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Durkheim still social institutions, social activities and

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Durkheim applied his
social facts approach to The Division of Labour. In Suicide, Durkheim grasps
his concepts and strengthens his argument for a sociology grounded in his
methodological approach and concepts. (Casteel, 2013).  The Division of Labour (1893), Durkheim’s work addresses the “moral
consequences of the specialization of activities and functions which
industrialism brings about” (Lee and Newby, 1985: 215). Durkheim develops how
the division of labor is beneficial for society as it increases the skills of
people. Also, it increases social solidarity and establishes moral and social
order.

 

Durkheim’s social
facts theory is relevant in contemporary society in many ways. These include
the fact that there are still laws enforced in every single country, there are
statuses in society, for example, a doctor has a higher status than an
unemployed person, or the Queen has a higher status than the members of the
public. There are still social class statuses and a hierarchy, between higher
wage jobs and lower wage jobs. As well as this, subcultures still exist today. These
include Goths, Hippies, Bikers and fans of hip hop. These groups all share the
same norms, values and interests.  Similarly, religion is widespread across the
Globe. There are still social institutions, social activities and substratum of
society. Marriage is also an institution that Durkheim used to explain his theory
of social facts. People still get married and value the meaning of marriage.

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There are some criticisms
of Durkheim’s social fact theory. It could be argued that not all societies are
constructed the same, individuals shape society. As well as this, social
phenomena are not equivalent of the natural phenomena and positivism never
moves beyond observation to explanation (Donavon, 2015). There have been developments
in society, for example, Hochschild (1979) came up with the theory of sociology
of emotion. This theory is concerned with morality, the collective conscious and
processing emotion as a collective response. Moreover, another criticism could
be that social Facts are not Creative Syntheses. It is difficult to understand
Durkheim’s contention that social facts representations are syntheses or wholes
made up by individual representations. Individual minds are homogeneous and, no
matter how they may combine or be related among themselves, no true synthesis
appears possible. (Spearman, 1937). Lastly, Karl Marx rejects the idea that
society evolves organically. Marx would suggest that fixed positions are based
on the economic system and not on social facts. 

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