I guess you're reading this because it's part of one of your courses you're doing?
What do we think? It's a very huge topic, wish. I've thought and thought and then thought some more and it's a somewhat difficult question to answer. I've tried at least 5 times already to reply, but your post isn't very easy to answer without going into pages and pages of dialogue. What do I think on an emotional level with what he found, or what do I think on a less emotional level? I can reply more easily on the facts rather than from my own emotions, but I'll maybe add some of that at the end if I can.
Durkheim lived in the last part of 19th century so he probably wrote this around the end of that or the beginning of the 20th century. I have often seen Durkheim referenced in scientific papers regarding suicide in quite recent times. I know he was a Sociologist. I guess that's why the word "society" appears so many times in the explanation from the book. lol
I would wonder what Durkheim would think in this day and age. Would the facts he collected be similar? Would he add on more *types*. Where and how did he collect the data to come to these conclusions in the darkness of France at the end of the 19th century. I know he's also written a lot about religion and apparently was bought up in a Jewish family but at some stage he dabbled with being Catholic but ended up being agnostic................. hmmnn.
[I think that one of his findings had something to do with more people of the protestant faith committing suicide than those who were catholic?}
Ok, putting religion aside, I still wonder how he came across all this data. I mean, how does one really know why a person kills themselves. It's like he's looked at it all from a level of their place in society rather than what the person was really feeling or thinking that brought them to a place where it was too difficult to go on. I also can't really equate the part of what he called altruistic suicide as being like the 911 terrorists.
I would wonder how much the breakdown of the traditional family unit in our society might have a lot to do with that. However, I don't really know what suicide rates are like in societies where there is a more community based or family based situation, apart from places like Japan, where actually the suicide rate is very high, but things have changed there a lot in the last century and the household of the extended family is happening less and less and perhaps that's one reason that people are becoming more isolated and over stressed.
[edit to add: plus there appears to me having been there a number of times, and that certainly doesn't qualify as knowledge, but I get the impression of a certain level or need for perfectionism. I do know for a fact that places like Japan and South Korea and some other Asian nations have extremely strict and harrowing hours of education. So having said that, perhaps that pressure or those pressures add on to the societal changes that are evolving and become totally overwhelming for some. And that's another thing. Some people can deal with pressure a lot differently from other people because of the makeup, whether genetic or environmental, so that's something else I don't understand whether Durkheim talked about or even thought about way back then in the 19th century.]
I also wonder at the feeling of a certain lack of control that we all feel in changing things, fixing things, moving ahead etc. Is that feeling of lack of control something to do with Durkheim's *types*? I would wonder how much Durkheim knew about certain religions and cultures where life and death are seen somewhat differently.
I wonder a lot of things, but really still don't know how to answer your question. I wonder what all the different schools of philosophy, psychology and psychiatry have to say about Durkheims theories and how they stand up today? Like, is this what they still think, or have his theories been added on to or changed to fit the changes of the 20th and 21st century?
OK, now I'm waffling, so better stop. I still have too many questions and no answers.
Does it really help to know these things/facts that Durkheim spent so much time thinking about?
Did Durkheim have any solutions? Maybe I need to read what you're reading to make my own conclusions.
A heck of a lot has changed in the last century about medical conditions as well. It wasn't all that long ago that people were institutionalized for conditions that these days can be better understood and accepted than like even in the 1960's and '70's, so it sure has changed since the 1800's.
I think this could be one of those never ending stories...