Durkheim was a very interesting sociologist. His views were a lot like Karl Marx in a sense to capitalism and labor forces, but with one huge twist. In his theory, capitalism is not a flawed system, but the collective that becomes too specialized in a certain area through forced actions make it “human.” Since population continues to increase and the collective continue to be specialized in a certain field either by their own wants/ needs, through the communities desires or through the forced actions of others in authoritative positions, a mechanical solidarity in our society are few and far between. Most of our societies have grown and are now working in more of an integrated community with the collective performing tasks to help their community and also in their own solidarity as well. This brings Durkheim to one of his biggest focuses, which was suicide.
In my opinion, Durkheim had a weird fetish with suicide, but even dark topics like these need to be researched in multiple lights to not get overlooked, and it was this observation by Durkheim that gave sociology as a field a new leg to stand on. So sociologists as a whole need to thank this man for his work on such a dark subject such as suicide. Durkheim, unlike every other person before him researched on suicide, saw this phenomenon as a basis on social facts. He saw this action as a very intimate and personal act. His studies showed that suicide rates are not at its highest where alcohol or mental illness are at its highest, but instead where their is limited to no social order/ regulation or integration. So, organic solidarity societies are at the highest risk for suicide rates, especially when people are forced to become more specialized in certain fields and become less integrated with each other. He also informed the public that suicide rates are more likely to increase where there is less religious unity/ regulated in a society.
His final big book included a look into religion and his views. He viewed religion as not only a celebration of the supernatural, but more towards the celebration of life. He stated wherever there is society, there will be religion (and crime). He saw religion not as a spiritual celebration or based on the church or rituals etc. but instead he saw religion in a functionalist portrait. The main function of religion is to encode the system of relations in a group.
Durkheim was very innovative, even with most of his theories having a sociological base with others in his field, he had his own thoughts that inspired new theories there after and can still be viewed to this day as true. His view on society as a collective may be criticized, but his theories shouldn’t be as he paved a way for many sociologists to study this field in an accepted light.