Year: 1987 Source: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, v.26, no.4, (1987), p.523-534 SIEC No: 20021178

Durkheim’s assertion that Catholicism has a negative impact on suicide, often referred to as sociology’s “one law,” has been seriously challenged in recent years. This paper re-examines the “one law” in relation to Durkheim’s observation that the greatest potential for individuals to be integrated into society is found in urban areas. Using 3, 108 United States counties categorized by degree of urbanization, the findings provide support for the “one law” and the integrative potential of urban areas. The data also suggest that sociological explanations are perhaps best suited to explain social life in urban rather than rural contexts. (60 refs)