ESSAY ON: Analysis of Emile Durkheim’s “Suicide: A Study in Sociology” Using Primary and Secondary Sources

Number of Pages 10

This research paper: This is a 10 page paper discussing Emile Durkheim’s text “Suicide: A Study in Sociology”. Emile Durkheim’s text “Suicide: A Study in Sociology” (1897) was considered one of the first studies in the social sciences which used a purely scientific and methodological approach to study a social phenomenon. Suicide, for the large part, previously was considered an individual act focused upon mainly by psychologists. Durkheim however related the individual act of suicide to the cohesiveness or imbalance within society. According to Durkheim, during the age of industrialization throughout the 1800s, the incidence of suicides increased as a result of the demise of the traditional social institutions such as the church and social guilds which could not be replaced by the goals of wealth and the division of labor. Suicides were the result of an imbalance of two major social forces: social integration and moral regulation. Durkheim’s focus on the influence of social forces on the individual was highly controversial during his time as it undermined the concepts of “free will and individual moral agency”. Nevertheless, Durkheim managed to establish sociology and the social sciences as one of the major areas of study within France and his theories and methods are still considered significant in contemporary sociology, more than a century later. Bibliography lists 6 sources.


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