Why Suicide? (03:55)
Human beings commit suicide for situational and personal reasons. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States for individuals under the age of 24. Emile Durkheim chose the phenomenon of suicide to illustrate theories of social facts and demonstrate his understanding of the sociological theory.
Origins of Sociology (03:34)
Sociology lacks a unified conception of the objects of nature and criteria for judgment of theories and claims. Weber argued that people refer to collective social entities, but in actuality, these are only collections of people. Durkheim, on the other hand, argued that the whole does not equal the sum of the parts.
Social Facts (04:32)
According to Durkheim, social forces, structures are independent of individuals. Effects of social facts support their existence. Social facts have three major characteristics: externality, constraint, and generality.
Methodological Postulate (03:57)
Durkheim applied the sociological method to the phenomenon of suicide and argued that the suicide rate should be understood as a social fact.
Analysis of Suicide Rates (04:09)
Explore the social fact of suicide as it applies to religion, marriage, and war. Suicide varies in inverse proportion to the degree of integration of the social groups of which the individual forms apart.
Suicide Motivations (03:35)
Durkheim outlines four forms of suicide: egotistic anomic, altruistic and fatalistic.
Criticisms of Social Facts (03:11)
Criticism of Durkheim's theory of suicide centers on his use of official statistics. Official statistics negate social aspects of reported suicides. Durkheim proved it is possible to obtain sociological insight into underlying social realities.
Credits: Durkheim's Theory Concerning Suicide (00:20)
Credits: Durkheim's Theory Concerning Suicide
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