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Emile Durkheim, The Father Of Sociology

2473 words - 10 pages

All great things in life start off with people whom we would never have guessed imaginable. Who would have thought the study of society would have amounted to anything or become a significant part of people's lives. In the late 1800s people had a very small mindset which involved not knowing or even caring about what the outside world was like. The people knew things occurred in their society, but they never knew why nor did they care to find out. The society was run by religion and they did not question it. A Frenchman came out with studies that showed societies were strong and could become things that people would have never imagined. He proved that within society there were numerous groups and he could pinpoint their behavior and roles in any given society, and the people were in awe. Finally, the people were opening up to the ideals of how a society could be. Without Emile Durkheim, the father of sociology, sociology may not have ever reached the great attributes or been considered something worth pursuing. Durkheim was the change that people needed in order to make their society something worth changing and fighting for.
Durkheim’s work had no limitations, he was able to explore every aspect of sociology that he wanted, and that is exactly what he set out to do. Durkheim realized several problems people were having within society and with these problems he found answers. One of the issues he found was people committing suicide, in every society around the world. Suicide was never considered more of the question of why the person did it, Durkheim researched many definitions of suicide itself and reality of how/why people broke the social norm. Another major contribution Durkheim made is on his study of deviance and crime. He believed they were both an important part of society, not just troubling people causing problems within the society. Durkheim realized the deviance in society and concluded that there was a distinct difference in the way small towns and large cities worked together as a society.
Suicide before Durkheim was an act people did to end their own lives due to multiple reasons and even sometimes accidental. Durkheim did not understand why someone would choose to end their own life. It was against social norms and he felt like there should be a clear explanation. He did not believe it was always a mental issue but in fact a direct response to the society in which the person lived in. Since a study to this extent had never been done before Durkheim was left to debate this issue alone, with many critics against his theories.
He was on a trial and error process of the true definition of suicide, he had several ideas. One for example was that ““suicide" is any death which is the immediate or eventual result of a positive (e.g., shooting oneself) or negative (e.g., refusing to eat) act accomplished by the victim himself.” (Robert Alun Jones.) He felt that he had not reached the correct definition due to a valid counterargument....

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