Introducing Western Sociologists

Introducing Western Sociologists

Question

What is a collective representation?

Answer
A collective representation :

1. Social facts according to Emile Durkheim are collective representations. For example, language of the community, the credit system or monetary system of a nation.

2. Collective representations may be defined as any subject matter into which the ideas of the society have been condensed.

3. Collective representations reflect collective values and beliefs. Myths, popular legends, religious doctrines, moral beliefs, proverbs, customs and traditions are suitable examples of collective representations.

4. Collective representations express the way in which the objects which affect it.

5. In short, the content of social life cannot be explained by purely psychological factors. The individuals have to conform to these collectively established ways of thinking and behaving. They are not created by any individual on his own.

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