Concept and What is: Collective Consciousness

The collective consciousness, according to Émile Durkheim (1858-1917 French sociologist), is the collective force exerted on an individual, which causes this Act and live according to the norms of the society in which it is inserted.

As well as in mental life, the collective consciousness is made of representations that transcend the individual sphere, for its superiority and acts with firmly on individual consciences. The collective consciousness is the result of small individual contributions, which together form the whole, not being the result of metaphysical theories, but of real social facts.

According to Durkheim, there are two distinct Consciousnesses on each individual: a is the one that is confused with the whole of society and help train her, the other is that each person has of particular and that makes you an individual different from the others, despite being part of the whole. In this conception, it is clear that in a society all is not only the result of the sum of each of its parts, but something different from them.

To Durkheim, the collective consciousness is the set of beliefs and sentiments common to the average population of a particular society, forming a system with a life of its own, exerting a coercive force on its members, as the devotee who, at birth, it is the religious beliefs and practices structured and in full activity. If these practices already exist, is because they are out of it, but even so, influence on their behaviour and beliefs. Is a system that exists outside of the individual, but that the controls for the moral and psychological pressure, dictate the ways in which society expects you to behave.

The education given to children is, according to Durkheim, in a system of collective consciousness, once forced to eat, drink, dress and speak according to the norms and standards currently in force in the society in which we operate. Any deviation from the standards of this society, could lead to the isolation of the individual, comparable to a penalty imposed by law. This pressure suffered by the child, is the pressure of society trying to shape it in his image and likeness.

The individual submits himself to society and it is in that submission it finds shelter. The society that forces him to follow certain patterns, is the same one that protects you and makes you feel like part of a structured and cohesive whole. This dependency of society brings the comfort of belonging to a group, a people, a country. In this sense, there is no contradiction in the relationship submission-release.
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