Solidarity is a concept that we can understand from different angles. At first glance, one might think that this is an essential value that all human beings inherently share. This can be seen through the support of others which is given through words and actions.
On the other hand, solidarity can involve empathy with those who are similar to the group to which the subject belongs, but at the same time it can involve overcoming differences, connecting with people of ethnicity, social class or of different nationality, among others. characteristics. .
Then, an exploration of the history of this concept will be carried out and we will see what are the different types of solidarity that we can observe in everyday life.
What is solidarity?
The concept of solidarity begins to develop from the legal field in moral and social philosophy. Various philosophers have worked around this concept, such as Cicero, Aristotle, the Stoics, the scholastic tradition, Rosseau, the English school of the ethics of sympathy, among others.
Solidarity has a fundamental origin linked to the law, with the concept in solidum, that is, the legal obligation of a relationship where all debtors must answer for the debt or commitment they have contracted. From this concept, the nature of solidarity begins to be revealed, where everyone is responsible for the individual and where the individual is responsible for all. One could think then that solidarity expresses two things at the same time: the union and the bond between the persons and the reciprocal individual responsibility for each one and for the whole.
The concept of solidarity was also studied by author Peter Kropotkin, who said that solidarity arises in the midst of the context of cooperation in societies, which is essential for the survival of any society and species. For this author, solidarity is a fundamental component of mutual aid. For the author, solidarity is not something that arises from the desire for revenge but from an instinctive desire to help others.
However, one of the main influencers in the development of this concept was David Émile Durkheim, which makes it possible to understand that solidarity is ambiguous in two senses: on the one hand, it is a social fact, on the other hand it can be conceived as an ideological aspiration.
This concept of solidarity goes beyond the traditional notion of the concept as something which is demonstrated by actions and words, also being something which is necessary to maintain society and which can be seen reflected in actions and moments. in which one might think that solidarity itself does not exist, for example, in thefts, murders or acts of corruption. These actions and moments make it possible to make visible the real principles that generate cohesion within society and for which we want to work.
The most important forms of solidarity
Durkheim’s development of the concept of solidarity allows us to understand different types of solidarity which will be explored below.
1. Mechanical solidarity
This type of solidarity could be classified as progressive. Part of identifying with others is that it’s usually developed.
It usually occurs in the midst of small communities that share similar characteristics, such as ethnicity, religion, social class or culture.
It can be considered as a very old form of solidarity although it is still found in the context of modern communities, being the basis of solidarity within the family or in contexts shared by several people. This type of solidarity is more linked to the classification of solidarity as a fact.
An example of this concept is found in farming communities, where there are no major differences between people and where the same social fabric is configured according to affinities. In this type of society, there would be no possibility of marginalization, and if it existed, it would be minimal.
2. Organic solidarity
This kind of solidarity is visible in cooperation and is posterior to the social division of labor. This concept is related to the arrangement of various organs which act for the overall functioning of a system. This kind of solidarity is more related to the ideological dimension of the concept, because social integration and cooperation between different people in the midst of differences after overcoming the differences works as a moral ideal.
An example of this type of solidarity can be found among the societies in which people have specialized in a particular way in specific tasks which are performed and which contribute to the well-being of others, for example, people may work as teachers, government officials, engineers, security guards, or healthcare professionals within the same company, who mutually contribute to the well-being of other people who may not share most common characteristics. with each other but belonging to the same company.
This type of solidarity can be seen as characteristic in societies where the community-building social media characteristic of mechanical society has been overcome.
3. Social solidarity
This type of solidarity could be considered as derived from the notion of solidarity developed by Kropotkin. in relation to a human’s natural tendency to help others instinctively and without the pursuit of any other kind of interest.
Esta puede ser visible en la formación de comunidades religiosas y sociales cuya principal misión está enfocada en la colaboración a otras personas que no tienen características similares, como el caso de la comunidad menonita que ha buscado mediar en medio de diferentes conflictos armionados des internos oarracados in the world.
Why is it socially important to promote solidarity between people?
On the basis of the various problems presented today in relation to racism, xenophobia, homophobia and internal armed conflicts suffered by various countries, the importance of the value of solidarity for today’s society emerges.
Solidarity becomes an element that manifests itself through actions that contribute to the well-being of people with whom similar characteristics are shared, but It is also starting to be visible to the extent that it works for the well-being of people who do not necessarily share characteristics. with us from actions that arise from our daily and professional tasks, as well as on other occasions this solidarity emerges voluntarily towards people or situations in which it appears “innate”.
The issue of solidarity is growing in importance in contexts such as the conflict in places like Afghanistan today and the international response to it. This kind of situation makes it possible to think the approaches of Durkheim, who establishes that the critical situations which occur in the companies make it possible to help the principles which govern them or towards which they are ideally directed, in this case a principle of solidarity.
Solidarity We also see it in the midst of the creation of social groups that seek mutual protection of their members. that they were affected by specific conditions in which the assignments were similar for the subjects; for example in the case of workers who have been affected by the same regimes in companies, or people who have undergone similar treatment because of their ethnic origin, culture or sexual orientation.
In these cases, solidarity functions as mutual support and a means of generating well-being between them to maintain themselves in hostile contexts, thus giving rise to the potential development of collectives and social movements.
The theme of solidarity also acquires importance in bioethics, where solidarity not only extends to human beings but also begins to include animals and plants, reinforcing the importance of treatment based on the Kantian principle. This concept would also be broadened around the human being, thus being one of the pillars of this field today. Some people who have worked around bioethics today underline its importance insofar as it allows to focus on the human being as a person and on his dignity, it allows him to place himself in the place of the other and in their own suffering and experience, emphasizing the importance of linking solidarity to the responsibility that one has in front of others.
Another of the important ways by which solidarity could be identified and its importance underlined today is in the context of the Covid pandemic, where the development of various actions of solidarity is necessary, which can range from the development of personal practices of individual isolation to avoid contagion of close people, as can manifest itself at a much more general level in the context of international collaboration to comply with the vaccination of the world population.
Check our related article here: lee baucom review