The topic of suicide can easily become uncomfortable when discussing. Thoughts of family or friends using a permanent solution to a temporary problem is hard to grasp. Why would an individual choose to do this? Did it stem from personal reasons or was it fueled by a number of out-siding factors. Using Sociology we can decipher human behavior and gain an insight into a global issue .
Emile Durkheim was one of the most influential people to write about suicide and its causes. Suicide had previously been thought to be a moral and psychological problem whereas Durkheim related suicide to sociological problems in modern society. He believed and worked to prove that suicide was not related to individualism but linked to the effects of the external influences of modern society. External social influences upon an individual covered the broad and varied aspects such as culture, religion and family. Durkheim believed that suicide was directly related to the level of social integration and/or regulation of a person in society. He developed groups into which an individual was categorised according to their level of integration
As I was reading through the different views on the causes of suicide, I thought that the sociocultural view made most sense for me. It made sense due to the claim that a person’s connections with social groups, religions, and communities can determine suicide probability (Comer, 2014). I imagine a sliding spectrum where people who are very invested in everything around them are on one end and on the other are people who don’t care about society. The two ends are the high suicide probability areas. Altruistic suicides where lives are sacrificed would fall on the invested end of the spectrum while the egoistic suicides which society has no control over a person and anomic suicides where a person’s social environment fails to provide structure
4. According to G. H. Mead, children learn to take the role of the other as they model themselves on important people in their lives, such as parents. Mead referred to these people as:
Traditionally, suicide was thought to be a purely individual decision but French sociologist Emile Durkheim recognized that the phenomenon had a social dimension. He believed in the influence of society on the individual and that if anything can explain that relation, it is suicide. His use of the data of suicide, not specific cases and reports, to study the societal trends reveals his true subject of study: society as a whole and its role in the individual experience. Durkheim uses the study of suicide via the quantitative methodological approach as a tool to study society as a broader whole.
Feelings of isolation have been linked to higher suicide rates. Durkheim’s study on suicide during the industrial revolution supports this theory as he states that, “people were increasingly disconnected from their communities and that this social upheaval had a greater effect on suicide rates than other factors like wealth” (Winner & Collishaw, 2011). Interestingly enough, despite the increase of media attention on suicide, no studies have been published that explain why suicide rates vary among different groups. However, various factors are involved in the decision to commit suicide. As a result, suicide rates vary according to race, gender and age.
The first sociologist to theorize on suicide and its sociological interpretations was Emile Durkheim. Durkheim worked during the late 1800’s identifying social structures as the key determinant in self-destructive behaviour. In his work Suicide: A study in Sociology, Durkheim stated that “suicide rates increase when a society’s value system breaks down.”2 Durkheim believed that the shared values of a society and the mechanisms in place that ensure that its members adhere to these values, is interpreted as a person’s “social structure.” Durkheim suggested two basic factors in social structure that heavily influence the incidence of suicide. These are regulation and integration. He believed that an individual needs to become part of, and find direction in his own society. Without these factors in place, suicide becomes a common substitute. Teens are often anxious about fitting in to their society (especially among peer groups) so it is clear that integration is essential to adolescence. Durkheim also suggested that it is these two factors
The interpretivist approach directly contrasts the positivist one and seeks to focus on the meanings of suicide for those involved. Douglas criticises Durkheim's use of official statistics as they are not accurate and recommends qualitative studies to discover the real rate of suicide. The statistics are a result of a coroners label and thus it is not trustworthy in his view. This suggested that cases are decided on "the basis of probability”. Douglas further seeks to find out the meaning of the suicide
The biggest aspect that is determined to be behind these teenage suicides is the feeling of being socially rejected in some way. These individuals may consider themselves outliers to society. Struggling to find in-groups and primary groups in which they can relate to. The constant feeling of rejection and hurt from being neglected by peers and family is what makes these individuals
Suicide is defined as “The action of killing oneself intentionally” within both South Korea and Wales. Suicide is seen as a huge social issue in both Wales and South Korea, both countries have seen a huge rise in suicide rates in the last decade but South Korea disproportionately sees a higher rate of suicide. Both countries are experiencing a rise in suicide rates and so, suicide is seen as a huge social issue, with government and non governmental bodies aiming to combat it. In my investigation I will not only be researching who this issue affects and what issues seem to be the main cause for the growth in suicide rates, but also responses and ways people have tried to tackle this problem. To do this I will have to follow my aims, which
Durkheim was a functionalist, and theorised that a holistic social narrative could be identified which would explain individual behaviour. He argued that, whilst society was made up of its members, it was greater than the sum of its parts, and was an external pressure that determined the behaviour of the individuals within it. At that time, suicide rates in Europe were rising, and so the causes of suicide were on the agenda. Since suicide is seen as an intrinsically personal and individual action, establishing it as having societal causes would be a strong defence for Durkheim’s functionalist perspective. Durkheim used the comparative method to study the official suicide rates of various European countries. While he was not the first to
Teen suicide is a major problem in our society today. The adolescent suicide rate has tripled since 1960, while being the largest cause of death between the ages of 15 and 24. This is the one single age group that has seen an increase in suicides over the past thirty years. There are about 10,000 reported suicides reported annually. It is estimated however, that the true number of teen suicides is actually three to four times that number when unreported deaths are factored in.
Suicide is the act of killing yourself. It is the 11th leading cause of death in America (CDC 2009). I have never had any intentions on committing suicide and I never really understood why people commit suicide that’s why I chose this topic to help me understand what problems people go through that makes them do such a thing. Sociology is the study of social behavior and the culture of humans. There are numerous reasons like financial stress, family problems or mental health disorders that lead to suicide. The number one cause of suicide is untreated depression. The issues that were just listed are some social conditions from society that results in a suicidal
Emile Durkheim was considered one of the greats of the sociology world. His use of scientific methodology to identify social factors which contributed to suicide has produced a foundational model for empirically based social research still relevant in sociology today. The purpose of this essay is to examine Durkheim’s study of the social causes of suicide, specifically how his theory of social integration and regulation contributed in interpreting these differences in suicide rates. This essay will argue that although heavily criticised Durkheim’s findings of the social factors which contributed to suicide are still relevant in Australia today more than a century later. In order to support this claim, firstly an overview of Durkheim’s social theory will be provided, specifically of his social causes of suicide. In addition it will then focus on how Durkheim interpreted these differences in suicide rates between various groups using his theory of social integration and discuss the two types of suicide Durkheim identified in this area. We will then discuss social regulation and its two forms of suicide. Criticism of his theory will then be discussed, before providing relevant statistics from Australia in regards to suicide rates of teen and indigenous communities and examine these figures to explain these variances in light of Durkheim’s social theory’s, to support the fact that Durkheim’s theory’s are still relevant in Australia today. Emile Durkheim was born in 1858 in a