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Collective Consciousness WORK



Collective consciousness, collective conscience, or collective conscious (French: conscience collective) is the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.[1] In general, it does not refer to the specifically moral conscience, but to a shared understanding of social norms.[2]




Collective Consciousness


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The modern concept of what can be considered collective consciousness includes solidarity attitudes, memes, extreme behaviors like group-think and herd behavior, and collectively shared experiences during collective rituals and dance parties.[3] Rather than existing as separate individuals, people come together as dynamic groups to share resources and knowledge. It has also developed as a way of describing how an entire community comes together to share similar values. This has also been termed "hive mind", "group mind", "mass mind", and "social mind".[4]


The term was introduced by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his The Division of Labour in Society in 1893. The French word conscience generally means "conscience", "consciousness", "awareness",[5] or "perception".[6] Commentators and translators of Durkheim disagree on which is most appropriate, or whether the translation should depend on the context. Some prefer to treat the word 'conscience' as an untranslatable foreign word or technical term, without its normal English meaning.[7] As for "collective", Durkheim makes clear that he is not reifying or hypostasizing this concept; for him, it is "collective" simply in the sense that it is common to many individuals;[8] cf. social fact.


Durkheim used the term in his books The Division of Labour in Society (1893), The Rules of the Sociological Method (1895), Suicide (1897), and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912). In The Division of Labour, Durkheim argued that in traditional/primitive societies (those based around clan, family or tribal relationships), totemic religion played an important role in uniting members through the creation of a common consciousness (conscience collective in the original French). In societies of this type, the contents of an individual's consciousness are largely shared in common with all other members of their society, creating a mechanical solidarity through mutual likeness.


In Suicide, Durkheim developed the concept of anomie to refer to the social rather than individual causes of suicide. This relates to the concept of collective consciousness, as if there is a lack of integration or solidarity in society then suicide rates will be higher.[11]


Society is made up of various collective groups, such as the family, community, organizations, regions, nations which as Burns and Egdahl state "can be considered to possess agential capabilities: to think, judge, decide, act, reform; to conceptualize self and others as well as self's actions and interactions; and to reflect.".[16] It is suggested that these different national behaviors vary according to the different collective consciousness between nations. This illustrates that differences in collective consciousness can have practical significance.


According to a theory, the character of collective consciousness depends on the type of mnemonic encoding used within a group (Tsoukalas, 2007). The specific type of encoding used has a predictable influence on the group's behavior and collective ideology. Informal groups, that meet infrequently and spontaneously, have a tendency to represent significant aspects of their community as episodic memories. This usually leads to strong social cohesion and solidarity, an indulgent atmosphere, an exclusive ethos and a restriction of social networks. Formal groups, that have scheduled and anonymous meetings, tend to represent significant aspects of their community as semantic memories which usually leads to weak social cohesion and solidarity, a more moderate atmosphere, an inclusive ethos and an expansion of social networks.[17]


Examples of collective consciousness correspond to rituals or values that are shared in society. Rituals could include weddings, gatherings, and ceremonies, and values include laws that dictate right from wrong.


Durkheim defines collective consciousness as the reason why and how individuals who are different can come together and form a society. This is because collective consciousness refers to a set of common beliefs, values, and behaviors that are found within a society.


Carl Jung's concept of the collective unconscious stated that in society, individuals share several factors in their unconscious. These factors include ideas and behaviors that have been passed down through generations, which he termed archetypes.


Societies and groups consist of many different kinds of people who differ fundamentally on many levels. Yet, together they form a cohesive whole. Collective consciousness, also known as collective conscience, is a sociological concept that refers to common ideas, attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge that are shared amongst a social group, organization, or society. This shared understanding of societal norms serves as a key foundation for an individual's sense of identity and self. It was first developed by sociologist Emile Durkheim to assess how and why individuals who are unique could form groups or societies with one another.


How do your beliefs align with the beliefs of others in society? What unites people within a society, at least to a degree? How do you come to see yourself not just as an individual, but as part of the larger society? One explanation for questions like these comes from the theory of collective consciousness.


In sociology and related social sciences, the idea of collective consciousness comes from the French theorist and sociologist Emile Durkheim. Collective consciousness is all about understanding what makes society work.


For Durkheim, individuals in society - while we all have our own individual consciousness - also share a solidarity with one another. We work together in many ways and our collective consciousness is what allows this to happen.


Emile Durkheim was a prominent French sociologist who sought to understand how societies and groups could come together and maintain social order even though each individual is unique. Durkheim came to believe that at a societal level, people's beliefs, values, and knowledge add together to form the collective consciousness, which he defined as a shared way of thinking or understanding the world. He believed that collective consciousness was necessary for explaining how society exists since it binds it together and is produced by the people themselves. Durkheim thus believed that society exists due to individuals having this collective consciousness.


The collective consciousness, popularized by French sociologist Emile Durkheim, refers to a set of common values, attitudes, beliefs and knowledge that are shared within a society or organization. The collective consciousness is larger and greater than individual consciousness, since it is above and beyond the individual. Durkheim formulated this sociological concept during the rapid industrialization of the 19th century where he saw how individuals came together to form a whole despite having several unique characteristics. He saw that mechanical solidarity was produced from the collective consciousness of individuals who bonded together based on religion, values, and rituals. This was different from what he saw in more advanced societies, whereby individuals relied on the society, and vice versa, in addition to the division of labor, which he termed organic solidarity. If the society suffered from certain disruptions, which he termed anomie, it would result in the breakdown of the society.


The theory of collective consciousness originated in a book Durkheim wrote called The Division of Labor in Society in 1893. A little context: Durkheim was writing about the emergence of industrialized societies, which marked a turn from more simplistic, or to use Durkheim's word, 'primitive,' forms of society to more complex ones.


Durkheim notes that collective consciousness emerges in both primitive and modern societies, but in different ways. Remember at the beginning of the lecture when we mentioned the word solidarity? This is key to collective consciousness, and Durkheim wrote about two different types of solidarity.


But the story is a little different for more complex societies. Here, when there are far more divisions in the society, we need something a little more than mechanical solidarity to develop a collective consciousness.


In complex societies, a number of different social institutions contribute to maintaining a collective consciousness. This includes religion, but also politics, the media, schools, families, and the economy.


Collective consciousness exists as something larger than the individuals who make up a society. It can span generations and it encapsulates things that most people in society have in common. But this doesn't mean that individuals aren't important. People are key to internalizing shared beliefs and then reproducing them or passing them along.


Think about the last time you went to a wedding, or any time you've seen a wedding portrayed in movies or on TV. What was the bride wearing? Most likely, a white gown. Rituals like weddings are important to confirming our collective consciousness. They serve to reinforce our beliefs and traditions about certain things, like marriage and gender.


Let's take a different approach. Think about crime. According to Durkheim, when someone commits a crime they are violating a sense of collective consciousness. They are acting in a way that is morally against what most people hold to be appropriate behavior.


Sociologist Emile Durkheim's theory of collective consciousness seeks to explain why certain values, traditions, and beliefs are constant across a society. In primitive societies, there is a reliance on religion, ritual, and shared beliefs to hold the community together. Durkheim called this 'mechanical solidarity'. In more advanced societies, individuals rely on each other, and there are a complex network of different social institutions that contribute to maintaining the community. This is known as 'organic solidarity'. 041b061a72


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