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Durkheimian Industrial Sociology. Social solidarity through normative consensus The ‘division of labour’ as a source of ‘organic’ solidarity The maintenance of solidarity through ritual expressions of shared identity

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durkheimian industrial sociology

Durkheimian Industrial Sociology

Social solidarity through normative consensus

The ‘division of labour’ as a source of ‘organic’ solidarity

The maintenance of solidarity through ritual expressions of shared identity

Workplace game playing/rule breaking/fiddles as (formal) deviance that, nevertheless, creates cross-group solidarity (games as rituals).

formal groups
Formal Groups

Group of workers intentionally created as part of company policy either as a permanent part of the organisational structure (e.g. Quality Circles) or a temporary means of problem solving (e.g. Task teams)

informal group
Informal Group

More or less spontaneous development of a shared identity among a group of workers based on either physical proximity and/or shared interests (work and non-work related).

Typically group formation is associated with the development of distinctive norms, values rewards/sanctions, goals.

re e.g. Banana Time; ‘making out’

legitimating the fiddle
Legitimating the fiddle
  • Anonymous or institutional victim
  • Extension of work skills
  • Exchange of goods and favours rather than money
  • Limited by norms




The exchange of gifts is either regarded as a method of creating and reinforcing binding social relationships or as an exhibition of superior wealth

Source: Penguin Dictionary of Sociology

douglas group grid modification of durkheim s suicide 1
Douglas Group –Grid modification of Durkheim’s ‘Suicide’ 1

GROUP = Degree of integration among workers

GRID = Degree of coordination of group into other networks

work place groups are:

more (hi) or less (lo) internally coordinated;

more (hi) or less (lo) interlinked

douglas group grid modification of durkheim s suicide 2
Douglas Group –Grid modification of Durkheim’s ‘Suicide’2

Hi Grid: Lo GroupFatalistic. Experience of being subject to uncontrollable external forces e.g. slaves.

Lo Grid: Lo GroupEgoism Prioritisation of the interests of the individual. Absence of externally set limits on behaviour e.g. Protestants, free-thinkers

Hi Grid: Hi GroupAltruistic Trivialisation of the significance of personal survival in favour of the interests of the group e.g. soldiers

Lo Grid Hi GroupAnomic Absence of coherent or applicable or shared norms e.g. migrants, those experiencing sudden wealth, sudden poverty.

mars typology of workplace theft taken from douglas taken from durkheim
Mars typology of workplace theft(taken from Douglas, taken from Durkheim)
  • DONKEY (fatalistic) Isolated from co-workers: subject to close external control; e.g. cash-out workers. Theft as ‘revenge’
  • HAWK (egoistic) Isolated from co-workers: independent of external control e.g. travelling salesmen, direct sales workers. Theft as ‘perk’; demonstration of ingenuity and independence
  • VULTURE (anomic) Integrated with co-workers: independent of external/internal control, e.g. restaurant workers. Theft as ‘opportunistic compensation’.
  • WOLF (altruistic) Integrated with co-workers: incorporated into internal system of control e.g. dockers, bin-men. Theft as collectively organised expression of ‘power and solidarity’.

Source: Mars, G. ‘Cheats at Work’