collective conscience


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collective conscience

the shared beliefs and associated moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within a society As used especially by DURKHEIM, the term particularly refers to simpler societies based on mechanical solidarity, in which the DIVISION OF LABOUR is not advanced. In more complex societies, according to Durkheim, a shared collective conscience becomes less important, and social solidarity is based at least in part on reciprocity rather than likeness (see MECHANICAL AND ORGANIC SOLIDARITY). See also COLLECTIVE REPRESENTATION.
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