Let’s place our real-world examples in conversation with social theory.
Please write a response to Emile Durkheim’s (1893) analysis of social relations vis-a-vis law from the quotation below. Use examples from our podcast discussion.
When we see that formal law enforced through state sanctioned violence and customary law enforced by social practices of exclusion (that can also be violent) are interwoven, what kinds of social solidarities do we observe? What kinds of social solidarities might we aspire to?
Social relations can become fixed without assuming a juridical form. Sometimes their regulation does not attain this degree of consolidation or precision; but they do not remain indeterminate for that reason: instead of being regulated by law, they are regulated by custom. Law, then, reflects only a part of social life, and consequently, provides us only with incomplete data for resolving the problem. Furthermore, it often happens that custom is not in accord with the law; it is constantly being said that custom tempers the rigors of the law, that it mitigates excessive formalism, and sometimes even that it is inspired by a completely different spirit. Might it not be the case that custom manifests other sort of social solidarity than that expressed in positive law?…
— Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (1893). Translation by Margarent Thompson (p.g. 21-23
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