Sociology Index E-Books

MECHANICAL SOLIDARITY

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. Durkheim's Social Solidarity are Mechanical Solidarity and Organic Solidarity.

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). Collective Solidarity is similar in meaning to term mechanical solidarity.

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.

Organic solidarity: 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 biological organisms.

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, 159-187 (1980)
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.

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 Church’s use of a scapegoat paradigm to incite violence created a pseudo-sense of solidarity among the Serbian people. Although this solidarity resembles Émile Durkheim’s 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. Hornsby
Extract: French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) 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.