Conscience Collective – The Shared Beliefs and Values of a Group or Society

Conscience collective is a term coined by Durkheim to refer to the shared beliefs and values of a group or society. It is considered to be the source of social cohesion and order.

Durkheim believed that conscience collective was created through the process of socialization. This is when people learn the norms and values of their culture or society. Once these norms and values are internalized, they become part of a person’s conscience.

Conscience Collective – the source of a society’s morality

Durkheim also believed that conscience collective was the source of morality. This is because it provides people with a sense of right and wrong. It also helps to regulate behaviour, by setting standards for what is considered to be acceptable or not.

The concept of conscience collective has been criticized for its lack of focus on the individual. It is also seen as being too static, as it does not allow for change or evolution.

Furthermore, if conscience and behaviour are controlled by a collective morality, it results in a form of “mechanical solidarity” that is unlikely to function properly in societies with an individualistic culture.

In fact, later in his career Durkheim evolved his ideas to include the idea of “Collective Representations”, which allow for different permutations of conscience collective within a society. As a result, the concept can be applied to complex societies, including those with a high degree of individualism.

Related terms:

Social cohesion: The bonds that hold a group or society together.

Socialization: The process by which people learn the norms and values of their culture or society.

Norms: Rules or expectations that govern behaviour in a particular group or society.

Values: Beliefs about what is important or desirable.

Mores: Norms that are considered to be essential for the survival of a group or society.

Folkways: Norms that are not essential for survival, but still govern behaviour.

Taboos: Norms that are so important that they must not be broken, or else there will be severe consequences.

Sanctions: Punishments or rewards that are used to enforce norms.

Proscriptions: prohibitions, or things that are forbidden by norms.

Prescriptions: things that are required by norms.

Glossary Terms starting with C

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