Suicide by Emile Durkheim

Suicide by Emile Durkheim - Suicide by Emile Durkheim This...

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Suicide by Emile Durkheim This book is about what is meaning of life and why we should not kill ourselves. One of the greatest books ever written in sociology, possibly the greatest. Different concept of human happiness—non intuitive, and once you read, completely convincing and somewhat mind-changing. First book to use statistical techniques and methodology to study and analyze human behavior. These confirm external validity. Since it’s a non-experimental situation, other things must be done to ensure scientific rigor. One of the few books written in the 19 th century whose findings still hold up. Think of Marx. Must of the specifics are as true now as they were in 1888. Just one finding has been reversed—that on religion where he makes distinctions between Catholics and Protestants. That’s changed with the rise of fundamentalists, resulting in Protestants become the strict denomination, and Catholicism has become looser. As a result, today more Catholics commit suicide than Protestants. Stephen Stack- Has made a small industry out of replicating Durkheim’s works. Psychologists don’t seem to like dealing with this book because it is rather anti- psychology. Nearly impossible for undergraduates to read because: Durkheim shuffles his writing very badly. While it is a masterpiece, the layout leaves much to be desired. Secondly, it assumes an intimate knowledge of French and European affairs of the time assuming a detailed history of Europe. Also, because he is French, pretty much all of his unidentified data is French, particularly everything dealing with “ department .” When you see department , think French. General argument Suicide does not fit into Marx (economic self-interest, everyone looking to line their pockets) or Parsons (everyone is trying to work together for all of our’s benefit). By neither logic does it make sense for people to kill themselves. Suicide is also misunderstood in the general population because of two myths: 1. Suicide is in some way a response to human unhappiness. 2. Suicide is treated as a manifestation of mental illness, as a psychiatric problem. In a vast number of cases, a deep and obvious source of unhappiness that might be the cause for suicide cannot be found. The usual interpretation is then, “Well, we never really understood his deep unhappiness that he must have been hiding it from us all.” Phenomenon: The “champagne suicide”- suicide is extremely common after a sudden outpouring of good fortune. Those suicides seem to be the hardest to explain, but in Durkeim’s model, it’s much easier to reconcile.
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Not seeing the true causes of suicide results in people not looking for the real risks/ indicators. Even though suicide has nothing to do with mental illness, if you were to find
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Suicide by Emile Durkheim - Suicide by Emile Durkheim This...

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