A term, meaning ‘collective conscience’, used by Émile Durkheim to define the beliefs and feelings that are common to members of a society. The collective conscience of a people or population is defined by its social and cultural context, and can vary from region to region, and within regions themselves. Irish and Scottish Catholics following football in industrial Manchester, England, would follow the United club once a tradition of affiliation was established. So the collective conscience might not be the same for all of a complex and fragmented society. Durkheim therefore saw new forms of social and cultural organization—though he showed no interest in sport—such as the firm or the corporation as new forms of dispersed, but nevertheless mutually reinforcing collective conscience.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.