Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And now Durkheim.

I guess I must preface with the fact that I am new to Sociology. These posts usually come after I read a new chapter in my big new shiny Sociology book called Sociological Theory by George Ritzer 2008. The first chapter was on the logical shortened history of Sociology. The second Karl Marx, and now Durkheim(3).

So Durkheim. All I can say at this moment is "Brilliant."
He is. He basically founded the whole science. Thanks.

Now, what I think about his ideas. He claims that the division of labor actually brings society closer together through specialization, or interdependence. As we lead more independent and specialized lives we reduce our ability to provide for ourselves. Suddenly, through division and specialization we get dependence and interdependence. AMAZING!
I realize why I love sociology. Its just simply the most intricate and beautiful sciences out there(IMHO). The world will find a way to maintain balance as does society. 

He also argues that this is only possible because of the expansion of the human race (population growth) or as he coined it Dynamic Density. 

Durkheim was ahead of his time. You know how we all watch and wonder how horrible things can happen and we are not willing or unable to understand them. Think back to OJ Simpson case or Scott Peterson.  
Durkheim argues(I'm paraphrasing here) that we do not react emotionally to crimes because there is a weak common morality. Another point he makes is that crime is a necessary and vital part of society. We need criminals in order to purge the social conscience and flood our common problems on easy targets. This makes sense to me because I personally don't know any person who looks at OJ Simpson as a good person. 

The more I learn and read the more I'm sure I chose the right field of study for me. I feel like I have been a closet Sociologist my whole life. Although, I'm sure everyone else does on some level too with respect to their fields. Every human on some level is a sociologist, we are social creatures. There is a reason that we fear solitary confinement. There is a reason we need friends and families. We are not loners and we don't naturally want to be alone. I believe that's a reason Durkheim spent so much time on suicide.

Anyway, my musing is almost over. I do want to say though that this blog is not only a tool that I use to provide myself with a chance to project my views, but also reflect my views back on to myself. I have a need and want to understand myself and my life. This is one more reason I feel like Sociology is right for me, because I feel that social aspects of life are the most important aspects. Most people, I feel, and this is not scientific(which goes against Durkheim's views on empiricism) do not think about math or English and say to themselves, " That's why this turned out the way it did" or "Now I understand why and what my life is what it is".  With Sociology, you can, and I have begun.


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