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Social disintegration is the tendency for society to decline or disintegrate over time, perhaps[original research?] due to the lapse or breakdown of traditional social support systems. In this context, "society" refers to the social order which maintains a society, rather than the political order that defines its boundaries. Society in the sociological sense is not the same as a country.
Integration and disintegration
The theoretical origins of this idea lie with Émile Durkheim and Ferdinand Tönnies. In the work of both researchers, one can see a division into two types of social integration, corresponding to two historical phases:
- First arrives a primitive integration, based on likeness and intimate interaction, which Durkheim called mechanical solidarity and Tönnies labelled Gemeinschaft
- Second arises a more complex and modern integration based on abstracted interdependence, known as organic solidarity or Gesellschaft
Those who espouse social disintegration beliefs[who?] tend to doubt the integrative capacity of organic solidarity, claiming that if it is not based on primordial ties and relationships, it is fabricated. On the other hand, optimists[which?] might argue that new complex forms of integration can emerge, for example through new communal forms of identity formation or through economic interdependence. There is also social disintegration that is attributable to economic integration.)
- Social cohesion
- Social contract
- Social solidarity
- Societal collapse
- The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler
- Urban decay
- Munck, Ronaldo (2005). Globalization And Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective. Kumarian Press. p. 41. ISBN 9781565491922. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
It is an apparent paradox of globalization that the increasing global economic integration that it creates leads more to social disintegration rather than to social integration. Economic organizations become more 'disembedded' from social relations and the welfare safety nets that once prevented social disintegration become less effective or token only. This is similar to the process Polanyi described for the Industrial Revolution that led to 'an avalanche of social dislocation.... This catastrophe was the accompaniment of a vast movement of economic improvement' (Polyani 1957, 40).