A. Javier Trevino Defines Collective Conscience

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    • 00:09

      [COLLECTIVE RATIONALISM]

    • 00:10

      A JAVIER TREVINO: I think another important conceptin sociology is this notion of the collective consciencethat Emile Durkheim first proposed.Durkheim was very interested in issues of morality.In fact, he felt that society is onlypossible because of morality.Morality, when we think about that,we think about issues of what we can or cannot do,

    • 00:31

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: what we should or should not do.The collective conscience, or conscience collectivein French, the way that Durkheim would have proposedit can be translated into English in two ways.One is as a consciousness, a higher awareness,of the environment by the collective, by the group,by people in community.

    • 00:52

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: So they have a higher awareness of what'shappening in their community.I think I prefer the second translation, whichis collective conscience.Now, when we think about the conscience,we usually think that of the conscience of the individual.And what is the conscience do for us?Well, it tells us the difference between right and wrong.And when we violate our conscience,

    • 01:12

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: I guess we experience guilt. But the idea hereis that it tells us what we should or shouldn't do.So in the larger context of the grouping, the community,the society, all societies have a collective conscience.Now, the larger the society, the more complexthe social structure.The more diverse the society, the weakerthe collective conscience will be.

    • 01:34

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: A society that's smaller, that's more homogeneous in termsof demographic factors, people who are alike,have a stronger and more pervasivecollective conscience.So by way of example, let me take the Amish society.So when we're talking about Amish society,we're talking about people who are basicallyon the same page in terms of their values, their moralities

    • 01:56

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: and the rules.They know the do's and the don'ts.They know what's expected of themin this small Amish community.So there's very little deviance, verylittle departure from the expectations of that society.The collective conscience is very strong.So the group is first and foremost.The individual is secondary.In a larger metropolitan society, very diverse,

    • 02:18

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: where you find people of different backgrounds,and languages, ethnicities, and religions, and races,there is still a morality there, to be sure.But the collective conscious is weaker,because there's more diversity of opinion, more values thatare competing with one another.So people even in a big city like Chicago or New York

    • 02:40

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: can still have their moral sensibilities offended.Consider, for instance, September 11, 2001.People are shocked.This is something that is unexpected.Even New Yorkers can be shocked.But it's much more difficult to do so.When you have a diverse society like you

    • 03:01

      A JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: do in New York City, or Los Angeles, or Chicago,people tend to have more tolerance of diversity.So much more is accepted.And deviance has a much wider connotation.

A. Javier Trevino Defines Collective Conscience

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Abstract

Professor A. Javier Trevino explains collective conscience in two ways. First is a group awareness by members of a community. Second is a shared morality by members of a community. Shared morality is strongest in relatively homogeneous communities.

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A. Javier Trevino Defines Collective Conscience

Professor A. Javier Trevino explains collective conscience in two ways. First is a group awareness by members of a community. Second is a shared morality by members of a community. Shared morality is strongest in relatively homogeneous communities.

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