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A sign for an emergency phone is seen on the span of the Golden Gate Bridge. An estimated 1,300 people are believed to have jumped to their death from the bridge since it was opened in 1937. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Suicide, published by French sociologist mile Durkheim in 1897, was a groundbreaking book in the field of sociology. It showcases a case study of suicide in which Durkheim illustrates how social factors affect the suicide rate. The book and study served as an early example of what a sociological monograph should look like.