Durkheim and Socialization

in Durkheimian Studies
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Among the many theories of socialization, that of Durkheim stands out. While most analyses of socialization are individualistic, that of Durkheim is holistic. This singularity presents a challenge to the modern mind, which is dominated by individualism. Reading Durkheim's analysis of socialization, like the rest of his work, requires the difficult task of overcoming one's natural tendency to do so through an individualistic lens. This paper is an attempt to restore the original holistic meaning of this analysis. It aims to correct some of Durkheim's commentators' re-interpretations of his views and the everyday language that he uses in individualistic terms. Particular attention is given to Durkheim's distinction between authority and power. This distinction has huge implications for Durkheim's interpretation of socialization, which he sees as a process that primarily involves a particular relationship - one that he describes in terms of 'submission' - with the authority of society.