Suicide #10

  • Created by: Mui
  • Created on: 12-04-13 00:24

Positivism and suicide

Durkheim argued there were patterns in suicide

Behaviour is caused by social facts found in the structure of society, this constrains and shapes the individial 

Different socities have different rates, and it varied within socieities too!

Two social facts were 1. Social intergration and 2. Moral regulation, which is how far individuals actions were kept in check by norms

DURKHEIMs 4 types of suicide were

Egoistic - lack of integration e.g. Catholics had lower suicide rates due to integration

Altruistic - excessive integration, its the individuals duty to die for the group if necessary

Anomic - lack of regulation,norms become unclear by rapid change e.g. recession 

Fatalistic - excessive regulation e.g. society controls individuals completely such as prisoners

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Interpretivism and suicide

Interpretivists focus on suicide meanings rather than causes

DOUGLAS - was interested in the way coroner labelled deaths (an interactionist approach), he rejected Durkheims social fact theory rather he thought suicide was a social construct based on the coroners interpretation

Douglas used qualitative data such as suicide notes, as it would give a clearer idea than statistics

ATKINSON - disagreed that we could discover the real rate of suicide, all we can study is how coroners classify a death as suicide because no coroners can classify deaths objectively

Atkinson concluded coroners have commonsense theory about suicide, clues which indicate suicidal intent such as mode of death e.g. hanging or life history e.g. troubled past

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Interpretivism and suicide #2

TAYLOR - agrees statistics aren't valid due to coroners theories which influences their verdicts

HOWEVER he accepts the positivist view in which we can discover the underlying causes of suicide...

He identified 4 types of suicide based on individuals certainty/uncertainty about themselves or others

1. Submissive suicide - certainty about oneself

2. Sacrifice suicide - certainty about others

3. Thanatation suicide - uncertainty about others

4. Appeal suicide - uncertainty about others

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