Sociology as a Science
To pursue a taboo topic and to contribute valuable information and bringing the controversy to new light is what had an impact to me in terms of Durkheim’s research on suicide. What may seem as an act conducted purely out of selfishness was just a general outlook on it. Durkheim pursued a more specific take on how society impacts the individual and that is extremely important when you view the changing world around you and how fast everything is progressing but there are others who cannot cope with any of it or the change within themselves.
In our modern day society, social media — and the internet as a whole — has expanded to great heights and people are more accessible, rather, more susceptible to malicious behavior either indirectly or directly. By indirectly, I mean that an individual can see things that they do not have and that they wish they did and they can either go out of their way to achieve it or ultimately fail or be frowned upon by others. Direct harm is essentially someone else going out of their way to bring an individual down for whatever the reason being their social status, sexual appeal, etc. All in all, people will always be interacting with one another and in order to achieve some sense of “equilibrium” with one another we try and attain acceptance.
Durkheim’s study of suicide identifies with the definition of sociology which is, “… the study of groups and group interactions, societies and social interactions, from small and personal groups to very large groups” (Openstax, 2016, pg.6) . How these groups whether big or small interact with one another is one factor in how an individual chooses to live on with their life. When you get a lot of support you live more fearlessly but when you have an unfortunate upbringing you live more fearful. Durkheim’s four levels of suicide (source) helped open the minds of many who perceived it as as sickness instead of a societal influence.
Durkheim’s contributions to society made it a necessary discipline in the education system which is what set him apart from the others for me. His ideas and values were not only impacting to the area of social science but his studies were backed up by statistical results. This exemplifies him as a credible source and donor of information. He was a man who influenced sociology and transformed it into an area of study that is a pertinent part of an individual of a living in an ever changing society.