...Connoisseur of the collective life
Durkheim’s most famous work, Suicide: A Sociological Study, was published in 1897. In it, he sought to explore the most individual and private act possible from a sociological standpoint. Durkheim established empirically that the rate of suicide is a social phenomenon that is typically both stable (over long periods in a given society) and variable (from one society to another). A socially integrated society is a powerful bulwark against suicide. Religion, he found, had a moderating influence on suicide, primarily because it is a force for social cohesion. Domesticity and a feeling of common goals with others have the same protective effect. Durkheim’s keen insights on suicide, a malaise of modernity, remain highly pertinent.