• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Emile Durkheim - suicide

Extracts from this document...


Emile Durkheim was a sociologist who contributed a lot in sociology. His major studies were the study of social facts, division of labor, study of suicide and elementary forms of religious life. Durkheim was more focus on society than the actions of individuals. He separated sociology from philosophy, and he claimed that sociology is always studied through experiment, investigation and empirically. Moreover, he separated sociology and psychology too. He claimed that sociology is an external constrain rather then an internal drive. He used social facts to describe society phenomenon and claimed that society can only be explained by social facts. He thought that phenomena is not bounded to the action of individuals. He used to think scientifically and he set up a theory from science's view. Durkheim had four major studies. First, he thought that social facts can only explained by social facts. He studied material social facts and non material social facts. Material social facts is directly observable, such as, population and legal codes. The non-material social facts is moral forces that are at least equally external to individuals, such as, values and norms. Morality is intimately related to the social structure and the moral health of modern society. Moreover, collective conscience is a general structure of shared understandings, and beliefs. ...read more.


He thought that suicide is regular, predictable and cannot be explained by individual factors. He claimed that suicide and morality are social facts and can be explained by other social facts. For example, suicide can be explained by suicide rates. Thus the reason of suicide exists in society can be explained and predicted by morality. If the standard of social morality is high, that means the restriction of society and people are high. In durkheim's suicide, reasons for suicide can be divided into two causes, social integration and social regulation. Social integration is an internal commitment to a practice. For this one, individual is integrated either poorly or excessively into society, such as religion and political condition. Social regulation is an external constraint to individuals of morality. Individuals' passion or activity is either none or extremely regulated by society. He also brought out four types of suicide, egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic suicide. In egoistic suicides, people are for own individual interest only and they are excessive individualism, which means they tended to kill themselves for their own interest. This kind of suicide usually resulted from weak collective conscience with a low social integration society and the society is tented to emphasis on individual rights and welfare. ...read more.


Durkheim hold to the organic solidarity argument and the non-reduction of social being to the individual but see Comte's theory as insufficient to the task of classifying and demarcating the particular elements of social being. Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher. There was a largely different between Durkheim and Spencer, for example, Durkheim disputes Spencer by claiming that if the social intervention is on the rise, the legal obligations which society imposes on its member will becoming more complex. Wilheim Wundt, one of the founding figures of modern psychology and he was regarded as the father of experimental psychology. Durkheim learnt the investigation of science from him. However, Durkheim was also affected by social and political factors. For example, The Dreyfus Affair in 1890's-1900's was related to the social morality. He helped an innocent Jews to appeal. It was a case of how the low social morality affected the society. The industrial revolutions also affected his point of view in division of labour. To sum up, Durkheim was a pioneer of the study of sociology. He contributed many ideas to sociology. There are some theories still can be applied into modern society. For example, the study of division of labour and suicide. His analysis was focused in society but not individuals. He also published rules of the sociological method which helped others sociologists to analysis and develop their study and theory. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Can and should sociology be a science?

    Interpretivists believes that sociology must produce interpretive understanding in-depth methods. The fact that sociology should not be a science is strengthen by Thomas Khun's concept of ideological paradigm. This is a fixed or set of belief that most of the community believes that is true and therefore interprets all scientific findings from that viewpoint.

  2. Assess the causes and consequences of changes in the UK population

    The Griffiths Report (1988) on the care of the elderly saw that the growing numbers of elderly people meant that society faced a problem of meeting costs for the health and social care of the support. Also there have been concerns of the 'pension's time bomb' which fears how society will cope with meeting the cost of providing pensions for the elderly.


    This is an advantage because many people do not know the past causes for their abnormal behaviour. And for many people getting rid of undesirable behaviour may be more important than understanding the causes of such behaviour. For example, a client with an irrational compulsion to wash his hands unnecessarily

  2. Corrupt Societies

    But it's not just the technology that has changed. Our perception of the world, the role we play in it and how that role has changed. Attitudes have changed and there is a difference between how people relate to each other. Both novels Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

  1. An investigation into people(TM)s belief about Hell

    According to those such as Wilson, the decline in the belief in Hell allows people to exercise their free will as they no longer feel afraid of eternal punishment for their wrongdoings. This consequently allows them to conduct their lives in the way that they want.

  2. Race or religion? The impact of religion on the employment and earnings of Britain's ...

    The insignificance of the British-born non-white variable might be thought to indicate that the labour market situation of second-generation non-white migrants has fully assimilated to that of British-born whites, on average (following Heath and McMahon 1997, and Leslie et al.

  1. Life in the Orange Prison

    At first I struggled hard, as I lacked the means of communication. But eventually the language was programmed into my head and subconsciously I became a fluent English speaker. As I have mentioned, there was another part of my childhood which was even gloomier than day school.

  2. Identify and briefly describe the discriminatory practices for each case study

    to go to bed whenever they wish although the evening staff put a lot of pressure on the residents to go to bed when the staff wants them to. This is against what the residential states and the residents should be aloud to attend bed when the please like the unit says.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work