Suicide By Emile Durkheim

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“In a classic sociological study, Durkheim (1966) identifies four types of suicide: “altruistic” and “fatalistic” suicides which he associates with pre-modern, traditional community and “anomic” and “egoistic” suicides characteristic of modern society.” (Kuhling, 2004) The ideas of sociologist, Emile Durkheim have undoubtedly helped my understanding of suicide of contemporary society. Durkheim has aided me in understanding the complexity of this topical issue and made me more aware of the roots of suicide. “Altruistic” suicide is committed for the benefit of others. This is whereby a certain individual feels obliged to commit suicide for the good of a group. An example is someone who commits suicide for the good of a religious or political …show more content…

““Egoistic” suicide happens when people feel totally detached from society.” (Crossman, 2017) Durkheim examined suicide amongst Catholics and Protestants. “While he concluded that there are similarities between the two groups such as “both teach that a new life begins beyond the tomb.” (Durkheim, 1951) He also found that there is a higher rate of suicide among Protestants than that of Catholics. He categorises Protestants as being more “individualistic” and Catholics as being more “communitarian.” This has most definitely aided my understanding of suicide of contemporary society as this is not an assumption I would have ever had …show more content…

(Crossman, 2017) Anomie refers to alienation caused by erosion of standards and values which includes people in transitions such as adolescents. Durkheim’s theory based on anomie has greatly enhanced my understanding of suicide among adolescents today. Many teenagers today suffer pain and according to him/her they “have no reason to endure life’s sufferings patiently” (Durkheim, 1951) and therefore revert to suicide as “the easiest way out.” Adolescence may be an unsettling time and may be a major challenge for many in contemporary society. Therefore, suicide amongst adolescents has risen dramatically in recent years for many a reason; depression, peer pressure, stress, etc. These struggles can be academically, socially or family orientated. We, adolescents fear rejection and annihilation and are not always able to deal with these fears in an effective nor an efficient manner. Therefore, suicide is often a common answer for many. Recent surveys indicate that as many as 1 out of 5 teenagers suffer clinical depression and according to depression is the third leading cause of death among 15-24-year-olds today. In conclusion, sociologist Durkheim, has greatly helped my understanding of suicide of contemporary society. Suicide is very much a complex and difficult issue to understand, however from the study of Durkheim’s theory, it can be concluded that “we are to

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