Pop Quiz- “Practical Consequences” by Emile Durkheim
True or False?
1. According to Durkheim, suicide is normal. (p.363)
2. An increasing rate of suicide is the inevitable price of progress. (p.368)
3. Moral penalties- such as refusing a regular burial to people who commit suicide – would
reduce the suicide rate. (p.371)
4. In modern society, the altruistic form of suicide is disappearing. (p.373)
5. As a new barrier against suicide, Durkheim proposes the corporation. (p.378)
*The journal of classical sociology* available online
Engaging the reading: adding quotes and references in the reading themselves in the position
Compare and contrast essay
Canada vs. U.S.A.
Topics-> economics (a), political science (b), geography (c), international trade (d)
2) Dimension of analysis
3) Canada’s abcd
4) USA abcd
Better way of comparing
3) a-> Canada – USA
4) b-> Canada – USA
5) c-> Canada – USA
6) d-> Canada – USA
Consider the following:
Alienation has individual and social dimensions.
Individual alienation denotes estrangement from the self in its creative potentialities.
Social alienation denotes estrangement from other people.
The two are not necessarily linked: individual creativity can co-exist with social alienation
(example: cultural production in big cities as New York, London, Los Angeles).
Hence, Marx is wrong to assume that the end of alienation requires the end of capitalism.
What do you think?
Compare two thinkers with community or the obvious topic “Suicide” by Emile Durkheim (1897)
Durkheim is a sociologist so he’s not interested in why they suicide
2. Rates and race and imitation
a) Rates as social facts
Social fact is a reality of a fact
- There’s a tendency for the suicide rate to eb higher in some societies and lower in some
- This shows a pattern, a reality which is not reduced to individual behaviours. Variety in
suicide rates= social fact
b) Race: theory and evidence
- Different races had different rates of suicide. Durkheim believed this to be untrue. First, it
suggests racial purity but Durkheim believes there has never a pure race. Second, racial
theories assume that they have fixed characteristics but Durkheim is not convinced. He sets
the assumptions aside and looks at the evidence.
- Durkheim looks at the Germanic race-> Germans, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians,
Celto-Romanic, French, Italians, Spanish, Slavic
- There is only one race (the human race) but we invent these “races” to categorize.
- Two differences: wide variations within groups
- If its race theory, then Germans around the globe will/should have the same suicide rate.
- Conclusion: it’s not race, but the society that they live
c) Imitation: theory and evidence
- Theory suggests that suicide is “contagious” and is like the flu
- Durkheim says if it is imitation theory, then it should be like contagion, a dense core full of
suicide, then a leak out of suicides around it. But what he found out was a hole core with no
suicide and suicide around it, as well as a dense core of suicide but no suicides around it
3. Social Solidarity
a) Effects on suicide by social category:
Associated with organic solidarity; results from lack of social integration due to excess of
individualism; committed by people cut off from society, reliant on self
Associated with mechanical solidarity; results from high level of social discipline; committed
when high value placed on society means the individual has little valu