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Organic Solidarity and Gesellschaft


Humans are sociable in nature and as such live in communities and various societies. The human association is as such one of the most important element of the existence of man. According to Ferdinand Toennies, the two types of human relationships are Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). The associations are based on the social structure in a particular community. A community can be seen as a group of individuals living in the same locality or are related to one or the other. The members of a community can share various aspects such as language, social amenities, culture and beliefs among others. It should, however, be heeded that it is not a must that members of particular society share the listed elements (Bruhn, 2011). The discrepancy in a set of beliefs, opinions, and values of different members of a community usually arise due to the social stratification. In this essay, I discuss Organic Solidarity and Gesellschaft as a social structure that best characterize my community while elaborating three characteristics that represent the structure chosen regarding different school departments, areas in volunteer and a work department.

Organic Solidarity and Gesellschaft

Gesellschaft is a concept that is used to refer to the associations in which the members of the society are motivated to associate in the community majorly for personal interests and gains. The members are more oriented towards acquiring what is in it for them without taking into consideration the feelings of the other group members. Despite the fact the members identify with the larger community, they prioritize their interests at the expense of the society. Secondary relationships are considered more important to family ties as such individuals tend to feel less bound to the society and thereby exhibiting minimal loyalty to the community as a whole. Social cohesion is majorly derived from the division of labor in a Gesellschaft society.

Social solidarity concept was introduced by Émile Durkheim who used the ideas of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft to illustrate the influences of such concepts on the division of labor (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). The sociologist thus identified mechanical and organic solidarity as the two categories of community in which people exist. An organic solidarity can be seen to occur in a community in which individuals perform different roles. The unity of the community is dependent on the differentiation of the various functions and responsibilities of various members of the society. Cohesion of a society built on organic solidarity is achieved through its differentiation. As opposed to the mechanical solidarity, the roles in natural society are not similar but are interlinked. The society’s complex and integrated functions are performed through multiple roles that are present in the community.

Organic solidarity and Gesellschaft communities are those in which impersonal relationships, self-interests, and personal achievement are considered more significant than any other values. In such societies, it can be observed that interdependence occurs as individuals rely on others to achieve their goals. For instance, in a Gesellschaft community, an impersonal relationship can be seen in people ignoring one another and focusing on their businesses (Bruhn, 2011). The behavior can be observed in public places such as markets, bars, cyber cafes, schools, and transportation in which individuals will continue to perform their duties without considering the people around them. The concepts of organic solidarity and Gesellschaft are also exhibited in the autonomy that may arise due to specialization and division of labor. The subsequent sections of this essay explain the characteristics of such a social structure as they are exhibited in the various aspects of my community.

Different School Departments

The education system is typically divided into various departments. Some of the most common departments in schools are science, languages, games, humanities among others. The committees are created to perform various functions. A characteristic of an organic solidarity society is seen in the division of labor by the different agencies. It is regarded that particular teachers are supposed to teach individual subjects as well as performing other duties that are assigned to them. The functions are clearly stated, and everyone knows what is expected of them (Bruhn, 2011). For instance, it can be seen that teacher A from science department teaches subject B while instructor C from humanity department teaches subject D. Issues of examination and assessment are handled by specific departments just as matters of discipline being handled by the different department.

Interdependence is another characteristic of the organic solidarity society that can be observed in a school environment. The various departments interdependently work to achieve the common goal of the school system. The cohesion of the different departments is obtained due to their mutual independence in a bid to attain the aims of the school due to the complicated nature of the education system (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). Though there is differentiation of roles unity is attained through conventional expectations. The success of the students is seen to be contributed to by the various efforts of different teachers. The characteristics of Gesellschaft in the various school departments and individuals can be observed through the sharing of the common consciousness and interdependence. The interdependence thus acts as a social bond between the different departments in the school setting. The departments also portray the concept of Gesellschaft due to the autonomy of the individuals as well as the functions that may be overlapping. Impersonal relationships may also be observed in the manner in which some departments treat one another.

IT Department at a Workplace

An IT department of an organization in an organic solidarity and Gesellschaft society exhibits various characteristics of such systems. Division of labor is evident and widely practiced even though the department has a standard organizational objective. Work is divided into different functions such as software engineering and development, hardware installation and maintenance, system analysis and other features that are interdependent (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). Such division of labor is seen to be the primary source of cohesion in the department.

The degree of similarity of the roles performed by a particular IT department is relatively high. The similarity occurs because in most cases differentiation of various responsibilities is usually done by grouping the jobs that are closely related or that which are similar together (Bruhn, 2011). It is, therefore, possible that a good percentage of the members of an IT department are performing similar functions. Gesellschaft is exhibited in such environments due to differences in personal interests despite sharing common goals. It is ordinary that the members of the department will be solely working to serve their self-interests that are entirely different from any other member in the same workstation. The people in the department may be working to achieve personal goals such as career advancement, making more money or self-fulfillment.

Different Areas in Volunteer Organizations

There are various areas in which an individual can volunteer in a particular organization. The duties to be performed may range from administrative jobs, distribution of items, construction, cleaning, cooking and so many others. It is understood that the primary reason why individuals join such volunteering organizations to form an association or to relate with other members. In most cases, the solidarity in the volunteering exercises is seen as a form of solidarity in which the members of the society are seeking to integrate and enhance cohesion (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). The different areas of volunteering are working towards achieving a common goal even though the tasks can be seen to be different. Interdependence is the characteristic of organic solidarity that is exhibited in such exercises. At the same time division of labor can also be seen as different teams tackle different tasks.


Associations of individuals in a given society can be considered as one of the fundamental aspects of the human life. The two categories of the relationships of different members of an individual community are based on the concept of mechanical and organic solidarity. Both concepts emphasize on the social cohesion of the members even though it can be observed that approaches apply contrasting techniques to achieve cohesion. While mechanical solidarity uses similarity of tasks to achieve cohesion, organic’ solidarity is based on the differentiation of duties. Organic solidarity and Gesellschaft communities are those in which impersonal relationships, self-interests, and personal achievement are considered more significant than any other values while interdependence is used as the primary social bond.

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