Modern Societies and Social Integration: characteristics
Tocqueville showed that equal conditions coïncicidait with a personal desire to improve individual situations. This desire to conquer individual autonomy and the search for a greater degree of happiness elsewhere retouve in the first modern society: the American society that has enshrined in its constitution the right to the pursuit of happiness. Individualistic quest for excellence.Thus the rise of individualism in modern society in the sense that modernity leads to value the individual, to the "emergence" of the collective:
it is free to make choices, emancipated old guardianship posed religion , traditions or absolute power. This means that, increasingly, individuals can choose their behaviors, ideas, differentiate established groups.This movement will transform social solidarity:Vs mechanical solidarity organic solidarityAccording to Emile Durkheim in traditional societies solidarity is called "mechanical":
individuals are alike, they share very much the same values (especially religious), and the collective consciousness (which can be defined as the set of beliefs and feelings that members of a society have in common and which serves as a common reference) has a strong social constraint that is that individuals can not, or very difficult, to avoid this tradition and imposed current standards. The differentiation between individuals is very low and sanctions against those who violate the standards are generally violent as it is the whole of society feels threatened by a transgression, even minimal standards.In modern societies from the industrial revolution, solidarity is called "organic" solidarity is that individuals are complementary because they differ, particularly in their production activities. They become so interdependent.
The collective consciousness weakens, leaving more room for individual conscience, the individual becomes subject, it may express different opinions from those of the group. This obviously does not mean that norms and values disappear. Without them, there would be no company. But these standards and values are less restrictive and become more easily under the pressure of actors.Although forms of mechanical solidarity still exist in modern societies, solidarity is essentially organic type, that is to say, based on differentiation of individuals. The progress of individualism weakens social ties in that the individual is less constrained by the solidarity collective consciousness. One can almost say that solidarity must be chosen more by individuals, precisely because it is not imposed.