Emile Durkheim Suicide

Briefly explain what social facts (or social forces) Durkheim argues impact suicide rates?
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) – The Rules of Sociological Method
As an academic follower of Comte’s work, Durkheim is well regarded for putting Comte’s writings into action
(he does this with his pioneering work Suicide).
Durkheim, like his predecessor, is also very focused on social order, social integration, and social cohesion.
Durkheim wanted to solidify sociology as a scientific discipline by first making it distinct from philosophy (ideas
about society) and psychology (the innerworkings of the individual mind) which were well established by that
He was able to do this in his work The Rules of Sociological Method: the subject matter of sociology would be
“social facts” – social structures and cultural norms and values that are external to, and coercive of, actors.
Social facts are things to be studied empirically and must be studied by acquiring data from outside of our own
minds through observation and experimentation; Examples: Legal rules, social conventions, etc.
Social facts are not reducible to individual consciousness.
Durkheim’s The Division of Labor in Society

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