Class 16. Emile Durkheim 2.docx

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Durkheim 2 Suicide
Suicide = Self-Destruction
Everyone was writing about self preservation so he thought why not write
about self-destruction
Social Fact
If you want to do sociology you need a social fact.
They have to be studied as things, realities external to the individual
He wants to studied things that are only able to be studied sociologically
How can we explain things like marriage? Relationships? Why is marriage
different in certain cultures, and certain periods of time? If all of these
institutions are just a manifestation of a psychological need of the people
within the marriage, then there is no need to study it through sociology
because it is a psychology institution
The individual is dominated by collected reality (society) and shaped by
social facts
These social institutions are not ineffective ideological arrangements (going
against Marx thought social institutions, were manifestations of the
economic reality)
There can be different motives, but considering the motive is not really
relative when defining it, you will never fully know the persons motive
Ex. the soldier goes into dangerous operation over the trench first knowing
he will die. The martyr dies for religious purposes. The mother dies for
her child
The act is carried out with the full knowledge the individual will die
Suicide is: “a case of death which results directly or indirectly from a positive
or negative act carried out by the victim knowing it will produce this result”
How can we fully understand what drives someone to this outcome?
Every moment in history in each society, has a certain tendency to commit
Collected data from all types of European countries on cases of death to
determine suicide rates etc.
Every society has suicidal currents they correspond to the 3 types
Different Types of Suicide
Egoistic Suicide involves a level of detachment from a group (groups where
the individual is given more freedom, Protestants is more free than other
religions), religious differences (higher rates in Catholicism than Judaism
etc.). The difference is not about doctrine, not that some religions are more
accepting, it is about the social reality the religion creates for the individuals
actions. Educational achievement (higher levels of education have higher
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