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Emile Durkheim

            Emile Durkheim is considered by many to be the founder of sociology as a science. His goal was to create an independent science, which focused primarily on the study of society on a macro level. Throughout his life, he strove to demonstrate and establish sociology's scientific status. Emile Durkheim's Suicide is of great importance because it attempts to establish empiricism in sociology that would provide sociological explanation for a phenomenon traditionally regarded as exclusively psychological and individualistic . In order to understand Durkheim's theories on suicide, it is necessary to first look at his definition of suicide. According to Durkheim, "the term suicide is applied to all cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result" . After defining suicide, Durkheim sought to explain the phenomenon sociologically. He analyzed data from several European nations, looking primarily at suicide rate statistics. "Comparative statistics for countries and categories of people within each country showed that suicide rates were relatively constant; therefore, it must be a social fact that a collective tendency towards suicide existed" . Based on his findings, Durkheim drew theoretical conclusions on the social causes of suicide. He proposed four types of suicide, based on the imbalance of two social forces: social integration (degree of integration or interaction in a group -egoism and altruism) and moral regulation (degree of moral regulation- anomie and fatalism) .
             The first type of suicide is egoistic suicide, which resulted from too little social integration. Individuals who were not sufficiently bound to social groups had less defined "values, beliefs, sentiments, and traditions" , and were left with little social support or guidance, and therefore tended to commit suicide on an increased basis.

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