Durkheim’s study on suicide

Document exploring Durkheim's study and the different types of suicide he concluded.

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  • Created on: 29-04-12 13:23
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Durkheim and Suicide:
Different types of suicide:
Altruistic suicide:
· Acting unselfishly ­ directed by concern for others even if it's harmful to yourself
· Strongly integrated in society
· Take their own life as a sense of duty
g.g. In Hindu India a wife threw herself on her husbands funeral pyre
This type is rare in modern society
Fatalistic suicide:
· They believe that nothing can be done to change your situation
· Too much regulation and control
e.g. Slavery
They think suicide offers an escape
· High rates occur when people's hopes and desires were crushed by `oppressive discipline'
Egoistic suicide:
· Too little integration ­ increasingly stand alone
· Weakening of ties which bind you to society
· Characteristics of societies which were making the transition to modernity
· `excess of individualism' ­ think more of themselves and are less concerned with their duties
and obligations and the opinion of others
· More unmarried people and people with out children are more likely to commit suicide as
they have less social bonds
· Suicide rates fall during times of war and political upheaval ­ people come together to focus
on a common cause
Anomic suicide:
· Mainly in modern societies
· Lack of regulation of people's desires and expectations
· Modern societies characterised are by rapid social change which disrupts norms ­ leads to
anomie and normlessness
· No ceiling on desires, no limits to expectations
· Without norms to govern what people can reasonably expect from life, desires are
uncontrolled and cannot be satisfied
· Moral vacuum without sufficient regulation
· Anomie is particularly acute in times of rapid economic change ­ change in people's
circumstance which disrupts norms
· Suicide rates rise with rapid upturns/downturns in economy


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