Durkheim Is Dead! Macro Vs. Micro Beliefs

1064 words - 4 pages

I have grouped the sociologists in Durkheim is Dead into three groups: macro to micro, micro and macro, and micro to macro. I did not place any one of the individuals into just the macro or just the micro categories. Each one fell into a group that I considered to be in-between.

In the macro to micro category, each sociological theory concentrated on one major problem of society and then went on to explain what would have to be done within individuals in order to achieve social progress. Durkheim's focus was upon the division of labor being the primary cause of social problems (Berger 123). For Du Bois, the concentration was on racial issues; "I have faith in the power of freedom and democracy to lead these peoples to higher levels of... progress. I see race, not class, as the fundamental cause of the problems societies have faced over the centuries" (Berger 120). Falling also into the macro to micro category were Lenin and B. Webb. Lenin focuses on the exploitation of the working class as a whole, while Webb concentrated on criminal behavior connected to poverty and poor people as an entire group. The sociologists in this category tended towards focusing on the society as a whole, with the occasional correlation to the individual as the focal point; each theorist was concentrated on groups of individuals more so than the individual. Durkheim's idea was that suicide was more of a reflection of the society within which the individual lives, than it was a reflection of the individual. Durkheim did research linking suicides and communities. He found that "organic societies - those characterized by weak links between people and the breakdown of a sense of community" had higher rates than communities that were linked by a system of beliefs and values (Berger 38). Du Bois had a macro to micro attitude because he focused on what society, as a whole, should be doing in order to achieve social progress in racial issues. Lenin was very close to the Webb's and they all shared similar theories. These people were more politically minded. Similar to Durkheim's ideas of collective consciousness, Lenin believed that the ideas of the ruling class became the ideas of the masses (Berger 111). Lenin focused on societal groups and how the individual is stuck within their class. He believed that the working class was being exploited and that society must work towards eliminating this confusion of who should be in charge by forcing the working class to prevail. B. Webb felt there was a relationship between crime poverty. She focused on politics as being the reason for poverty. She said, "One must remedy the political order to help poor people.... It was the structure of society that was at fault, not the individual" (Berger 130).

The next category, macro and micro, was a group in and of itself. Only one sociologist fell into this division. The theories that defined this category oscillated between the effects of society on the...

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