David Emil Durkheim and the Social Causes of Suicide

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David Emil Durkheim is a renowned sociologist and also France’s first professor of sociology. Born on 15th, April in France, he successfully advocated for sociology to be recognized as an academic discipline. He did his first recognizable work titled ‘The division of labor in society’ in 1893 and then started the first European department sociology in a university in his homeland of France. David Durkheim's main concern was to try and understand how communities could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern era where common religions and ethnic backgrounds were stumbling blocks. He went ahead and developed many other sociology theories and arguments until his death in 1917. Some of his famous published work includes social stratification, sociology of knowledge, deviance and religion. But one of the most outstanding and fascinating of his work is suicide which was published in 1897 (Calhoun, 2002). How Durkheim was able to show the social causes of suicide. Durkheim compares the suicide rates among different categories of people both in individual levels and in the community at large. He treats suicide as a social fact explaining its occurrence by the use of social facts like; lack of group attachment and lack of behavior regulation. In personal perspective he argued that suicide is a personal act that involves personal psychology and purely individual thoughts. His explanations on suicide were partly hindered by unavailability of very precise or complete statistical data. He went ahead and described suicide as caused by factors like climate, race, mental illness, hereditary and imitation (Sociology 250, 1999). Durkheim was able to show the social cause of suicide by observing and studying on varying socia... ... middle of paper ... ...ciologytwynham/suicide-presentation-927179 Durkheim Emile. Emile Durkheim on suicide. Retrieved from: http://www2.uvawise.edu/pww8y/Soc/-Theorists/Durkheim/Suicide.html Eskenazi Karin, (2009). Largest ever study of suicide in the military. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/157916.php Evans, (2011). Suicide causes and motivations. Retrieved from: http://www.crimescenecleanup.com/Suicide_Causes_and_Motivations.html Hassan Riaz, (1996). Social factors in suicide in Australia. Retrieved from: http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/4/9/0/%7B490EDFD9-212E-414F-B4E5-F3DA8A6D0413%7Dti52.pdf Kushner Howard I & Sterk Claire E, (2005). The limit of social capital. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449331/ Sociology 250, (1999). Social facts and suicide. Retrieved from: http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/o26f99.htm

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