Social organism  

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In sociology, the social organism is theoretical concept in which a society or social structure is viewed as a “living organism.” From this perspective, typically, the relation of social features, e.g. law, family, crime, etc., are examined as they interact with other features of society to meet social needs. All elements of a society or social organism have a function that maintains the stability and cohesiveness of the organism.

History

The model or concept of society as an organism was developed in the late 19th century by Émile Durkheim, a French sociologist. According to Durkheim, the more specialized the function of an organism or society the greater its development, and vice-versa. Generally, culture, politics, and economics are the three core activities of society. Social health depends on the harmonious interworking of these three activities. Hence, the “health” of the social organism can be thought of a function of the interaction of culture, politics, and economics, which in theory can be studied, modeled, and analyzed. The conception of an "organismic society" was elaborated further by Herbert Spencer in his essay on "The Social Organism".

Related

An analogous concept is the Gaia hypothesis in which the entire earth is theorized to be a single unified organism. If global society can be seen as a super-organism, then the Internet can be viewed as that organism's global brain.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Social organism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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