Rethinking Durkheim's Social Regulation. Theoretical Reconstruction, Indicators and Empirical Test.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Seminar 34 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Jacek BIELINSKI, Institute of Sociology, Collegium Civitas, Poland
The goal of this paper is to reconstruct and empirically test Emile Durkheim's social regulation theory. I conclude that Durkheim only casually treated that part of his theory which refers to oppressive regulation. This contributed to confusion and ambiguity in the concept of anomie. Reconstruction of Durkheim’s theory involves such modalities of social regulation as under-regulation (chronic and acute progressive anomie) and over-regulation (severe fatalism and alienation, chronic fatalism).

Empirical analyses are based on data from a survey conducted by TNS in 2011 on a representative sample of Polish population over 15 years of age. The sample size was 1005 respondents.

Using structural equation models, I demonstrate that reconstructed Durkheim’s theory is well reflected in empirical data. The estimated CFA model of Durkheim’s theory shows that the observable variables correspond with latent constructs accordingly to theoretical predictions.

The second-order factors - anomie and fatalism - served as dependent variables in the formulated regression models. The investigation has shown a correlation between individual-level social regulation disturbances and respondents position in the social structure (age, rural-urban place of residence, social-occupational position, legitimacy of the political system, assessment of one’s own material situation, etc.).