Qualitative Explorations of Durkheim’s Suicidology: The Ecological Fallacy and Suicide Typologies

Blanca Caro's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
March 10, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Social Sciences, Sociology

Call for Book Chapters: "Qualitative Explorations of Durkheim’s Suicidology: The Ecological Fallacy and Suicide Typologies"

Vernon Press invites book-chapter proposals for a forthcoming interdisciplinary volume on the subject of "Qualitative Explorations of Durkheim’s Suicidology: The Ecological Fallacy and Typologies."
Émile Durkheim’s Le Suicide (2002/1897) has remained relevant through time to the social study of suicide. Durkheim’s four suicide types- altruistic, anomic, fatalistic, and egoistic- each have their own criticisms, strengths and weaknesses, and are unique concepts that have potential to be explored qualitatively as themes that social actors themselves relate to suicide.
Importantly, Durkheim developed his suicide theory based on pure statistics (suicide rates) without talking to people themselves. Thus, Durkheim speculated on social forces that may lead actors to commit suicide, but did so quantitatively. This book will demonstrate the utility and applicability of Durkheim’s suicide theory when explored qualitatively; that is, when people themselves are asked and interviewed about suicide, what does this tell us about Durkheim’s theory and suicidology? Does it still hold relevance? How is it complicated? What does this tell us about the larger field of the social study of suicide outside of Durkheim? These are questions that this collection of articles will seek to answer.
Moreover, this book will further explore the shortcomings, criticisms, and drawbacks of Durkheim’s suicide-typology. While in one sense the qualitative exploration of Durkheim’s suicidology is a straw-man’s argument-that is, Durkheim did not do a qualitative analysis himself so such an approach does not have the validity to evaluate his- there is something to learn when adding qualitative analysis to Durkheim’s well-established foundational theory. There is potential to take from various contexts around the world to see how Durkheim’s concepts, such as the well-known anomie, may intersect with culture and other contextual factors that may come up when people are asked about suicide. Durkheim’s original study was written as if it was universally applicable to suicide around the world, providing to be a
Eurocentric view. This book would tackle this issue by introducing new types of evidence to Durkheim’s theory.
This book will also seek to make a contribution to exploring the ecological fallacy. By introducing how people themselves think about suicide in relation to Durkheim’s theories, we may be more able to accurately understand the forces in people’s lives that lead them to commit suicide. This type of qualitative sociology contributes to answering the ecological fallacy question regarding Durkheim; that is, are the social forces proposed by Durkheim that lead to suicide rates applicable to individuals?

We are seeking chapters based on the following topics:

  • Qualitative explorations of Durkheim’s suicide theory, typology (anomic/egoistic/altruistic/fatalistic)
  • Theoretical implications of qualitative explorations of suicide related to Durkheim’s work
  • Works discussing the ecological fallacy concerning the study of suicide, Durkheim
  • Chapters broadly on the qualitative exploration of suicide will be considered for submission as well

If you are interested in contributing a chapter to the book, please submit an abstract (~250 words), and author biography (100 words, affiliation research field, relevant publications) by March 10, 2023 to the book-editor Bryce Anderson, b.anderson@dal.ca. Please also feel free to reach out with any questions concerning the call/prospective chapters.

Contact Info: 

Book-editor, Bryce Anderson

Contact Email: