3 Characteristics of Social Facts According to Emile Durkheim

According to Durkheim, social facts are all ways of acting, thinking, and feeling outside the individual, coercive and general. Come see the reviews.

As one of the figures who contributed to the development of Sociology, Emile Durkheim separated Sociology and Social Philosophy and strengthened Sociology as an independent branch of science.

” Sociology is a science that studies the Social Fact,” firmly Emile Durkheim.

Social facts in Emile Durkheim’s perspective. 

Most of us view social facts as relationships that are all visible and can be grasped by the five senses.

According to Durkheim, social facts are all ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that are outside the individual, coercive, and general.

Social facts have three characteristics, namely:

First, External, which is outside the individual. This means that social facts existed before the individual existed and will remain after the individual did not exist.

Second, Determined Coercive, namely social facts forcing individuals to always conform to them (social facts).

Third, General, spread out in the community/society, is jointly owned, not individually.

According to Durkheim’s view, individual interests and motives are not included in social facts because interests and motives are internal to an individual.

Let’s try to understand one of the following examples; for example, we want to do a study of consumption using social facts.

So, we will internalize our thinking that consumption is seen as a social fact, such as clothing patterns, consumption patterns, or ways of eating.

It is an external, general, and compelling reality. Why can? Try to pay attention to the matter of clothing if you want to dress differently when you want to attend an official event or a wedding ceremony.

Surely you will follow the fashion etiquette when coming to the event, or in everyday clothes; surely we will wear normal clothes.

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It’s different when you want to look extreme, by wearing a swimsuit you come to a formal event, or your daily activities, you can say it’s a mess, uh, crazy people, uh people are crazy, go to parties wearing swimsuits, in public places how come wearing a swimsuit.

Or you who want to go to college wearing a swimsuit to campus can die of being bullied and beaten by crazy people straying to campus.

So therefore, we also have to adjust in terms of our clothes or our patterns in everyday dress because this has become a fashion pattern.

Externally, it is shown by our unwillingness to dress / clothing patterns that are different from what already exists in society and has been going on for a long time, since you were not born and or until you die later.

Another example is that you are a married woman, and recently your husband died; you will certainly show your sadness and grief.

If you are not sad as a woman left behind by your husband, the residents will give you a negative stigma.

For example, you are reported to have had a new husband, so you don’t have to be sad and grieving.

Or people will sneer at you that you have a new affair because you don’t show that sadness and grief.

Now this has been socialized by all people, which is general in nature and external to oneself because it is all the result of the socialization process.

As for the nature of force, it can be seen from the stigma imposed by society on someone who feels, acts, and behaves that are not following social facts, that is, if they do not look sad and grieving (in the example above)

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Assumptions in Social Facts. 

What are the assumptions behind social facts? The assumptions include: First, social symptoms are real and affect individual consciousness and behavior.

Members of society feel social facts and become a guide for individuals in feeling, behaving, and behaving.

Social fact is something that is shared and shared. Second, because social phenomena are real facts, they can be observed/studied using empiric methods.

As we explained above, social facts can be understood as a reality that can be felt through the human senses.

Therefore, human senses can also grasp and feel the presence of social facts, so they can be observed or studied.

Two forms of Real Social Facts.

Social facts must be considered as real things. According to Emile Durkheim, as a real thing, it can take two forms, as said by Ritzer, namely:

  • In the form of a material, namely something that can be listened to, captured, and observed, such as architecture and legal norms.
  • In the Non-Material form, something considered real appears in human consciousness, such as compassion, anger, sadness, joy, happiness, and others.

Well, that’s, guys, some of the characteristics in social facts, according to Emile Durkheim, and two forms of social facts are seen as real: material and non-material.