Sociological Theories of Suicide

1478 Words6 Pages
Paper Proposal: Sociological Theories of Suicide
SOC 101

Introduction 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
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Durkheim was very famous for his study of suicide. He defined the four types of suicide and supported his theory that changes in nonmaterial social facts cause differences in suicide rates. Durkheim’s theory consisted of finding a problem which was suicide. He then came up with a dependent variable which was the suicide rate. The social forces became the independent variable. The hypothesis would be what the suicide rate would vary with. When he collected his date Durkheim would go into detail about each individuals life and any uprising problems that he could find. He would then analyze the data into four categories which are the three most common types of suicide (egoistic suicide, altruistic suicide and anomic suicide). After looking at the date and matching it up with the proper suicide type Durkheim would then draw conclusions or form a theory. These are the details of the three most common suicides. Egoistic suicide is committed by people who are weak and supported by membership in a cohesive social group. They start to depend a huge amount on themselves than on group goals and rules of conduct to sustain them in their lives. When stressful times are around they feel isolated and helpless. Altruistic suicide is committed by people who are extremely committed to group norms and objectives and who notice their own lives as insignificant. These suicides involved dying for some type of cause. Anomic
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