once reaching the organic stage. Unlike Karl Marx, Durkheim did not foresee any different society arising out of the industrial capitalist division of labor, while I see a class war or conflict building as Karl Marx did. I believe it would only be a matter of time until this class conflict would occur. What I see occurring is what happens in the book Hunger Games, that the division of labor ends up separating people from society based on their job and what income they receive from it. There will be resentment later on between the different classes created by labor division and this will in result not a stronger society but a divided and very vulnerable one. Durkheim had stated that people in society want to me more individualistic and less dependent on others but with division of labor the opposite is occurring. Since people in result are depending on each other why would their be a class conflict one might think but the reason for a conflict is that the people with “jobs of more importance” receive higher pay or...

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