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“This work originated with the question

about the relationship between

individual personality and social
solidarity. How can it be that the
individual, while becoming more
autonomous, depends more heavily on
society? How can he be at the same
time both more individual and more
socially integrated?”
“Although the division of labour is not
new, it was only at the end of the
eighteenth century that societies began “So, the individuality of the whole
to be aware of the principle to which, increases at the same time as the
until then, they had been subject almost individuality of its parts; the society
unwittingly… This phenomenon is so becomes more capable of collective
widespread today that it is immediately movement, at the same time as each of
obvious to everyone. No longer can we its elements has more freedom of
have any illusions about the direction of movement of its own. This resembles
modern industry: it tends to develop the solidarity that is observed in higher
more powerful machinery, large animals. Each organ, in fact, has its
concentrations of forces and capital, special characteristics, its autonomy,
and therefore an extreme division of and yet, the greater the unity of the
labour.” organism, the more marked is the
individuation of its parts. Using this
analogy, we propose to call the
solidarity due to the division of labour

“But the social solidarity is a completely
moral phenomenon which in itself does “This visible symbol is law. In fact,
not lend itself to precise observation nor wherever social solidarity exists, despite
indeed to measurement.” its immaterial quality, it manifests its
presence by palpable effects, rather
than remaining in a state of pure

“The totality of beliefs and sentiments

common to average members of the
same society forms a particular system
with a life of its own; one might call it
the collective or common
consciousness. It is true that it does not
have a substratum in a specific organ;
by definition, it is diffused throughout
the whole of society.”
dissension. When the lower classes are
not, or are no longer satisfied with the
role allotted to them through custom or
law, they aspire to functions forbidden
to them, From this arise civil wars.”

“The division of labour varies indirect

ratio with the volume and density of
societies, and, if it progresses in a
continuous way throughout the course
of social development, it is because
societies regularly became denser and
generally increase in volume.”

“If the division of labour does not

produce solidarity, it is because the
relationships between the organs are
not regulated; they are in a state of

“The institution of classes or castes

constitutes one organization of the
division of labour, one that is strictly
regulated. Yet it is often a source of