Durkheim's Theory Of Suicide And Suicide

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The second hypothesis to be analysed is the theory that divorced people tend to commit suicide more often compared to married people, and married people commit suicide less than single people. The suicides of divorcees can be illustrated by this quote from the book “Suicide”:
“The state of conjugal anomy, produced by the institution of divorce, thus explains the parallel development of divorces and suicides. Accordingly, the suicides of husbands which increase the number of voluntary deaths in countries where there are many divorces, form a division of anomic suicide.” (273)
The quote afresh mentions the term “anomic suicide”, as it was the case with the economic and societal disruptions. In this context, the anomie is no longer public, but
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Therefore, the marriage for Émile Durkheim has a preventative effect against divorce, especially for men. In this case, a separation is seen as a disruptive force that may lead to an overwhelming lack of integration and the loss of direction in the lives of divorcees. Therefore, they might commit suicide as a result. However, there have also been some critiques of this theory, as the divorce may not necessarily be the primary cause of the suicide. In fact, the incident might happen do to pre-existing psychological flaws among the partners, which tend to become stronger and more destructive, when domestic disruptions occur. If the person in marriage has already been prone to self-destructive behaviour or is psychologically vulnerable, he or she is more likely to react negatively to any disruptions in the conjugal union (Jones 1986). Nevertheless, this theory of Durkheim has been confirmed is several Western countries, such as the United States, where the divorce rates are considerably high and positively correlated with the suicide records. In addition, Steven…show more content…
Single people usually commit suicide because they often face social stigma of not being married and not having children. In other words, they are seen as “non-persons”, who lack social status and value (Wu 2009). This leads to high level of societal and peer pressure, high levels of mental stress and shame, and, consequently, suicide attempts. In regards to the married people, as mentioned previously, marriage in the rural China and more traditional areas, most often negatively affects women. They tend to have a lower status in the family, where patriarchal beliefs, mainly arising from the Confucian traditions, are intact. Zhang Jie and others in their article mentioned that the most prominent reasons of suicide in China during the 1990s were “family disputes (including couple disputes)” and “marriage (including love affairs)” (2002). This further confirms the importance of interpersonal relationships in the Chinese society, as disruptions in those areas tend to cause most of the suffering. However, divorce is not as destructive in China, as Durkheim would have expected. The overall low rates of divorce and the minor share of divorcee suicides can be explained by using the official legislature. In the 1990s women, especially in the rural areas, were not able to easily divorce their husbands, thus were often forced to stay in violent or abusive marriages. The Second Marriage Law of 1980 did
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