Emile Durkheim, a French scholar who lived from 1858 until 1917, was one of the first intellectuals to use the term ''sociology'' to describe his work. In the early years of his career, Durkheim's orientation was functionalist (The Division of Labor in Society) and positivist (The Rules of Sociological Method); in the early twentieth century he took a cultural turn and became interested in religion (The Elementary Forms of Religious Life). Throughout his career, Durkheim was a methodological collectivist, andâ€”unlike Marx and Weber, who were interested in social conflictâ€”was consistently interested in what holds society together. Durkheim argues in The Division of Labor in Society that the type of social solidarity has changed, due to the increasing division of labor, from mechanical solidarity between similar individuals to organic solidarity based on difference. Inspired by Montesquieu, Durkheim tracks this change in types of solidarity and change in what he termed the ''collective conscience'' by looking at a shift in law, from penal law focused on punishing individuals to restitutory law based on contract. Durkheim believed that society would function better if individuals labor at different and complementary tasks with the same vision or goal in mind.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Durkheim in a Historical Context 17:17 - Chapter 2. ''The Division of Labor in Society'': Major Themes 26:16 - Chapter 3. The Law in Pre-modern and Modern Societies 31:41 - Chapter 4. Mechanical Solidarity and Organic Solidarity
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
This course provides an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s. Attention is paid to social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.
As one of the world's great universities, Yale traces its roots back to the early 1640s when colonial clergyman sought to establish a school in order to continue the tradition of European education within the Americas. Yale has now grown to educate over 11,000 students from over 100 countries on a 310-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Within the school's 260 buildings are over 2,000 undergraduate programs in 65 departments taught by a distinguished faculty. As Academic Earth's first partner school, Yale has been a leader within the space of OpenCourseWare by consistently delivering on its esteemed mission to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.