Emile Durkheim Suicide Summary

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INTRODUCTION In every 40 seconds a person commits suicide. Precisely, 11.1 out of every 100,000 people have died by suicide (WHO 2011). Looking over the last two decades suicide rates have gone up by 36% and are ascending. It is predicted by the year 2020 the rate of death will rise to 1 in every 20 seconds (Befrienders 2009). Moreover, it has been estimated that there are 8 to 25 attempted suicides for every 1 successful suicide (MedicineNet 2011). The shocking number of suicide attempts and deaths highlight the urgent necessity for prevention efforts. The purpose of this critical analysis will be to explore Emile Durkheim’s theory of suicide; early interpretations, literature review of the birth of the theory, impact of the theory and contemporary issues related to suicide, while exploring the current knowledge available on suicide, through an objective lens. ANALYSIS…show more content…
For Durkheim, construction from earlier French 19th century statistical data on suicide, he reasons suicide was not an individual phenomena, but, a societal issue. Refusing scientific clarifications like climate, temperature and mental illnesses, Durkheim believed that influences of modernization were to be blamed for occurrences of suicide. Durkheim began his 1897 work with a warning against notiones vulgares, together with an insistence that: Our first task... must be to determine the order of facts to be studied under the name of suicide... we must inquire whether, among the different varieties of death, some have common qualities objective enough to be recognized by all honest observers, specific enough not to be found elsewhere and also sufficiently kin to those commonly called suicides for us to retain the same term without breaking with common usage. (Durkheim, 1897b, p.

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