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Iraq War form Durkhemian Theory

             The contemporary political life can well be accounted for using thinking and fundamental insights of various ideas within the public sphere.  The dialogic exchange understanding and the theories of structuralism proponents can help us get meaning of various current happening is in modern day society. This paper will examine Durkhemian theory and how it can be interpreted and applied in the study of the Iraq war. Durkeheim claims that the life in a given society is in a way ritualized and the social life is lived as a collective moralized conscience.  Also the world according to the theorist is profane and sacred and provides an action that is wellspring.

 Since the Vietnam War, the 2003 invasion of Iraq by United States highly cost the country in the use of the armed forces. Various analytical perspectives like elite interests, cultural, social and psychological, realism and liberalism can be examined in America’s decision to invade Iraq. David Emile Durkeim was a French sociologist. He used the psychological point of view to interpret the social life.  He is well known for is structural functionalism which form the foundation of his anthropological and anthropological perspective (Collins, 1994, pp 23).

 [1] Social Solidarities

On his perspective of crime, he saw as a relation of various social tensions which have a purging and clashing effect to the society. Social solidarities are formed with the creation of labor division.  This is mainly for economic development of individuals in among people in the society. To prevent conflict, well set terms should be placed describing the responsibilities of each party for the common interest of all. For a durable relation, states in the world see it necessary to develop conditions that support cooperation.  This can be well exemplified in the requirement of Iraq to adhere to the requirements of the United Nations to disarm and abandon its Weapons of Maas Destruction MD program. 

 This shows that the United Nation body as expected duties and rules to be followed by all the nations of the world. But when nations refused to perform its expected duties it leads to difficulty and conflicts.  This is because interest’s solidarity is well supported by division of labor. The refusal of Iraq to end its nuclear, biological, and chemical technologies meant going against its duties. The US resolved to force Iraq in April 1991 to abandon the program of WMD and the country was to be regularly inspected and destroy its stockpiles. International teams were given this responsibility. Iraq at first allowed the role of the international teams to inspect its stock but later denied the access for inspectors and made restrictive condition on where and when a place would be inspected. The then President Clinton considered the necessary use of force to Iraq to adhere to the UN expectations.

 The terrorist attack of US on September 11, 2001 became evident that more Cleary defined roles had to be put in place to prevent future terrorism and to prevent Iraq’s WMD program. This shows Durkemias’ tradition that it is necessary to take up obligations which were not there before to foster cooperation of varying parties.

 [2] Division of labor

Competitions leads to estranged and isolated individual and leads to parties growing further apart, but the division of labor brings unity among members of a given society who share the spirit of solidarity. Countries which have extreme density of its population, leads its inhabitants to temporarily and permanently residing in other countries. There is always no clear demarcation for division of labor and what needs to be done is to constantly communicate. This is because social life is always wrong and there is need of judicial laws to make things in order.

 The Durkenaian theory on division of labor can well be exemplified in the Iraq war. In the countries quest to define its position in the world and fulfill its social needs and sentiments, it went outside the whole division of labor based on the community’s sentiments and beliefs.  Its failure to cooperate to international laws depicts the country’s hunger to define and place its position in the world.  There is nothing like autonomous individuals according to Durkaheim because people are preprogrammed to be submissive to social rules living to perform a pre determined function.  This forms the social and moral life of individuals in a given society. This forms the moral sentiments among the Iraq community.  The individuals are solitarily to cooperate in aspects that define the moral and truth of their lives.

 [3] Individual & Collective Life

Iraq is a smaller society than the US. Iraq places everyone at the same condition and in a collective environment.  The same character represents the consciousness of the people and is related to the things that are within their environment.  Large societies on the other hand are spread over a surface that is vast. The United States of America is a vast society and many general things are not common in the diverse environment. Individuality is replaced by a collective consciousness in a small society like Iraq. Seen in the bumbling of the US, we can view the collective consciousness of the terrorists to sacrifice their lives to fulfill the collective thought of the Iraq society. 

Iraq which is mainly an Islamic community believes in Jihad which is concept that states that for one to go to heaven you most kill and sacrifice your life. This is a form of a social defined ritual or a totem which holds the people of Iraq together and an aspect which define them. Just like any other lower society, Iraq has predetermined way of living which has well set details of how people culture such as dressing, eating, and language to be followed by the people. 

 A civilized society like the US has the tendency to be logical and rational. This society is constantly affected by primitive societies with their bizarre, and fortuitous of their heterogeneous elements. Every society transforms the characteristics nature of individuals.  This is why the deferring of the Iraqis and the US supported by the UK and other nations had conflicted over the differing view points leading to the Iraq war.   In the understanding of individuals and societies aspects such as social density, interpretation rituals and degree, and social capital are examined.

 [4] Rituals & Symbols Fundamental

The divine mind of a people in a given society is the power that controls them. Islam religion came under great controversies especially after the 9/11 attack carried out by radical Islamic al-Qaeda organization. This shows how religion has the power to make people submit to its rules and conducts even when they are contrary to fundamental instincts and inclinations.  This is a form of social pressure that influences   men to carry out actions outside themselves. A ritual is carried out in societies with extremely high social density and in primitive tribes with taboos which define their political and religious rituals.  This is exemplified in Iraq’s bomb attack of the US that triggered the war.


Collins, R (1994) four sociological traditions Edition2, Publisher Oxford University Press, pp 23


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