Sociology Index


Organic solidarity is a term used by David Emile Durkheim to refer to a state of interdependency created by the specialization of roles in which individuals and institutions become acutely dependent on others in a complex division of labour. In developing his mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity distinction, Durkheim drew on the organicist thinking that influenced many intellectuals of his generation.

The basis of organic solidarity is abstract and may be weakened by anomie when people fail to comprehend the ties that bind them to others. Modern societies, Durkheim argued, are held together by organic solidarity.

In 'The Division of Labor in Society', David Emile Durkheim concluded that increased specialization has two significant and related effects: it actually changes the very nature of the social bonds that hold society together, and it encourages individualism at the expense of community. For a good society altruism, morality, and social solidarity are ingredients.

Traditional societies, Durkheim argued, are held together by mechanical solidarity, a form of social cohesion that is based on the similarity of the members. Because these societies are small and because everyone does much the same work, the members are all socialization is in the same pattern, share the same experiences, and hold common values. Collective solidarity is a state of social bonding based on similarity of belief, values and shared activities.

Organic solidarity is social cohesion based upon the dependence individuals in advanced society have on each other. Organic solidarity is more common among industrial societies where the division of labor is more pronounced. Though individuals perform different tasks and often have different values and interests, the order and very survival of society depends on their organic solidarity or reliance on each other to perform their specific task.

Emile Durkheim distinguished between mechanical and organic solidarity. Organic solidarity develops out of differences, rather than likenesses, between individuals. Organic solidarity is a product of the division of labor. With increasing differentiation of functions in a society come increasing differences between its members.

While the individual elements in organic solidarity have less in common, they are much more interdependent than under mechanical solidarity. Each element in a differentiated society is less strongly, even though it may be bound with equal rigor to the differentiated and specialized tasks and roles that characterize systems of organic solidarity.

A Proposal to Recycle Mechanical and Organic Solidarity in Community Sociology. 
Perry, Charles - Rural Sociology, v51 n3 p263-77 Fall 1986
Abstract: Explores geographical definition of communities and tendency for community relations to transcend geographical boundaries. Reinterprets Durkheim's theory of social solidarity to argue that division of labor directly reduces solidarity but indirectly increases solidarity through secondary groups, the state, and the cult of individuality.

Social differentiation and organic solidarity: The division of labor revisited
Journal Sociological Forum, Publisher Springer Netherlands - Hans-Peter Müller
This paper argues for the classicity of Durkheim's first book: the innovative way viewing the compatibility of social order and individual autonomy. Durkheim's book is a classic. Yet classical neither means original nor flawless. This is shown with respect to the relationship of division of labor and organic solidarity by looking at the historical debate on the division of labor, by elucidating mechanical and organic solidarity, and by carving out some of the problems inside organic solidarity.

Solidarity, Mechanical Solidarity and Organic Solidarity - Anne M. Hornsby
Mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity describe two types of social organization. Durkheim summarized all historical forms of solidarity into a traditional–modern dichotomy. Mechanical solidarity is a simple, pre-industrial form of social cohesion and organic solidarity is a more complex form that evolves in modern societies. In developing his mechanical solidarity, organic solidarity distinction, Durkheim drew on the organicist thinking that influenced many intellectuals of his generation, where human societies are analyzed with analogies to biological organisms.

Organic Solidarity Due to the Division of Labour
Belarus State Economic Universit
It is quite otherwise with the solidarity which the division of labour produces. Whereas the previous type, mechanical solidarity, implies that individuals resemble each other, this type of organic solidarity presumes their difference.
Each organ, in effect, has its special physiognomy, its autonomy. The unity of the organism is as great as the individuation of the parts is more marked. We propose to call the solidarity which is due to the division of labour, organic solidarity. - Belarus State Economic University

Social Morals, the Sacred and State Regulation in Durkheim’s Sociology 
Ivan Varga, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada,
Durkheim analysed the mechanisms and types of institutions that create organic solidarity and prevent it from imploding for lack of moral cement. Durkheim laid great emphasis on professional ethics and civic morals, that ought to ensure the maintenance of solidarity and avoid, anomie. His considerations involve the concept of the sacred, its relationship to "political society" and morality, authority, democracy, citizenship and "world patriotism".

Sisters at Work - Career and Community Changes - ELIZABETH K. BRIODY, TERESA A. SULLIVAN, University of Texas at Austin - Work and Occupations, Vol. 15, No. 3, 313-333 (1988)
Apostolic sisters of the post-Vatican period seem to exemplify the concept of organic solidarity; there is more variation with regard to occupations and life-style. The analysis focuses on the life histories of sisters residing in South Texas. In particular, the analysis relates the diversification in their careers to changes in their ideology and lifestyle.