Marc Koegel & Pooya Nabei/Bulb Exposures  

Emile Durkheim, the father of sociology, died nearly a hundred years ago, but his insights about society and culture seem more relevant now than ever. To understand why, it’s worth turning to the French intellectual’s groundbreaking empirical study Suicide (1897). Durkheim wanted to understand why people killed themselves. Why do some European societies, he wondered, have higher suicide rates than others? It’s an interesting question, one that he answered by looking at the relationship between suicide in men and variables like marriage, education levels, and religious orientation.