Essay on Collective Consciousness

816 Words Mar 5th, 2013 4 Pages
Collective consciousness
- a.k.a. collective conscience (French conscience collective) is the set of shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society
- introduced by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his Division of Labour in Society in 1893
- The Division of Labour in Society (French: De La Division Du Travail Social) is the dissertation of French sociologist Émile Durkheim, written in 1893. It was influential in advancing sociological theories and thought, with ideas, which in turn were influenced by Auguste Comte. Durkheim described how social order was maintained in societies based on two very different forms of solidarity (mechanical and organic), and the transition from more "primitive"
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the emotional part of the collective consciousness overrides our egoism (the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of one's personal features and importance — intellectual, physical, social and other.) as we are emotionally bound to culture, we act socially because we recognize it is the responsible, moral way to act
- A key to forming society is social interaction, and Durkheim believes that human beings, when in a group, will inevitably act in such a way that a society is formed
- Groups, when interacting, create their own culture and attach powerful emotions to it
- Durkheim was interested in cultural diversity, and how the existence of diversity fail to destroy a society
- any apparent cultural diversity is overridden by a larger, common, and more generalized cultural system, and the law

- Durkheim described the evolution of societies from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity (one rising from mutual need)
- As the societies become more complex, evolving from mechanical to organic solidarity, the division of labor is counteracting and replacing collective consciousness
- In the simpler societies people are connected to others due to personal ties and traditions
- in the larger, modern society they are connected due to increased reliance on others with regard to them performing their specialized tasks needed for the modern, highly complex society to

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