Analysis Of Emile Durkheim's Concept Of Alienation

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Firstly this text will look at Durkheim’s concept of anomie, this concept states that if a society experiences a major social change, the result of this will cause disruption and lead to a breakdown in social norms due to this, individuals have a sense of “normlessness”. This in turn leaves them to feel cut off from society or anomic. This text will then look towards Marx’s concept of alienation. The concept of alienation maintains that in an industrialised capitalist society, a worker will become alienated from his work, this will be elaborated on later in the text. Following a brief description the two concepts will be analysed to uncover any similarities or differences between them. Lastly this text will look towards modern Ireland to apply these concepts and evaluate which one contributes to better fit the characteristics of modern Irish society.
Emile Durkheim’s concept of anomie steams from his interest in the dis-orderly trends of industrialised society. He saw the
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Aforementioned above the two concepts share an interest in the economy as a factor affecting society. However the two authors varied in their interpretations of what this affect was. Durkheim saw the deregulation of the economy leading to societal material goals becoming unattainable. This saw people becoming anomic. Whereas, in Marx’s alienation it is the over regulation or exploitation of the economy over the worker leading to the individual feeling estranged. This shows a contrast in the two concepts. Another difference in the theories is that for Durkheim the division of labour was not a completely negative system. He believed that with the good consistent regulation the division of labour could work well. In contrast to this Marx held a pessimistic view on the division of labour, he believed that the only solution was revolution, for the workers to unite against the capitalists in order to stop

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