Introducing Western Sociologists

Introducing Western Sociologists


What is difference between ‘mechanical’ and ‘organic’ solidarity ?

Distinguish between mechanical and organic solidarity :

I. Mechanical Solidarity :
(a) Mechanical solidarity is founded on the similarity of its individual members and is found in societies with small populations. It typically involves a collection of different self-sufficient groups where each person within a particular group is engaged in similar acitivities of functions. As the solidarity or ties between people are based on similarity and personal relationships, such societies are not very tolerant of differences and any violation of the norms of the community attracts harsh punishment.

(b) In other words, mechanical solidarity based societies have repressive laws designed to prevent deviation from community norms. This was because the individual and the community were so tightly integrated that it was feared that any violation of codes of conduct result in the disintegration of the community.

II. Organic Solidarity :
(a) Organic solidarity characterises modern society and is based on the heterogeneity of its members. It is found in societies with large populations, where most social relationships necessarily have to be impersonal. Such a society is based on institutions, and each of its constituent groups or units is not self-sufficient but dependent on other units/groups for their survival. Interdependence is the essence of organic solidarity. It celebrates individuals and allows for their need to be different from each other, and recognises their multiple roles and organic ties.

(b) The laws of modern society are ‘restitutive’ in nature that in modern societies, the law aims to repair or correct the wrong that is done by a criminal act. By contrast, in primitive societies the law sought to punish wrong-doers and enforced a sort of collective revenge for their acts. Inmodern society the individual was given some autonomy, whereas in primitve societies the individual was totally submerged in the collectivity.

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