Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bernardo Sorj & Danilo Martuccelli
In the work of the founders of sociology, society was conceived of as an organism that needed to respond to the main challenge posed by modernity: How do societies marked by social differentiation and distinct social groups create mechanisms to live together? The concept of social cohesion features prominently in the work of its originator, Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), for example, and was later revisited, though not always under the same name, in the functionalist tradition. However, Durkheim, in his major work on the subject (1893), used the notion of solidarity to describe ways in which social integration is achieved. Solidarity is a “force” that binds the different parts of a whole, creating bonds and relations of reciprocity between individuals. Progressively, and more so in recent times, and far removed from the initial analytical use that Durkheim gave to the concept of solidarity, social cohesion has become increasingly intermingled with normative ...