Development of Individualism in Chinese Legislation and Social Solidarity : A Durkheimian Approach

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The concept of individualism plays an important role in Durkheim’s work of sociology. He viewed the rise of individualism as an indicator to reflect a society’s development. When a society develops, collective consciousness leaves more room to the development of individualism. Durkheim also argues that when society evolves, the predominance of different types of social solidarity changes. Durkheim developed his theory of using law as an external index to observe the changes of society. This paper applies Durkheim’s approach in Chinese society and through examining the changes of individualism in Chinese legislation it concludes that individualism develops rapidly in Chinese society, reflected by the increasing focus on individuals and more protection of individual rights in both repressive and restitutive laws. This paper also argues that to avoid the occurrence of anomie, when individualism develops, more proper rules and laws should be developed accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-360
Number of pages22
JournalAthens journal of law
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Individualism
  • legislation
  • Durkheim
  • Solidarity
  • China


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