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Emile Durkheim

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The social facts can also exist outside of the person. Tese ones impose themselves upon an individual, ad trying to resist those means punishment or something similar to pay the penalty for damages. Tese are also the facts that are implied, bt not necessary to be fulfilled, hwever, volation of them would fail, ad the violator could be ruined himself. Te social facts constitute a category of facts that control an individual because they are external to him and consist of manners of feeling, tinking, ad acting. Tey are the conscience of the individuals and, cnsequently, i the conscience of the society.

Tere is a suggestion that the social facts exist in well-organized societies, bt they are also present in the so called “social currents”: fr example, ethusiasm, pty and other emotions produced by public gatherings also impose themselves upon the individuals, een in spite of the persons themselves. A individual may be not conscious about this imposing, bt this is felt once an individual tries to resist them, ad the results of such resistance turn against the individual.

Te social facts, sch as religious, plitical, eotional, cn also be generated within a gathering of people who are usually harmless. Sme social facts cannot arrive to the person spontaneously: Eile Durkheim gives an example of an education of a child, wen a child is imposed upon to acquire the ways of thinking, seing, ad acting. Lter on, achild is obliged to perform usual acts at definite time and to observe certain demands, ten – how to behave, t respect customs and traditions. Te social facts are constituted tendencies, bliefs and practices of one group which is taken collectively.

Te states of collective mind can also form social facts and impel the persons to be imposed by them. Te statistics that provide numbers of social facts, sch as suicides, mrriages, brths, iforms us about them, bt these facts do not disappear after they are known, tey exist within the society. Te social facts also exist independently of an individual’s world perception, ad the collective mind means the social facts when they are deprived of all their external Tere is an objection that some phenomenon is collective only when it is a common one, tat is, cmmon to all the members of a society or, a least, t its majority.


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