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Post-Industrial Society: Durkheim’s Social Change Model

Durkheim argues that religion is the foundation of thought and being a permanent aspect of humanity it’s the basis of all other social dealings. The cognitive self is a product of religious thought. Religion according to him is a planned system of beliefs, attitudes and practices uniting into a single institution that makes the religious authority responsible for social change. The religious principles bind the group and it’s through this institution that the societal thinking results and starts from. (Ed. Allen 1992) These religious principles perpetuate all other social relations and explain the social existence of the members of the society through the idealization conception of the binding force that also forms the source for development. (Bell1974) It assumes that collective life is the source of ideology and that the totemic character of religion results to the making of a new society by furnishing the necessary concepts and objectification and the expression of the desired end result through religion. (Dahrendorf 1959) He argues that religion does this through giving social order and harmony, further perpetuates division of labor and forms the struggle between social classes. Religion further serves as the intermediary between social structure and reference frames for development. He also attributes social growth to population growth and society as an empirical observable phenomenon. (Ed. Hamilton 2002)

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The concept of a post-industrial society tries to account for the transformation from a pre-industrial through an industrialization to a fully industrialized through employing shifts in employment. At the unindustrialized society agriculture forms the employment, manufacture in the industrialized stage and the service industry in the post-industrial society majoring on the information sector. (Kumar 1978)

The emphasis of this model on religion to bring about the post industrial society is arguably workable. These religious principles perpetuate all other social relations and explain the social existence of the members of the society through the idealization conception of the binding force that also forms the source for development. It assumes that collective life is the source of ideology and that the totemic character of religion results to the making of a new society by furnishing the necessary concepts and objectification and the expression of the desired end result through religion (2nd Ed. Marsh, I et al 2000) He argues that religion does this through giving social order and harmony, further perpetuates division of labor and forms the struggle between social classes. Religion further serves as the intermediary between social structure and reference frames for development. (Touraine 1974) He also attributes social growth to population growth and society as an empirical observable phenomenon. Durkheim argues that the religious institution is responsible for changing the ideological thinking and behaviors to put the motor of change into motion. (Miles 2001) With ideological transformation increased production is realized that allows for creation of industries to draw workers from the agriculture sector then growth of the service industry to draw workers from the competing two sectors then post-industrialization is achieved. (Ed. Morgan 1999)

The resultant increased production also in return brings about surplus production resulting to little or no need of production in all the sectors that further fuel the development process of the service industry like education, health, and entertainment. (O’Donnell 2000) Durkheim argues change to be the determinant factor that leads to further development and improvements. (Karen & Fields 1995)

From the Model we can also draw the intimate ties within the agriculture, manufacture and service and the integrative dependence of the three. (Jenkins 2002) As the banking services and education of work force support the development of the other two sectors makes the economy not divisible into distinctive halves. (4th Ed.Bilton, et al 2002) According to the Model, changing religious setup leads to rationalization, growth of services and change of older means to newer ones that is also core in the attainment of post-industrialization. (Marx & Frederick 2001)

It can be argued that ideological change is core to the changing means of production and thus increased production. This further fuels development of the production sector to the service provision class. So it can be argued that Durkheim’s model is more realistic in arguing post-industrialization than Marx’s and Weber’s than focus on the conflict within society to result to post-modernism. (Miles 2001)

Reference

Allen, J (Eds) 1992, ‘Post-Industrialism and Post-Fordism’ in Hall, S. & McGrew, T Modernity & its Futures, Open University. Press.

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Bell, D 1974, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, Basic Books

Dahrendorf R 1959, Class & Class Conflict in Industrial Society, Rutledge & Kegan Paul

Hamilton, P (eds.) 2002, ‘From Industrial to Information Society’, in Jordan.

Kumar, K 1978, Prophecy & Progress, Allen Lane, Ch.6.

Marsh, I et al (2nd Ed) 2000, Sociology: Making Sense of Society, Ch.4, Prentice Hall

Miles, S 2001, Social Theory in the Real World, Sage, Ch.3.

Morgan, G (ed) 1999, ‘Work & Organizations’ in Taylor, S. Sociology: issues & debates, Macmillan.

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O’Donnell, M 2000, Classical & Contemporary Sociology, Hodder & Stoughton, Ch.3.

Touraine, A 1974, The Postindustrial Society, Wildwood House

Jenkins R 2002, The foundation of sociology, Palgrave.

Bilton, T et al (4th Ed) 2002, Introductory Sociology, Palgrave

Karen E. Fields 1995, Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, New York: The Free Press

Marx, K & Frederick E 2001, The German Ideology, International Publishers, New York

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