assess the usefulness of different sociological approaches to suicide

1633 Words May 11th, 2014 7 Pages
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of different sociological approaches to suicide. (21 marks)

According to Item A, suicides are based on coroner’s interpretations and differ across cultures as Danish coroner's base their verdicts on probability rather than English coroners who must find evidence to support their verdict as suicide. Durkheim identifies the difference in suicide rates across cultures and societies. Durkheim defines suicide as “all cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from positive or negative act of the victim himself”. He used suicide to demonstrate that positivistic and scientific methods of researching social topics was possible whereas interpretivists argue that to understand the
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These types are known as egoistic (too little social integration), altruistic (too much integration), anomic (too little moral regulations) and lastly, fatalistic (too much moral regulations). Egoistic suicide is the most common form in modern societies and is defined as the type of suicide as those individuals who are not bound to other social groups such as religion, who share values, norms and goals. An example Durkheim found was that of unmarried males with less to connect them to social groups - this is typical of European and North American societies. This means that suicide rates are undoubtedly different across cultures, for example, in Item A, it is suggested that there is more chance of suicides in Denmark than in England, if coroners base their verdicts of cause of death on the probability of suicide. In contrast, altruistic suicide occurs at the opposite end of the integration scale of egoistic suicide. The most common cases of altruistic suicide occurred amonf the members of the military, for example, kamikaze fighter pilots and suicide bombers. Anomic suicide, according to Durkheim, was when people were naturally selfish and will only look after their own interests unless society restricts them. This is mainly linked to suicide rates to periods of social change. Lastly, is the fatalistic type of suicide where an individual believes