The Critique Of Durkheim's Theory Of Suicide

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Durkheim’s Theory of suicide has received a wide range of criticism from various sources. It has actually been criticized as the perfect example of logical error, which is commonly termed as ‘ecological fallacy’. The conclusions given by Durkheim on personal behavior on the basis of aggregate statistics have been termed as misleading. This is because the Simpson’s (1987) paradox had revealed how erroneous it is to analyze the micro events in macro properties terms. Nevertheless, diverging views have arisen on whether the work by Durkheim should actually be classified as ecological fallacy or not. Suicide rates differences between different religious groups (such as the Catholics alongside the Protestants) could be entirely explained in terms of how the social groups categorized deaths. For example, while the Protestants recorded “sudden deaths” alongside “deaths resulting from unspecified causes” as suicides, this was not the case on the Catholics side. Thereby, Durkheim error would be considered as empirical other than logical. Few researchers such as Gibbs, Inkeles, alongside Johnson have claimed…show more content…
First, one may question whether such phenomenon caused by external force such as society but shared awareness from individuals. However, Durkheim defends it by the term of conscience collective, which is also a kind of a social fact and points out the strength of linking morality to discover social laws. Secondly, Durkheim’s classification of suicide form has limited the causes and types. Moreover, Durkheim concerned the causes of suicide only with social facts and rejected the relationship between suicide and personality in terms of psychology, as well as alcoholism. Additionally, the subject of suicide is more likely to exist in disordered societies thus leading to an unbalanced research, which is prone to the theory of pathology. As a result, the contribution of suicide to sociology is actually
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