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Introduction to Sociology
Professor Robert Brym
Lecture #1
12 Sep 12
Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide I
According to Durkheim:
 a group’s level of social solidarity is
determined by the frequency with
which its members interact and the
degree to which they share beliefs,
values and morals;
 suicide rates are lowest at
intermediate levels of social solidarity
and highest at low and high levels of
social solidarity.
Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide II
Suicide rate
egoistic and
anomic suicide
altruistic suicide
Social solidarity
Sociology is the systematic study of
human action in social context. It is
based on the idea that our relations
with other people create opportunities
for us to think and act but also set
limits on our thoughts and action.
Three revolutions had to take
place before the sociological
imagination could crystallize:
 The scientific revolution (16th c.)
encouraged the use of evidence to
substantiate theories.
 The democratic revolution (18th
c.) encouraged the view that human
action can change society.
 The industrial revolution (19th c.)
gave sociologists their subject matter.