Marx & Durkheim on Labor

Compares views on evolution of division of labor, economic purpose, related to production, class, social progress, specialization.

In The Division of Labor in Society, Emile Durkheim (1984) argues that the role of the division of labor is more than to make civilization possible through the provision of economic services. Rather, he argues its true function is to create a feeling of solidarity between people (Durkheim, 1984, p. 17). He states that his view of the division of labor differs from that of economists because they view the division’s primary purpose as increased production. For Durkheim, however, greater productivity is merely a necessary consequence, a side-effect, of the division. Its true function is to enable us to live in the new conditions of existence created for us (Durkheim, 1984, p. 217).