AQA A2 Sociology Unit 4 - Crime and Deviance - Suicide

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 11-05-14 16:16

Suicide - Functionalist Approach

Functionalist PerspectiveDurkhiem - Suicide and their relationships to society

  • Social groups - married or single ,
  • Religion - Catholic or Protestant , 
  • Country - Stigma, 
  • Urban v Rural 

Suicide can't be based on personal acts only as there are levels of consistency

Determining factors effecting suicide

  • Social Intergration - bindings to groups and society Moral Regulation - Control of others

Social factors linked to suicide

  • Location - higher in Urban
  • Family status - suicide higher in those without children
  • Marital status - Higher in single or divorced
  • Religion - Protestants = suicide as more individualistic 
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Suicide - Functionalist Approach cont.

Durkhiems 4 types of suicide

  • Altruistic - Excessively intergrated - no individualism
  • Egoisitc - Insufficiently intergrated - no bond with society
  • Anomic - Insufficient regulation - behavioural guidelines are unclear
  • Fatalism - Excessively regulated - controlled by moral behaviour 

Criticism 

  • Based on official statistics - interpretivists = socially contructed
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Suicide - Interpretivist Approach

Interpretivists View of suicide

Douglas - Meanings of Suicide

  • Durkhiems causes of suicide determine whether it's classed as suicide
  • Social meaning - catholics = suicide as shameful, it's less likely to be classed as suicide
  • Intergration - More likely to cover up their suicide as not to hurt loved ones

Meanings of Suicide

  • Transformation of self - relief from the world - terminally ill
  • Transformation of self - telling others how you feel
  • Sympathy - cry for help 
  • Gainning revenge - guilt or blame others

Evaluations 

  • Rates of suicide have meanings - japan seen as honourable
  • Provides an alternative to Durkhiems theory
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Suicide - Interpretivist Approach cont.

Atkinson's Coroners report 

  • Suicide notes - show intent not faked
  • Mode of death - hanging, drowning or overdose
  • Location - Cry for help = to be found, Others = not to be found
  • History - debt, failure, medical condition

Conclusion

  • No consistency with verdicts
  • Suicide stats may be socially constructed 
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Suicide - Realist Approach

Taylor et al 

  • Statistics are unreliable as socially constructed 
  • Can identity the causes of suicide
  • People under trains = London underground suicides

Categories of Suicides

  • Certainity - life is over and no-one can help
  • Uncertainity - Cry for help, unsure about life

Conclusion 

  • Helps explains para-suicides and the degree of certainty behind suicides
  • Doesn't explain wider social factors (Durkhiems)
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