The Division of Labour in Society  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Division of Labor in Society (French: De La Division Du Travail Social), written by Émile Durkheim in 1893, was influential in advancing sociological theories and thought, with ideas which in turn were influenced by Auguste Comte. Durkheim described how social order was maintained in societies, and the transition from more "primitive" societies to advanced industrial societies.

Durkheim suggested that in a "primitive" society, mechanical solidarity with people acting and thinking alike with a collective or common conscience allows social order to be maintained. In such a society, Durkheim viewed crime as an act that "offends strong and defined states of the collective conscience."

In an advanced, industrial, capitalist society, the complex division of labor means that people are allocated in society according to merit and rewarded accordingly. Durkheim argued that moral regulation was needed, as well as economic regulation, in order to maintain order (or organic solidarity) in society with people able to "compose their differences peaceably".

He thought that transition of a society from "primitive" to advanced may bring about major disorder, crisis, and anomie.


Contents

Introduction

BOOK I THE FUNCTION OF THE DIVISION OF LABOR

Chapter I: The Method of Determining This Function

Chapter II: Mechanical Solidarity, Or Solidarity of Labor

Chapter III: Solidarity Arising From the Division Of Labor

Chapter IV: Another Proof of the Preceding Theory

Chapter V: The Increasing Preponderance of Organic Solidarity and Its Consequences

Chapter VI: The Increasing Preponderance of Organic Solidarity and Its Consequences (cont.)

Chapter VI: Organic Solidarity And Contractual Solidarity


BOOK II THE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS

Chapter I: The Progress of the Division of Labor and Of Happiness

Chapter II: The Causes

Chapter III: Secondary Factors

Chapter IV: Secondary Factors (cont.)

Chapter V: Consequences of the Foregoing


BOOK III THE ABNORMAL FORMS

Chapter I: The Anomic Division of Labor

Chapter II: The Forced Division of Labor

Chapter III: Another Abnormal Form





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