Year: 1995 Source: American Journal of Sociology, v.100, no.4, (January 1995), p.904-930 SIEC No: 20010427

This article examines Durkheim’s theories of suicide as a site where Durkheim discusses women relatively extensively & where he encounters numerous, symptomatic, theoretical difficulties. In “The Division of Labor in Society” (1893), Durkheim delinates a coherent, dualistic model of sexual differences & dual spheres. In “Suicide” (1897), empirical findings concerning female suicide patterns contradict theoretical positions in “The Division of Labor in Society”, & Durkheim is forced to develop a specific new theory, female fatalism, to reconcile social facts & social theory. In “Divorce by Mutual Consent” (1906), Durkheim retracts his theory of female fatalism, reinterprets his data, & neutralizes the troublesome, feminist, political implications of “Suicide”. (56 refs.)