Emile Durkheim's Theory Of Suicide

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This essay is written in reference to Emile Durkheim and his studies on suicide and how these studies shaped my opinion on the matter. Durkheim was born on the 15th of April 1858 in Epinal, France. He is regarded as one of the principle fathers of sociology, and is the one who formally established the academic discipline. With regards to suicide, Durkheim began his studies on the matter in the 1890 's, his work has been criticised by many but much of it has remained relevant today. Suicide is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “The action of killing oneself intentionally.” Durkheim defined suicide as “applied to every case of death which results directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act, carried out by the victim himself, knowing…show more content…
Suicide is a prevalent issue in our modern contemporary society, and many have been effected by it in some way. For example the suicide rate in the United States has almost tripled since the 1950 's. It has become the 3rd leading cause of unnatural death among people the age of 15 to 24. (http://www.popularsocialscience.com/2013/08/13/why-do-people-commit-suicide/). So why is it that people kill themselves? Durkheim outlined that suicide was not a psychological phenomenon, it was not just an individual act, but, it was caused by varying social factors, and thus had to be studied at a wider social level.(Jones,1986). This led to Durkheim developing a theoretical typology of suicide which he used to explain the four different types of suicide. Which are; anomic, altruistic, egoistic, and fatalistic suicide. Anomic and Egoistic remain the most common types of suicide whilst altruistic and fatalistic are less common…show more content…
It occurs when an individual feels disconnected from society. There 's a complete lack of social integration and the individuals “common conscience” is weak (B.D. Johnson,1965). When the common conscience is weak, the individual shares few common beliefs and sentiments with the rest of society. Durkheim viewed the individuals who committed egoistic suicide as people who were not deeply embedded in society, they had very few social ties and they were not well supported because of this. (Durkheim,1951). They may be jobless, single, and overall they feel that they are isolated from everyone else. This isolation prevents them from seeking out support. In Ireland, 60% of men who commit suicide are single. (http://nsrf.ie/statistics/suicide/) This stat shows that men who are alone are vulnerable, similar can be said for those who are unemployed, in 2013, 21.2% of suicides were committed by the

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