What Is A Social Fact? Essay

809 words - 4 pages

The way the Durkheim understands social facts is that of external and collective ways, where the society shapes, structures and constrains out behavior (Dillon, book, 80). In other words it consists of ways of thinking, feeling, and acting external to the person and endowed with a power of coercion. What he means by social facts is something external to us has a great amount of power in shaping our thoughts, feelings, and actions. The social society around us shapes what we do and why we think, feel, and behave in situations the way we do. He takes two approaches to understand social facts. First he looks at it being not an internal drive, but rather experienced as an external constraint. ...view middle of the document...

Collective Conscience another nonmaterial social fact is more of a bigger picture idea and is something that occurs within societies. This is inferring that we share a general common understanding of norms, values and beliefs. We all are aware of the law and what its purpose is and that is to protect us and keep us safe, yet we still don't all follow the law.
Collective Representation, unlike collective conscience can be studied and is more of our beliefs and norms motivating us to conform to different joint claims. These types of social facts include religious symbols, icons, pictures/images, and flags. All of these material symbols can have an importance to people and can motivate them with just the symbol alone. A very common collective representation found in the United States is the United States Flag; we all conform to the flag and share the meaning of freedom and patriotism. Before any US sporting event we all stand up, salute the flag and sing the national anthem. I have been a sports fan for my entire life and the symbol on the Green Bay Packers helmet is something that most of us in Wisconsin find a great deal of meaning in. I like to think of the Packers as a religion. We join together as a state and...

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