Durkheim's Theory Of Suicide Analysis

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SOCIOLOGY CIA 3 Critically analyze Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide Anshula Shankar II EPS 1313628 Suicide is a term that has become a part of our lives, we read about it in newspapers, we hear it about it on television, talk about and sometimes even lose our loved ones to it. It has become an issue of concern and affects millions of people. According to the World Health Estimates, in the year 2000, nearly one million people died because they committed suicide and people attempted it 10 to 20 more times around the globe. One person dies every forty seconds due to this and one attempt to commit suicide is made every three seconds. It is counted among the first three reasons of death among people from the age of fifteen to thirty…show more content…
This type of suicide exhibits the character of being optional in nature. Unlike obligatory altruistic suicide, this is not committed because public opinion forces one to do so but because public opinion favors it. Social prestige and esteem is attached to this type of suicide and it brings social approval and praise and if an individual does not sacrifice himself, he or she receives social disapproval which is similar to a punishment. Individuals are raised to attach no or little value to life and hence, they do not hesitate to offer a valueless sacrifice. This type of suicide is called optional altruistic suicide. The third type of altruistic suicide is called acute altruistic suicide in which an individual kills him or herself for no particular reason but simply for the ‘joy of sacrifice’ and because ‘renunciation in itself is considered praiseworthy’. This type of suicide is usually motivated by metaphysical and religious systems and the individual considers his or herself to be a part of something bigger and readily gives up his or her life in order to blend in with his or her ‘true essence.’ (Durkheim, Spalding, & Simpson,…show more content…
This was observed by Durkheim in the state of widowhood or divorce. Both these cases are situations in which the existing setup is disturbed. The rate of suicide in widowhood was also discussed by Durkheim with respect to egoistic suicide but the new observation in case of anomic suicide that was observed by him was in the case of divorce and he noted that divorced people tend to commit suicide more than married people. In the modern society, anomy is the main reason for suicide. Anomic suicide is similar to egoistic suicide as both types of suicide stem from the lack of society’s presence in a individual’s life but in case of the former, it is mainly because no force restrains them while in the latter the individual does not find any meaning or objective in life. (Durkheim, Spalding, & Simpson,

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