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Sociologists study suicide becos it is seen as deviant
The first major sociological contribution came from Durkheim
Durkheim was a positivist which means he believed society could be studied
Durkheim believed he could show that suicide has social causes and this would prove
that sociology is scientific

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2. Altruistic Suicide: The opposite of egoistic suicide. Caused by too much social
integration. Occurs where the individual has little values. Individual feels it as their
duty to die. Eg. Some Inuit peoples, the old were expected to walk out into the cold
to die.
3. Anomic Suicide: Caused by…

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o Interpretivists have sought to demolish Durks theory and focus on the meanings of

Douglas: the social meanings of suicide

o Interested in the meaning that suicide has for the deceased, and in the way that
coroners label deaths as suicides

Criticises Durkheim's study of suicide on two main…

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Atkinson: Ethnomethodology & Suicide

Ethnomethodology argues that social reality is simply a construct of its members
Sociologists' job is to uncover what this knowledge is and how we use it to make
sense of the world
Atkinson accepts Douglas first point about official stats being constructs or labels
coroners give…

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Taylor notes that in many cases, those who attempt suicide are not certain that their
actions will kill them.

Types of Suicide

The first two types are inner or self-directed suicide (which he calls ectopic) where the
individual is psychologically detached from others. Becos of this the suicide attempt is…


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