Analysis Of Heat Wave By Emile Durkheim Essay

832 Words Sep 29th, 2016 4 Pages
Durkheimian Analysis of Heat Wave
Six hundred and fifty-eight. This is the number of American citizens who suffer from heat-related deaths each year.1 To put that into perspective, it is coincidentally the exact number of students suffering in Virginia Tech’s air-condition-lacking Slusher Residence Hall.2 During the summer of 1995, Chicago was hit with one of the deadliest heat waves on record. In the nine-day span of July 12 to 20, more than seven-hundred weather-related deaths were recorded.3 Through research for his 2002 book, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, Eric Klinenberg discovered a direct connection between a neighborhood’s poverty level and heat-related body count.4 This realization opens the door for an even greater sociological analysis of this disaster involving social integration and social regulation.
A little over a century ago, Émile Durkheim published Le Suicide: an in-depth analysis of the sociological aspects behind suicide. In this work, Durkheim coined the terms social integration and social regulation. The theory of social integration claims the degree by which individuals are integrated into social groups vary by each said group. His analysis explained that the higher level of social integration, the lower the egoistic suicide rate. An example of social isolation increasing suicide rate was best described by the aggregation of Durkheim’s research: Protestant communities had a higher level of suicide. He claimed this higher rate was…

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