Revisiting sociology's first classic:The division of labor in society and its actuality
Durkheim's doctoral dissertation can justifiably be called sociology's first classic. Rereading it 100 years later enables us to see major domains of the contemporary world where its analysis remains, of actuality, heuristic or yet to be fully appreciated: for example, its themes of anomie as economic deregulation and corporatism as an institutional arrangement to deal with anomie. At the same time, Durkheim's discourse reflects its historical embeddedness, such as his discussion of the sexual division of labor, which needs to be reworked. A second feature of emergent contemporary social solidarity unforeseen by Durkheim (and the great majority of theorists of change) is what may be termed "the return of mechanical solidarity." © 1994 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
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