Sociology Social Facts and Suicide

May 19th, 2015
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Durkheim defined social facts as things external to, and coercive of, the actor. These are created from collective forces and do not emanate from the individual (Hadden, p. 104). While they may not seem to be observable, social facts are things, and "are to be studied empirically, not philosophically"

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Religion is an important aspect of life. It is interwoven into the culture of a people and is ultimately linked to the issues of social integration and conflict between different groups within a society and between societies. According to Tischler (2002; 380) religion may be defined as a system of beliefs, practices, and philosophical values shared by a group of people; it defines the sacred, helps explains life, and offers salvation from the problems of human existence.1 Durkheim (1961) on the other hand defines religion in terms of the distinction between the sacred and the profane. 2 Tischler states that all religions share common sets of elements such as prayer and rituals, belief and organization. For the purposes of this essay I will discuss the main assumptions of both the functionalist and Marxist perspectives on religion. Functionalist sociologists are concerned with th

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