Emile Durkheim Suicide Summary

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Throughout history, suicide has not only been seen as a sin, a crime, and more recent, as a result of a disease. Nonetheless, there is more to just committing such act, there are societies, social factors that influence and push individuals to take their lives. The book, Suicide: A Study in Sociology by Emile Durkheim examines suicide and its social causes. With this in mind Durkheim makes the claim that in order to understand suicide we have to understand the social factors that lead individuals to such actions. Durkheim, in this book is trying to show us that the likelihood of someone committing suicide is based on social factors that surround the society they belong to. Throughout the pages, Durkheim demonstrates that suicide results from the different levels of regulation and integration of an individual to …show more content…
Through statistical analysis and comparison across different locations and different time periods, Durkheim made the claim that Protestant had a higher suicidal rate when compared to Catholics and Jews. Nonetheless, just focusing on Protestants and Catholics, Durkheim states, "the only essential difference between Catholicism and Protestantism -- is that the second one permits free inquiry to a far greater degree than the first (157). Therefore, through the lenses of Protestantism, Durkheim suggests that it is the freedom of the individuals that generates fewer common beliefs and practices. Therefore, it is the factor of free inquiry that does not allow unity, rather accepts differences, and it is this that results in a less integrated organization, which can lead to suicide. Nonetheless, Durkheim shows that religion protects man from suicide "because it is a society,” it is one institution that keeps individuals aligned, therefore, the stronger the connections, the stronger the integration, the ties, and the less likely someone will be to commit

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