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Suicide by Emile Durkheim

Suicide (1897)

by Emile Durkheim

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SUMMARY: This is a groundbreaking study in Sociology by notable functionalist, Émile Durkheim. The book addresses suicide and its social causes and argues that suicide is the result of a lack of social integration into society. Suicide also provides psychological explanations and practical applications of the impact of suicide on victims, family members and society.

NOTES: I read this book for my advanced sociological theory class. I enjoyed it, but I've always found Durkheim's writing style to be very dense, which can be draining. Pushing aside the obvious methodological flaws in his study, this study is interesting and very influential for the field of sociology. ( )
  BrandiMR | Jan 19, 2011 |
Professor David Downes has chosen to discuss Emile Durkheim’s Suicide: A Study in Sociology, on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject -Crime and Punishment, saying that: 

“…Durkheim focuses on the ‘non-contractual elements in contract’ – trust, integrity and moral obligations – as the prime source of social cohesion in economic relations. Elementary sociology but ignored by, or unknown to economists, for whom Durkheim should be compulsory reading. Feral bankers are a far greater threat to civil peace than feral children.…
This is a great taproot for modern theories of crime in the anomie tradition, anomie being a state lacking social and moral cohesion. It was Durkheim who, in this book, did most to establish sociology as a subject in its own right, by showing how suicide, that supremely individual act, varied in relation to social pressures. He stressed the pursuit of ‘infinite aspirations’ as generating higher rates of anomic suicide, due to the weakening of moral regulation in the wake of economic boom as well as slump. Suicide also rose as social bonds weakened due to ‘egoism’ – there is a higher suicide rate in Protestant countries than there is in Catholic ones. And, counter-intuitively, the rate falls when social integration strengthens, as in time of war. His theories of crime, deviance and control are intensely relevant today in the midst of financial crisis following the crash of 2008....” 

The full interview is available here: http://fivebooks.com/interviews/david-downes ( )
  FiveBooks | Apr 8, 2010 |
  dianapassy | Dec 24, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684836327, Paperback)

One of Durkheim's most important works, serving as a model in social theory.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Classic sociological work, first published in Paris in 1897.

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