Discuss ‘social fact’? Also, discuss Durkheim’s social theory with reference to his idea that society is “sui generis”.
A social fact is a thing starting in the foundations or culture of a general public which influences the conduct or dispositions of an individual from that society. In terms of sociology, social facts are norms related to cultural, social structures and values that surpass the individual and can exercise social control. Social facts are special characteristics. Social facts are the way of acting, feeling and thinking. Social actualities are things, for example, organizations, standards, and qualities which exist outer to the individual and compel the person (Gilbert, M 1992).
A Social fact is a period of conduct which is subjective to the eyewitness and which has a coercive nature. A classification of facts comprising of methods for acting, feeling and thinking, outer to the individual and supplied with an energy of coercion by methods for which they control him." Society isn't a negligible whole of people. Or maybe, the framework shaped by their affiliation speaks to a particular reality which has its own particular attributes. The gathering considers, feels, and acts uniquely in contrast to the manner by which its individuals would be they secluded (Agger, B. 2007). Assuming, at that point, we start with the individual, we might have the capacity to see nothing of what happens in the gathering.
Purpose of the social facts theory
Society is not a minor whole of individuals. Or on the other hand, possibly, the system formed by their connection addresses a specific reality which has its own characteristics or attributes (Olick, J. K 1999). The social occasion considers, feels, and acts interestingly as opposed to the way by which its people would be they separated. Expecting, by then, we begin with the individual, we may have the ability to see nothing of what occurs in the social event.
Society is the Sui generis
According to Durkheim, he very well differentiated sociology from the psychology and philosophy. He argued that only sociology deals with the facts of society that is social facts are dealt in sociology. He attempted to explain that sociology is unlike philosophy that is empirical and it also unlike psychology that is social facts is related to sociology (Durkheim, E 2016).
Social fact, Durkheim is alluding to realities, ideas, desires that come not from singular reactions and inclinations, but rather that originate from the social group which mingles every one of its individuals. Society existed before any individual was conceived and would keep on existing even after the individual is no more. This essentially implied, despite the fact that society is made out of various parts with individuals speaking to one of the parts, it can't be characterized by decreasing it to the whole of parts that connect to make its interesting nature (McCutcheon, R. T. 1997).
Social facts like languages and behavior all these are external to the individuals. But if an individual keeps in action his behavior then it will become his permanent habit. For example, if the child is taught that sleeping early in the night and waking early in the morning is good and you have to follow. Then as a child try to learn this new habits and if he continues to follow this then it will become his permanent habit. Hence it is proved that social facts like habits and behavior are external to the individuals (McSweeney, B 1998).
Take an example of another social fact that is language- language is also one of the social facts that is external to an individuals and as a constraint on the communication. Communicating within the same social group builds the languages of an individual. But if an individual's wishes to communicate with other social groups different from his social language then he feels difficult to communicate properly due to the limited disposal of language. As foreign language will not assist the non-foreigner to describe the object in much clear manner (Rabinow, P 1986). Hence, it can be said that society shapes the social facts of individuals which are external to the individuals (Rawls, A.W. 1987).
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Social Facts are unique in nature that is sui- generis and is external to an individual.
According to the Durkheim he argued in his sociology book that social facts are created by the society itself. Social facts can’t be changed as they are unique in nature. Build up through the snowballing experience of the life.
The Latin expression "sui generis" implies something like "extraordinary" or "of its own kind." Durkheim utilizes the expression to portray social realities about social orders. He contends that social certainties about a general public are sui generis. He says that they are made by the general public and are extraordinary to that society (Wiley, N 1988).
Durkheim is contending that social certainties are not things that we can control. Or maybe, they have been developed by the aggregate involvement of every one of that has preceded us. Along these lines, they are sui generis. They are one of a kind and they are not things that we can change (Hewstone et al., 1983) Thus, to Durkheim, the expression "sui generis" alludes to things that are outside our control. He utilizes the expression to allude to social realities about our general public that follow up on us yet which we can't ourselves change.
A claim of Durkheim's that social facts are unique or sui generis is a clear reasoning as it exists with certainly no dependence on the single regardless of the fact that it can be opposed that its reality was established of human need and frame some portion of our awareness. Durkheim set up that social certainties could be "dispassionately estimated, measured and subjected to factual examination" and saw through the activities of the aggregate social gathering. Rule of the sociological method a book written by Durkheim mentioned that social facts are unique and are as things that are external to an individual. In his book, Durkheim very well explained his methodological rule which explained that social facts and realities are things and social facts are external to an individual which is unique in nature (Durkheim, E 2016).
Social sorts of conduct and thinking outer to the individual are endued with a convincing and coercive power by which they end up ongoing and forced upon the person. The requirements are exhibited most when the activity is defined and there is a response against the person which will avert encourage repudiation of the endorsed social state of mind. Each activity has a response and most endeavors to act freely of social elements are probably not going to be proficient and the outcome may in certainty refute the very move made or force a punishment if the outcome is hopeless (Agger, B 2007). Not exclusively does the more extensive social gathering limit any demonstration which repudiates tradition through different perception strategies over the lead of gathering individuals, they are strengthened by the legitimate disciplines that are set up and eagerly upheld.
Aspects of the social facts.
Raising the children is a good example which Durkheim used to convince that social fact are unique and is external to individuals and is self-existent (Richard, N 2017). He argued that since the beginning of the year's parents try to teach their child that how to drink, eat and sleep on time on a regular basis. So if parents keep on insisting their child and try to make them follow the norms then surely it becomes the permanent habit of the child and child inculcate the habit which is in his inner. But the supplement is given from the outside only. Hence he argued that society forms the social certainties or the facts which are external to an individual but it becomes an inner habit if the individuals keep learning and updating according to the social norms.
Social facts can be defined in two aspects the first one is that social facts are external to an individuals and second is it must execute a control over the individual, for example, the presence of some foreordained legal penalty or by their response to those types of specific principle and activity which people see as undermining.
To wind up, it can be said that no social facts can exist outer to the well-defined social organization. Society form and make the social facts. Which is external to the individual and has unique nature.
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