Changes in the 19th century caused different views andperspectives on the work and organisation. This essay pretends to discuss andcompare theories of Durkheim and Weber. These two great sociologists born inthe time of dramatic social changes. Before the industrial revolution work wasbased on agricultural and craft work, where workers usually knew all aspects oftheir production. (Giddens, Sutton, 2013, p. 264-265). People start to beinvolved in labour for wages, business was based upon making a profit, but themost significant that all these changes caused division of labour.
(Haralambos,Holborn, 2004, p. 2) From that time work became more specialised andrationalised. What makes sociologists think about the influence of division oflabour. Durkheim lived atthe same time as Weber, but they view on a division of labour and influence ofthat, differed significantly.
Durkheim held a more optimistic view on thedivision of labour. The division of labour in his opinion is a sign of adeveloped society because there is a need to exchange results of the activity,perform complementary functions. He thought that division of labour bringsdiversity, and the more it is, the stronger the people’s desire for unity andexchange. He argues that division of labour led from mechanical to organicsolidarity. Durkheim believed that pre-industrial societies were based onmechanical solidarity when people feel solidarity because they are similar. Whensociety develops and work becomes more specialized people become different.Despite that people still, need each other.
Doctors need teachers to teachtheir kids, and teachers need doctors to treat them. This mutuality Durkheimdescribes as an organic solidarity. (Haralambos, Holborn, 2008, p. 667) How isit possible to move from one form of solidarity to another? The sociologist’sanswer is unambiguous: on the basis of the emerging division of labour. And areason for the sociologist was the growth of population and the intensifiedsocial life in connection with it. The division of labour is almost the onlymeans and factor of the preservation and consolidation of society, which is dueto the emergence of social solidarity of a new type – organic.
The professionalizationof labour and the specialization of functions orient society as a whole andspecific social groups toward a desire for unity. Nevertheless, Durkheim sawsome concerns about the social change. Durkheim pointed that specialized division of labour can encourageindividualism and even normlessness. People develop unlimited desires andfeeling of constant dissatisfaction. This can lead to social problems and highsuicide rates. That what he called social anomie. (Haralambos, Holborn, 2008, p.667) Weber holds morenegative view than Durkheim, he pointed out the bad influence of specializationand rationalisation.
Weber argued that with industrialisation changed societyto become based on reason, pushing back emotions, cohesion and emotions. Hecalled this actions “instrumental rational action”. In a new world, sciencebecame more popular than religion and reasons replaced the faith. Haralambos,Hope, Timson, 2013, p. 14) Weber saw instrumental rationality most clearly inbureaucracies. Bureaucracy is based on rules, goals and skills, bureaucracy isalso the system of control. (Haralambos, Holborn, Moore, Chapman, 2013, p.
973)That is helpful in goal attain, but from, on the other hand, it can imprisonpeople in “iron cage”. From Weber point, people already born in structure andthe cannot change it, what makes them imprisoned. Weber also pointed out thatrapid changes in the 19th century lead to inequality of wealth and status insociety. This fact Weber called social stratification.
Social stratificationmakes people more alienated from each other. Marx saw that history final goalis communist society where classes will be vanished, while Weber was scepticaland argued that fact of social stratification will always exist. Taylor,Richardson, Yeo, 2002, p. 36) There aredifferences in the views of Weber on the one hand and Durkheim and Marx on theother (Durkheim and Marx gave priority to society, but Weber put above theindividuals and argued that development of society caused by cultural values).
Weber understood the division of labour as a structure, in which peopleperforming narrowly specialized functions were frozen in their own workplace.The division of labour is not the division of individuals and the distributionof tasks; it is a way of social and economic interaction of people. Hence itfollows that such interaction has a highly indicative rational (realized,planned, expedient) action, and secondly, that the division of labour as amethod interaction has a variety of forms and passes in its development avariety of stages, thirdly, that the true subject of the division of labour isnot a separate individual, but only organized groups.