Suicide

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  • Suicide
    • Positivist Approach
      • Durkheim
        • 4 types of suicide
          • Egoistic Suicide
            • Individual failure or unhappiness are acceptable grounds for taking own life.
            • National crisis e.g. war can lead societies to be drawn together so there is more social integration.
            • Individual rights and happiness are stressed, so wider groups have weakened in social bonds.
            • Social institutions try and counteract egoistic values and strengthen bonds.
            • Insufficient Integration
          • Altruistic Suicide
            • Suicides occur where people are expected to commit suicide on behalf of wider society, e.g. suicide bombers
            • Welfare of individuals less important than welfare from the group
            • Excess Integration
          • Fatalistic Suicide
            • Lose the will to live
              • Japanese soldiers and civilians in closing stages of World War
              • Could explain prison suicide rates
            • Excess Regulation
          • Anomic Suicide
            • Happens in times of great social change
            • If cultural and social mechanisms that restrict unacceptable behaviour are weakened, some resort to natural selfishness
            • Insufficient Regulation
        • Suicide was linked to two social forces
          • 4 types of suicide
            • Egoistic Suicide
              • Individual failure or unhappiness are acceptable grounds for taking own life.
              • National crisis e.g. war can lead societies to be drawn together so there is more social integration.
              • Individual rights and happiness are stressed, so wider groups have weakened in social bonds.
              • Social institutions try and counteract egoistic values and strengthen bonds.
              • Insufficient Integration
            • Altruistic Suicide
              • Suicides occur where people are expected to commit suicide on behalf of wider society, e.g. suicide bombers
              • Welfare of individuals less important than welfare from the group
              • Excess Integration
            • Fatalistic Suicide
              • Lose the will to live
                • Japanese soldiers and civilians in closing stages of World War
                • Could explain prison suicide rates
              • Excess Regulation
            • Anomic Suicide
              • Happens in times of great social change
              • If cultural and social mechanisms that restrict unacceptable behaviour are weakened, some resort to natural selfishness
              • Insufficient Regulation
          • Social Integration
            • Integration of individual into social groups, binding them into society and building social cohesion
            • Lower suicide with greater social integration e.g. Roman Catholics and Hindu societies are highly integrated; so care more for others
          • Moral Regulation
            • Regulation or control by social values of the actions and desires of individuals
        • AO2
          • Official statistics are unreliable and lack validity
          • No clear definitions
          • Ideas are based on assumptions
          • Focuses on external factors such as religion instead of individual
      • Positivist approach to research, over a 20 year period with official statistics and documents
    • Intepretivist Approach
      • Douglas
        • Different meanings of suicide
          • Transformation of the self
            • Repentance suicide.
            • Suicide as self-punishment to show repentance for wrongdoing
          • Transformation of the soul
            • Escape suicide
            • Suicide as a means of escaping from the misery of this life
          • Revenge suicide
            • Suicide to attach guilt and blame to those who have wronged them
          • Sympathy suicide
            • Suicide as a 'cry for help' and sympathy.
            • Often found in attempted suicides
        • The degree of social integration influences whether a death is a suicide
        • AO2
          • Based on assumptions
          • No single act can be determined as suicide, only death being the main concept as people place different meanings on their acts
      • Atkinson
        • Suicide is a construct, it is up to a coroner, who's decisions is based on clues
          • Mode of death
          • Suicide note
            • in 30% of cases the family destroy this
            • Shows intention
            • Possibly faked
          • Location and Circumstance
          • Life History and Mental Condition
            • State of mind, emotional state, life events
        • Coroners 'guess' if suicide as long as the circumstances and evidence 'fit' typical assumptions
      • Believe society is based on individuals interactions
      • Qualitative method
    • Realist Approach
      • Taylor
        • Para-suicides; people who attempt suicide and fails.
          • Inner-directed suicide - private, detached from others
          • Other-directed suicide - communicating messages to other people
        • London underground study: coroners construct biographies of the victim
          • Suicide statistics are unreliable and socially constructed
          • Coroners distort suicide figures
        • Certainty of attachment; degree of certainty / uncertainty about relationships with others
    • The  action of killing ones self intentionally

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