The Durkheim School Structuralism, Seminology and Beyond

The Durkheim School: Structuralism, Seminology and Beyond

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Durkheim revolutionized structuralism. With an aim to shatter myths about the field, he developed proposals and sophisticated alternatives that accounted for the nature of human life. Objectively, Durkheim was more concerned with the precepts of the human psyche. Inglis and Thorpe (2012) set out to dispute the acclaimed liberty that was bestowed on man upon societal revolution and the perceptions of science deriving basis objectively.

Durkheim’s theory classified social integration into mechanical and organic. This projects mechanical affiliations to revolve around order and kinship. Inglis and Thorpe (2012) indicated that organic integration, on the other hand, is a resultant of specialized interdependence.

The theorist examined the structural basis of religion as a factored role that assisted believers in comprehending the operations of the world. As such, the cultural form developed a classification of the human activities and development. The classification model grouped the activities as either good on one hand or bad on the other. He identified the classification as a mechanism operationalized to instill a sense into believers.

Saussure is the other structuralist who shared the notion. In his linguistic analyses, he points out just how challenging it is to discern the linguistic structure. Saussure derives the composition of language into two systems of signifiers and signifieds. According to Inglis and Thorpe (2012), differences in the elements of a system highlight understanding and communication.

Durkheim’s mechanical integration develops a system in which social status differ. Any disregard of the system mutilates and compromises social harmony. Inglis and Thorpe (2012) opined that diminished solidarity is diagnosed by the theorist as a pathological condition that requires intervention through reinforcement of the social norms. To achieve social cohesion in the work, occupational groups need to evolve and remodel the normative practices that define social institutions. The collective interests shared by members of such groups normalize the groups into social institutions/ organizations.

Durkheim’s theory expresses distrust in mass democracy and bureaucracy as such only propel individual passion and oppression. Research by Inglis and Thorpe (2012) explained that the theory is expressed through functionalism and anomie.


Social harmony is a derivative of the integration of status into human activities. Success of the social institutions is hence dependent on the assumption of roles meant for the specified status. According to Inglis and Thorpe (2012), Durkheim’s elaboration of the mechanical social integration illuminates factors that drive the social institutions.

Claude Levi’s theory in mythical studies is a revelation of the extent of damage to the scientific research stimulated by myths. The discourse of research is mythically corrupted to disorient results. In every manner, Inglis and Thorpe (2012) affirm that the theory plays a supportive role in the Durkheim School that was founded on the basis of eluding mythical development around factual conceptions.

However, Louis Althusser’s elaboration of the factors of state democracy and the benefits contradict Durkheim’s mistrust of mass democracy. Clarity on the numerous benefits that democracy bequeath the masses with, expose the shortfalls of this intuition. In as much as mass democracy is plagued with a few ‘negligible’ factors of repression, it is a sure way through which social harmony can be integrated into every society.

The School sets on a course that aims to make distinct the differences between truth and mystified perceptions. Intuiting that post-structuralism and structuralism have been disoriented by the untrue beliefs, according to theorist Jean Baudrillard, is baseless. Jean points out that truth barricade itself. That is an implication that truth is the comprehension of any situation. Moreover, truth is what one sees it to be.


Inglis, D., & Thorpe, C. (2012). An invitation to social theory. Cambridge: Polity.

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