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Emile Durkheim Research Papers

Sociology research papers on Emile Durkheim overview the most famous ideas this great sociologist espoused. Your research project could contain the following facts regarding Emile Durkheim:

  • Born: April 15, 1858
  • Died: November 15, 1917
  • French
  • Books:
    • Suicide
    • The Division of Labour in Society
    • The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

Emile Durkheim research papers show that he asserts that social need, the need to function in society, is the driving force for morality. He states, "The persistence of society is attained and sustained by the imposition of constraints upon natural (a-social, pre-social) predilections of society members: by forcing them to act in a way that does not contradict the need to maintain societal unity". Emile DurkheimAccording to Durkheim, trial and error teaches the individual the value of morality with the unpleasantness of transgression and its consequences as the motivating force of behavior. This allows people to believe they have control over their destiny in a much more intellectual sense.

Emile Durkheim and Suicide

This need for control over destiny is illustrated in Durkheim and suicide research papers. The totalitarian view, which, for the purpose of this essay, may be defined as the exaltation of collective behavior over individual behavior as the proper focus of those who study human societies, is represented by Durkheim.  Noting the stability of suicide rates in Europe, Durkheim suggests that this is an indication that suicide is a social, collective fact and should be studied as such.  Here he rejects the notion that the proper study of the concept of suicide rests in the atomistic study of the thoughts and feelings of each person who chooses to take his/her own life.  The emphasis on the primary importance of the collective is the key to the totalitarian position.

Related Research Paper Topics

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Collective Unconscious - The term “collective unconscious” was first presented by Carl Gustav Jung (1875 –1961), the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

Comprehensive Textbook of Suicidology - Durkheim and Suicide research papers discuss Emile Durkheim's theory of suicide.

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Weber and Sociology - While Weber, like Emile Durkheim, believed in the diminishment of the human in society, Weber claimed that ideas create social action.

Functionalism - Key functionalist theorists are: Emile Durkheim; Herbert Spencer; Talcott Parsons.