Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Durkheim, Émile: Anomie and Suicide
Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist, well known for his focus on broad social topics, such as education, religion, and crime. Often credited as the “father of modern sociology,” Durkheim has contributed numerous works that have helped shape the field, including The Division of Labor in Society , The Rules of Sociological Method , and The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life . In one of his most famous and widely examined works, Suicide: A Study in Sociology , Durkheim investigated the relationship between broad social forces and suicide. For this work, he collected information on demographics and suicide rates for several European countries. Though it is valued as an impressive piece of empirical research, this work is considered especially important for two reasons. First, it is one of the earliest, widely published attempts to explain individual behavior as a function of broader social influence. Second, key to Durkheim's discussion ...