Blog # 2 Durkheim and structural functionalism

As one of the founders of structural functionalism, Emile Durkheim focus was how societies would deal with the changes of social facts and institutions.   The society we live in and the social institutions that govern us have changed overtime. I found , Even critics of the Safety net increasingly depend on it, by the New York Times to mention a prime example of how our society has changed. The article mentions that our government is spending more than it has. I find this to be a major structural change because this is something that was not happening in our country. This article talks about concern of whether our next generation will be able to have benefits such as health care and unemployment. I found it very interesting how this article mentions that is a question of do the people want to pay higher taxes or receive less benefits ? Everyone is voicing their opinion but most are not willing to chose one of the choices of this ultimatum and I say ultimatum because this country doesn’t have much of any other choice. It’s a matter of give and take, it is not possible to enjoy all the benefits sacrifice has to be made to some extent.

Another area of great focus by Durkheim was the issue of suicide. Durkheim scientifically approached the issue of suicide. It was something that occurred in society so he approached it as to what were the factors that caused it. He concluded that suicide was not an individual act, rather it was caused by social facts and institutions. The audio, Why are young Latinas at Risk ?,  is a clear example of Durkheim’s theory that suicide is a result of ones environment. For instance this audio talks about the struggles young Latinas face, they do not share all the same values and practices as their previous generation at the same time they can not assimilate with American culture. As a result of this many of these Latina Youth engaged in practices that lead them to depression. They feel trapped and cannot find a source of relief and comfort neither at home or outside. These two are key examples that support Durkheim’s theory of structural functionalism and his methodological approach to suicide.


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