Durkheim Suicide

1258 WordsDec 4, 20136 Pages
Emile Durkheim – Suicide: A Study in Sociology Durkheim investigated suicide and categorized into four separate types as follows: egoistic, altruistic, anomic, and fatalistic. He explored egoistic suicide through the three religions of Protestant, Catholicism, and Judaism as well as an investigation into married and unmarried people. He explored altruistic suicide through interpretation of primitive and Eastern societies. He explored anomic suicide by examining economic and financial crises through the angle of prosperity and despair (economic downturn). He briefly noted fatalistic suicide in a footnote; he noted this type of suicide occurs in social conditions where the individual experiences pervasive oppression. Durkheim…show more content…
Detachment from society results in detachment from life because society gives meaning to life. In a society with high integration, high value is given to human existence resulting in low suicide rates. In a society with low integration, low value is given to human existence resulting in high suicide rates. Durkheim contended that the reasons why people kill themselves by their own hand or invite it at the hands of others is far from being a random matter. For each social group there is a specific tendency to suicide that depends upon social causes and these differ depending on the type. The key to each type is a social factor, with the degrees of integration and regulation into society being either too high or too low. In terms of regulation, where there is too little anomic suicide occurs and where there is too much fatalistic suicide occurs. In terms of integration, where there is too little egoistic suicide occurs and where there is too much altruistic suicide occurs. He used data to discover these patterns but the patterns themselves are not the cause of the phenomenon. Rather the cause is social and the observed, empirical patterns constitute a means of finding underlying causes. Durkheim’s analysis of suicide is like nothing else I’ve ever read and really opened my eyes to discover a
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