Alexa Cascio Sociological Theory 1
Exam 2 - Part 1 - Take-home essay (Question #2)
Social theorist and functionalist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), also referred to as The
Father of Modern Sociology, expressed concerns about how the impact of industrialization will
effect the individual. Durkheim greatly emphasized that society is intrinsically functional.
Analyzing that society had the ability to maintain order that would allow for individualism.
Society can be described as a system of inter-related and inter-connected of not only individuals
but also subgroups interacting with one another. Everything considered, if an individual wants to
apply themselves, they must be able to grasp the society of which they are a part, and how this
society will pave the way of their existence. This essay will concentrate on Durkheim’s concerns,
the adaptation of society and its impact of the relationship between the individual and the social.
As society started to shift from a preindustrial feudal society to an industrial democratic
society social rules were challenged, thus causing old moral rules and regulations to be altered.
The raise of industrialization that reformed society was also known as “corporatism” (David
Ashley, David Michael Orenstein, 1985). Durkheim believed that individuals do not create a
society but that society itself is what produces and aids in the growth of the individual. That
being said, one of his biggest concerns is the shift in social order because as society starts to
modernize or industrialize, people become competitive and transform into their own individual.
The raise in competition seen in the individual leads to the division of labor, thus deceasing
moral solidarity. In addition, another concern Durkheim expressed in his studies is the formation
of egoism as a product of the individuals relationship to society. Egoism can be defined as the
self centered aspect of our dualistic nature that dominates the intellect (David Ashley, 1985).
Egoism effects the rate of social integration amongst its members and the association to egoistic
suicide. As a society there are collective goals and shared moral values. By progressing into an
egoistic state social order becomes undermined and the individual desire above the goals of the
collective. All in all Durkheim's concerns are rooted in stabilizing the social connections
individuals obtain i...