Sociological Theory Of Suicide Durkheim

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Émile Durkheim in his book “Suicide” not only described different several distinct sociological profiles of suicide, but also made a variety of inductions based on his findings. He conducted various studies in Western Europe, used available statistics and data from existing research to argue for the hypotheses. A number of the conclusions may fit certain societies in Europe, or even the United States, as the work of Durkheim centred around the suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics in Europe (predominantly, the different cantons in Switzerland). Despite the drawbacks, Durkheim’s classic sociological study is to this day used by various scholars and media, as a basis for discussing the topic of suicide. Some of the major deductions that Émile Durkheim made (besides describing various suicide types) are: • Suicide rates are higher among males; • Suicide rates are higher among single people and those, who are divorced; • Suicide rates are…show more content…
Durkheim claims that any disruption in the flow of the society or economy, be it positive or negative will lead to higher distress levels and consequently an increase in suicide rate. It is closely related to his theory of “structural functionalism” and the concept of “social dysfunction”. This quote from his book “Suicide” illustrates the theory effectively: “If therefore industrial or financial crises increase suicides, this is not because they cause poverty, since crises of prosperity have the same result; it is because they are crises, that is, disturbances of the collective order. Every disturbance of equilibrium, even though it achieves greater comfort and a heightening of general vitality, is an impulse to voluntary death. Whenever serious readjustments take place in the social order, whether or not due to a sudden growth or to an unexpected catastrophe, men are more inclined to self-destruction.”
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