Social Solidarity, Organic Solidarity, Collective
Mechanical solidarity is a term used by Emile Durkheim
(1858-1917) to refer to a state of community bonding or interdependency which rests on a
similarity of beliefs and values, shared activities, and ties of kinship and cooperation.
Mechanical solidarity is a simple, pre-industrial form of
social cohesion and organic solidarity is a more complex form that evolves in modern
societies. Emile Durkheim introduced the terms "mechanical solidarity" and
"organic solidarity" as part of his theory
of the development of societies in "The Division of Labour in Society" (1893).
In mechanical solidarity, its cohesion and integration comes
from the homogeneity of individuals. People feel connected through similar work,
educational and religious training, and lifestyle. Mechanical solidarity is found in
"traditional" and small scale societies.
In mechanical solidarity, social
integration is based on mutuality of interests found in those societies with little
division of labor and modernization.
Emile Durkheim used the term organic solidarity to refer to a state of interdependency
created by the specialization of roles and in which individuals and institutions become
deeply dependent on others in a complex division of labour. The basis of organic
solidarity may be weakened by anomie when people fail to
comprehend the ties that bind them to others.
In developing his mechanical solidarity and organic
solidarity distinction, Durkheim drew on the organicist thinking that influenced many
intellectuals of his generation, where human societies are analyzed with analogies to
Incorporation and Mechanical Solidarity in an
Underground Coal Mine
Charles Vaught, David L. Smith
Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University - Work and Occupations, Vol. 7, No. 2,
Mechanical solidarity exhibited by work groups within a dangerous work setting. Building
upon the notions of Ralph Turner and Louis Zurcher, the argument is made that groups which
must continually deal with potential disaster will manifest mechanical solidarity as the
dominant form of social integration. In the underground coal mine, games and dramatic
performances which subvert outside behavioral expectations are utilized to emphasize the
"different world" context of the work setting.
Scapegoating and the Simulation of Mechanical
Solidarity in Former Yugoslavia: Ethnic Cleansing and the Serbian Orthodox
Church - Keith Doubt, Wittenberg University - Humanity and Society (Vol. 31, No.
1, February 2007), 65-82.
ABSTRACT: I use the concept of scapegoating to explain the ritualized character of
ethnic cleansing after the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. I provide an
overview of the political background behind these events, introduce the role and influence
of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and analyze the collective violence known as ethnic
cleansing through the concept of scapegoating.
The Serbian Orthodox Churchs use of a scapegoat paradigm to incite violence created
a pseudo-sense of solidarity among the Serbian people. Although this solidarity resembles
Émile Durkheims concept of mechanical solidarity, I question the stability of this
solidarity insofar as it is based on the negativity of war crimes and genocide.
A Proposal to Recycle Mechanical and Organic
Solidarity in Community Sociology.
Perry, Charles - Rural Sociology, v51 n3 p263-77 Fall 1986
Abstract: Explores geographical definition of communities and tendency for community
relations to transcend geographical boundaries. Reinterprets Durkheim's theory of social
solidarity to argue that division of labor directly reduces solidarity but indirectly
increases solidarity through secondary groups, the state, and the cult of individuality.
Solidarity, Mechanical and Organic - Anne M.
Extract: French sociologist Émile Durkheim (18581917) coined the terms mechanical
and organic solidarity to describe two types of social organization, that is, ways in
which individuals are connected to each other and how they identify with the groups and
societies in which they live. Social solidarity is a state of unity or cohesion that
exists when people are integrated by strong social bonds and shared beliefs and also are
regulated by well-developed guidelines for action (values and norms that suggest worthy
goals and how people should attain them). In The Division of Labor in Society (1893),
Durkheim argued that social solidarity takes different forms in different historical
periods and varies in strength among groups in the same society. However, reflecting the
popularity of social evolutionary thought in the late nineteenth century, Durkheim
summarized all historical forms of solidarity into a traditionalmodern dichotomy.