Durkheim Theory of Sociology

Durkheim Theory of Sociology

Durkheim Theory of Sociology






Durkheim Theory of Sociology

Durkheim came up with a theory relating the society and conflicts arising within a community. He particularly focuses his approach on the role of the society as an object and what the society does (Shortell). Throughout the Durkheim’s study of sociology, he was able to differentiate the field of sociology with respect to the other fields of social sciences. According to Elwell (2003), Durkheim defined social facts as behavioural patterns, which are capable of exercising coercive powers towards individuals. The social facts, in other words, are external controls and guides of conduct that surround a person and can become internalized in the consciousness of the particular person by means of education and socialization (Elwell, 2003). As part of the societal role, education and socialization are key guidelines and limits that determine the moral values that encompass a society. Throughout his study, Durkheim believed that a society was defined by harmony to a certain extent than conflict (Shortell).

In Durkheim’s theory of modernity, the notion of self organizing constitutive performance presents in it a visionary picture of a modern and flexible society, which can be easily differentiated (Rawls, 2012). Durkheim’s theory of modernity also identifies the society as strong and democratic therefore, it can be able to support individual freedom and equality. The same theory at the same time facilitates communal solidarity and unity without using force and unnecessary forms of brutal strengths (Rawls, 2012). Using Durkheim’s theory of the MITRE organization, the non-profit organization views itself as a campus despite the fact that it is a high security facility (Rawls, Mann, Garcia, David & Burton, 2009).

Such a campus style method of work relations makes sure problems identified are addressed collectively. Even though MITRE is a large corporation, certain dilemmas befall the organization. With one of the corporation’s Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project, the MITRE team faced certain dilemmas, including trying to explain the data provided by the company’s standards team, which stated that each potential stakeholder dwells in a certain societal environment. In this environment, information obtained and data have a different meaning when compared to other contexts (Rawls, et al, 2009). As a result of this, each subgroup of stakeholders conceives similar vulnerabilities but in different ways. This means that there are indexical properties presented by the data manufactured article.

One of the main themes behind Durkheim’s work is concerned with the main basis of public order and confusion (Elwell, 2003). The needs and self interests of an individual can only be kept in check by external forces acting and originating outside the individual. In his theory, Durkheim characterizes the external forces as part of a collective sense of right and wrong, which is a common societal bond that is articulated by the use of ideas, ideologies of one’s culture, beliefs and norms by individual members of a particular culture (Elwell, 2003). In the context of relating semantic problems and levels of thought, part of the MITRE team argues that as the levels thought diminishes and the human understanding still applies, then the rate of semantic levels decreases as well (Elwell, 2003). Relating the levels of thought and semantic problems to the human understanding and communication practices by the MITRE team would destroy the company team’s efforts. This is possible because it would make Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures and the Common Configuration Enumeration quite inaccessible (Elwell, 2003).

The society should not rely to other factors such as a psychological feature is the other study conducted exclusively by Durkheim. In this study, suicide was one aspect that was perceived widely as one of the most powerfully individual acts (Elwell, 2003). Suicide was also perceived as pure and was a determinant of psychological factors as well as biographical factors. An example is the perception one has regarding an individual who has committed suicide regarding their life history and psychological state (Elwell, 2003). An individual may be despised by the rest of the community due to their social lifestyle and in the end, commit suicide.

The other theory of societal communication as characterized by the contemporary individual is suffering (Elwell, 2003). Durkheim relates anomie to being a condition of relative norms in the community and part of its component cluster. It is argued that when the societal regulations break down the influence that controls personal desires and interests, then the individuals are left to make their own choices in case of ineffectiveness (Elwell, 2003). The anomies identified by Durkheim are associated with modernization. These causes include the rapid changes in the social lifestyles and the division of labour (Elwell, 2003).

Summarily, Emile Durkheim is an innovative, democratic and restrained as compared to his predecessors who include Carl Marx and Weber (Shortell). During his time, he emphasized the need for a government to adhere to the law fully. Such governments could either be in an organization or in a community. In so doing, such organizations would create and sustain the social solidarity together with the moral fibre that encompasses the society. Durkheim’s theory of sociology also encourages development of a modernized society by means of peaceful interactions instead of coercion.


Elwell, F. W. (2003). The Sociology of Emile Durkheim. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from HYPERLINK “http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/users/f/felwell/www/Theorists/Durkheim/index2.htm” http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/users/f/felwell/www/Theorists/Durkheim/index2.htm.

Rawls, A. W. (2012). Durkheim’s theory of modernity: Self-regulating practices as constitutive orders of social and moral facts. Journal of Classical Sociology, 12(3-4), 480-506. DOI: 10.1177/1468795X12454476.

Rawls, A. W., Mann, D., Garcia, A. C., David, G. & Burton, M. (2009). Ethnomethodology and MITRE Information Assurance Data Standards. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from

Shortell, T. (n.d.). Division of Labour & Social Integration. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from HYPERLINK “http://www.brooklynsoc.org/courses/43.1/durkheim.html” http://www.brooklynsoc.org/courses/43.1/durkheim.html.