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Emile Durkheim was very different from other social scientists. He identified society as a social order established through common goals. The other theorists, Marx, and Weber, support conflict theory. Durkheim looked at the issue of solidarity among members of society.
Durkheim theorized that mechanical integration and organic integration were key factors in the management and glue holding society together. His functionalist views identified harmony as necessary for a society to exist.
Mechanical integration consists of the common beliefs, mores, practices, and systems that a society shares. Kinship and relationships among the people are considered mechanical integration. When a person attempts to shift mores, the social practices and opinions of those around the person play a role in preventing the shift by holding steadfast to the established mores. Engaging in a deviant behavior leads to punishment.
As a society enlarges and expands, there is a need for organized labor division to assist members in developing and maintaining the needs of society. Therefore, society creates an interdependence in which one person must rely on the skills of another person to function. The legal system becomes the determinant of the outcome of acts of deviance in the society and is structured around restitution and principles of exchange.
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