Durkehim is one of the first founders of sociology after Auguste Comte, one of the most prominent names. There are many elements that Durkheim took from Comte, but the impact of Durkehmin's sociological development has been longer and more effective. For example, Durkhemin's ideas were influential in the theories of constructivism and poststructuralism in the following years. Like Comte, Durkheim seeks to put sociology on a scientific basis. It tries to make sociology a new scientific discipline. He also wrote The Rules of Sociological Method for this. In modern science, "method" is assumed to be the basis of science because scientists can only prove a scientific reality using methods. Durkheim also develops his own sociological management. While scientists examine the world, they approach it as an object, in the same way, in Durkheim, they adopt the basic principle of approaching society as an object. Society has a logic, and he says that if we consider society as a reality that has integrity within itself, then we can only grasp this logic. For example, Durkheim suggests that when dealing with suicide, we should approach suicide not with the paradigm of sin or good deeds, but in the light of cause and effect relations. In this respect, Durkheim has adopted a model of society that we call functionalist, playing an important role in the development of structural functionalism in the most important approaches of modern sociology. So according to Durkheim, sociology is an empirical science based on experimentation.
Another basis of Durkehim sociology is this; The rise of individuality and the emergence of a new social order as a feature that distinguishes modern societies from traditional societies. Finally, to seek an answer to the question: What are the character and resources of a moral authority in society? In other words, the study subject of sociology is social facts. There are two basic features that distinguish social phenomenon from other phenomena; According to Durkheim, sociological explanation relates to collective forces other than individual powers because social facts have a collective quality that cannot be reduced to individuals, such as family, religious or professional organizations, and an independent reality peculiar to them and exists outside of individuals. Social facts are divided into two according to Durkheim; It is divided into two as material and non-material social facts.
Material social phenomena are more obvious than non-material phenomena because they are made up of real, material beings. But they are less important to Durkheim's work. In Durkheim's words, "Social phenomenon is sometimes materialized as long as it is an element belonging to the outside world". Material social facts; society is divided into three as structural components of society and morphological components of society. The structural components of society can be given as an example of church or state. Morphological components can be given the population distribution or settlement order.
Nonmaterial social facts include morality, collective consciousness, collective representations, and social trends. The study of non-material social facts constitutes a large part of Durkheim's work and the center of his sociology. In Durkheim's words: "Not every social consciousness ... is externalized and does not acquire materiality" Durkheim's term non-material social phenomena can be understood as norms, values, and more generally culture.
Material social facts are external and coercive. In contrast, it is not so obvious in non-material facts. The best way to conceptualize non-material phenomena is to think of them as external to psychological phenomena and as coercive. In this way, we can see that both psychological phenomena and some social phenomena take place in and between consciousness. Durkheim explains this in several places. In speaking of social phenomena, he uses the phrase, "Individual consciousnesses form groups by intertwining and fusing with each other, leading to the formation of an entity that is psychological when desired, but creates a new kind of psychic individuality." In summary, the causes of a social phenomenon should be sought in other social phenomena and explained causally. Social facts should also be investigated in terms of their functions in meeting the needs of society. Social phenomena are divided into two as normal and pathological phenomena according to their functions in terms of ensuring the continuity of society. According to Durkheim, when dealing with a social phenomenon, it should break from preconceptions and the fact should be defined.
In Durkheim sociology, the concept of anomie is used in the general definition of the uncertainty or anomie that arises especially due to sudden social changes in the collective quality system of central values that make social life possible and guide individuals. Durkheim explains the evolution of societies, the relationship of individual society and the unity of thought in society on the basis of the phenomenon of consensus. There is an order in societies that he calls the division of labor; It refers to a different but stable arrangement that allows to coordinate individuals or groups performing activities within a whole. The true function of the division of labor creates a sense of solidarity between two or more people. Durkheim explains social evolution on the basis of the phenomenon of division of labor. He mentions two types of ideal-type social structures that develop depending on the division of labor in the evolutionary process of societies. The first is the mechanical solidarity and the second is the organic solidarity type of society. The changes that occur in the division of labor cause quite extensive changes and results in the social structure. These results show the differences between mechanical and organic solidarity. While mechanical solidarity is the concept used to define the social order and type of solidarity seen in traditional societies where there is a simple division of labor based on analogy, organic solidarity is used to define the type of social order and solidarity seen in modern societies with a complex division of labor based on differentiation and specialization. Common beliefs and emotions that occur in a society are called collective consciousness. The collective consciousness that is strong in societies based on mechanical solidarity is less important in societies with organic solidarity. Law applied in organic solidarity societies is restorative or restorative law. The causal factor that enables the transition from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity is dynamic density, a material social phenomenon. Dynamic density refers to the number of people and the amount of interaction between people in a society. In Durkheim's conceptual framework, non-material social phenomena such as collective consciousness, collective representations and social inclinations have a significant impact on suicide. Since collective consciousness is the common beliefs and emotions of the average members of a society, collective representations refer to special cases of collective consciousness. We can think of the norms and values of institutions such as family, profession, education, state and religion as collective representations in modern society. While collective consciousness is more extensive, collective representations are a substrate of it. Social tendencies are also social phenomena that have an effect on the individual. Examples of ambiguous social tendencies that lack a definite form are "movements associated with passions, anger, and compassion in the crowd." Different partnerships have different collective consciousness and different collective representations. They have different social tendencies on suicidal tendencies.
According to Durkheim, suicide occurs as a result of imbalance in relationships of dependency and autonomy where social solidarity is too high or low. Suicide is every death event that is the direct or indirect result of a positive or negative action by the deceased, knowing that it will result in death. According to Durkheim, suicide types are divided into four groups: Selfish suicide occurs in groups and societies where the individual is not integrated into society. Anomic suicide occurs when the moral structure of society loses its power over the individual. Altruistic suicide occurs in situations where social integration is high. Fatalistic suicide occurs in situations where individuals live under the intense pressure of the group and feel completely helpless in the face of what they perceive as fate. According to Durkheim, the source of all religions is society. Every society creates religion by defining some facts as sacred and some as unholy phenomena. The development of religion requires first the determination of the sacred, then the organization of beliefs about the sacred, and finally, rituals and practices that emerge depending on the beliefs. Durkheim bases his ideas on religion on his treatises on totemism in the Australian Arunta tribe. Totemism is specifically a system of religion in which animals and plants are considered sacred and taken as emblems of the clan. That is, totemism entails the worship of special things in the environment, animals, plants, special places and objects - and their representations used in religious rituals. For him, totemism is the most primitive and simplest form of religion, and its source is not plants or animals. Plants and animals simply represent this resource.