Download Durkheim's Suicide: A Century of Research and Debate by W.S.F. Pickering, Geoffrey Walford PDF

By W.S.F. Pickering, Geoffrey Walford

Durkeim's booklet on suicide, first released in 1897, is extensively considered as a vintage textual content, and is vital analyzing for any pupil of Durkheim's notion and sociological process. This ebook examines the continued significance of Durkheim's method. The wide-ranging chapters conceal such concerns because the use of facts, clarification of suicide, anomie and faith and the morality of suicide. it is going to be of important curiosity to any severe pupil of Durkheim's proposal and to the sociologist searching for a clean methodological viewpoint.

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DURKHEIM AND THE SOCIOLOGICAL EXPLANATION and altruistic types of suicide, as well as anomic suicide, demonstrates the extent to which they were tied to the influence of the dichotomy between the normal and the pathological. This had important effects, most notably the ‘demoralization’ of the phenomenon of suicide from the point of view of its contextual identification. ‘Egoistic’ suicide is so called because it is an act in which the individual self overwhelms the social self. This can obviously only happen in a society characterized by organic (or excessively individualistic) solidarity, so that the collective conscience loses that grip which Durkheim believed so necessary for the health of individuals.

310) and external to individuals (p. 313) and this confirms the principles set out in The Rules (p. 310). What is striking about this recapitulation of themes from The Rules is that it reiterates many of the formulae which contain the thesis of expressive causality relating internal and external characteristics. For example, ‘we start from the exterior because it alone is immediately given, but only to reach the interior. l951a:315). This return to The Rules 29 MIKE GANE and its emphasis on the objectivity and externality of social facts effectively closes off an appreciation of what Durkheim has actually just discovered.

If this has been noted by commentators it has rarely if ever been the subject of serious and critical reflection. But since it was noted briefly in my study of Durkheim’s method (Gane 1988) a discussion has emerged on the significance of this reversal. On the one hand there are those who see in it nothing of any great significance, following Durkheim’s own comments in Suicide itself (see Schmaus 1994:8, 150–84; Berthelot 1995). On the other hand other writers have begun to read the reversal as a significant event in Durkheim’s development (see Steiner 1994:40).

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