Year: 2005 Source: American Journal of Public Health, v.95, no.7, (July 2005), p.1139-1143 SIEC No: 20060002

Durkheim’s work on suicide has been cited as evidence that modern life disrupts social cohesion & results in a greater risk of morbidity & mortality, including suicide. The authors of this article argue that a close reading of Durkheim’s evidence supports the opposite conclusion & that the incidence of self-destructive behaviours is often greatest among those with high levels of social integration. A reexamination of Durkheim’s data on female suicide & suicide in the military suggests that the results of recent studies connecting improved population health to social capital be viewed with caution. (45 refs.)