Essay on Durkheim’s Theory of Division of Labour – Durkheim’s “Theory of Division of Labour” is often regarded as his major contribution to the field of sociological thought. Durkheim’s doctoral thesis, “Division of Labour in Society” – 1.893, is his first major book. In this, the influence of Auguste Comte is clearly evident.
The theme of this book is the relationship between individuals and society or the collectivity. It is indeed a classic study of social solidarity. In this book he reacted against the view that modern industrial society could be based simply upon agreement between individuals motivated by self-interest and without any prior consensus. He agreed that the kind of consensus in modern society was different from that in simpler social systems. But he saw both of these as two types of social solidarity.
In his famous work “The Division of Labour in Society” Durkheim tried to determine the social consequences of the division of labour in modern societies. A major theme in all Durkheim’s writings is the importance of shared social norms and values in maintaining social cohesion and solidarity. He argued that the nature of this social solidarity depends on the extent of the division of labour.