left to themselves would soon weaken”, and thus “it is sufficient to bring those who hold themtogether and to put them into closer and more active relations with one-another.” (Giddens 230)Throughout his work, Durkheim continually analyzes the role of individual processes in furtheringsocial order as a whole. Another example illustrating the functionalist view of Durkheim is seen in
The Division on Labor
when he rejects the utilitarian view of modernization, which states that as aresult of the division of labor, there will be more individualism which in turn will lead to anomieand social instability and degradation. (Giddens 177-179) In opposition, Durkheim proposes thatthe differentiation of tasks and division of labor will create interdependence which will in factincrease social solidarity. He states, “the state of
is impossible wherever interdependentorgans are sufficiently in contact and sufficiently extensive,” for they have an “active and permanent feeling of mutual dependence.” (Giddens 184) Again, Durkheim takes a social phenomenon – the division of labor – and takes the perspective that its main aim is to support socialorder. The assumption of universal functionalism is a prerequisite for Durkheimian theory, and thusa key pillar for understanding the nature of his work and approach.Durkheim’s theoretical framework is also based on a lesser assumption – that societiesevolve along a linear track from traditional to modern, as a result of a number of factors, including population growth. In
The Division on Labor
, Durkheim outlines the differences between traditionaland modern society, as well as outlines the progression from the former to the latter. This linear progression of societies allows Durkheim to illustrate the manner in which social solidarity ismaintained in modern societies, despite the rise in individualism. (Giddens 144-47)Through his work, Durkheim champions a positive approach for understanding social processes and societal mechanisms, as he assumes a functional view of the social universe. Hehopes to understand the social construction of society by applying scientific methods to socialsituations, and analyzing the social world much as a physical scientist would analyze the naturalworld. Durkheim’s approach and contributions were paramount in sociology’s quest to achievelegitimacy as a social science.