Dictionary of Arguments

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Habermas IV 173
Division of Labour/Durkheim/Habermas: Durkheim uses the term division of labour in the sense of a structural differentiation of social systems. The functional differentiation of professional groups is also of exemplary importance for Durkheim. But he has a tendency to reduce the complexity of a society
Habermas IV 174
by demographic indicators.
Social division of Labour/Durkheim: a) segmental, b) functionally differentiated societies. Analogy: e.g. biological organisms. From this, Durkheim derives a biological model for functionally differentiated societies, which he calls "organic". Different organs play special roles. Durkheim identifies the state as the central organ. (1)
Habermas IV 175
Taking the biological model as a basis, Durkheim does not have to adopt more norms than conditions for the formation of these structures. Luhmann calls this "norm-free sociality". (2)
Society/Durkheim: Thesis: for archaic societies, collective consciousness is constitutive, for modern societies, however, it is the division of labour. (3)
Durkheim/Habermas: while primitive societies are integrated via a basic normative understanding, integration in developed societies takes place via the systemic context of functionally specified areas of action. See Division of labour/Spencer.
Habermas IV 178
Division of Labour/Durkheim: Durkheim's thesis: industrial capitalist societies are driving towards an anomie. Durkheim attributes this anomie to the same processes of differentiation from which a new moral "natural law" was to emerge. Durkheim's example of anomic division of labour is the "enmity between labour and capital" (4)
HabermasVsDurkheim: his analyses are circular: on the one hand, he claims that the moral rules that make organic solidarity possible "flow out of the division of labor by themselves in the normal state". (5) On the other hand, he explains the dysfunctional nature of certain forms of division of labour with the lack of such normative regulations. (6)
Habermas IV 179
Solution/Habermas: we have to distinguish between the system (from the observer's perspective) and the life world (from the social group's perspective). At the same time, we should conceive of societies as a system and a living environment.


1.E. Durkheim, De la division du travail social, Paris 1930, German Frankfurt 1977, p. 222f.
2.N. Luhmann, Einleitung zu Durkheim (1977).
3. Durkheim (1977) p. 266
4. Ibid p. 396
5. Ibid p. 408
6. Ibid p. 410


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Durkheim I
E. Durkheim
The Rules of Sociological Method - French: Les Règles de la Méthode Sociologique, Paris 1895
German Edition:
Die Regeln der soziologischen Methode Frankfurt/M. 1984

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-03-20
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