Suicide, A Social Theorist, Emile Durkheim

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The act of intentionally killing oneself, also known as suicide, has often been referred to as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The great social theorist, Emile Durkheim, once stated that, “Each victim of suicide gives his act a personal stamp which expresses his temperament, the special conditions in which he is involved, and which, consequently, cannot be explained by the social and general causes of the phenomenon.” (Durkheim). This social phenomenon was studied and scientifically researched by Durkheim in order to discover and break the social causes and theories that allowed for its existence. While suicide is an uncomfortable subject to discuss, it has become extremely prevalent in all cultures and society- we have yet to escape this social issue. Although suicide affects those of all ages, the rates of suicide amongst the youth and young adults (aged 15-24) have nearly tripled in the past half century. Has this epidemic increased due to social media? Is it just a “trend” amongst this generation? Were Durkheim’s theories on the subject correct? These are just a few of the many questions that arise when considering the increasing rates of suicide among today’s youth. This research paper will examine the definitions and types of suicide in Durkheim’s studies, the current suicide rates and statistics, and most importantly, the contributing factors of suicidal tendencies in today’s world of youth and adolescents. According to the Oxford English dictionary,
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