The Sociological Theories Of Suicide

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4. Theory on Suicide Suicide is often looked upon from the psychological perspective. One often points at the psychological states associated with suicide, like depression, pessimism and impulsiveness. In this study, the focus will mostly be on the sociological perspective of suicidal behavior. The sociological explanation of suicide tries to clarify the social forces that stimulate the psychological states, which are the direct causes of suicidal behavior. The most known sociological explanation for suicide comes from Émile Durkheim (1858 – 1917). In his book ‘Suicide’ (2000), Durkheim tries to explain suicide in social terms, while suicide seems to be an extraordinarily personal thing. Durkheim distinguishes between four types of suicide,…show more content…
It is linked to a constant state of disappointment. Anomie is a condition in which social and moral terms are confused, unclear, or not present. This lack of norms leads to abnormal behavior. No regulation means that people feel unguided in the choices they have to make. When society itself seems to have fallen apart, survivors of disasters may not know how to begin to put their lives back together. Example: Survivors of disasters. Giant market crash / spike. Excessive regulation  Fatalistic suicide Fatalistic suicide happens when a person is extremely regulated in his life, with extreme rules, discipline, and high expectations. These persons feel like they lose the sense of the self. People prefer to die than to carry on living within the current society. Example: Prisoners Lack of integration  Egoistic suicide Egoistic suicide reflects a prolonged sense of not belonging, of not being integrated in a community: an absence that can give rise to meaninglessness and depression. Durkheim calls the process of this "excessive individuation". The person that commits suicide is not well supported within a social group. Feeling helpless and lonely are characteristics of a lack of…show more content…
This is because society has much less of an impact on the individual than before. According to Durkheim’s model, capitalism tends to exhibit a far lower level of integration—due to the fact that the individual is set against all others in and through market competition —while a higher level of regulation is simultaneously required by the state. As a reaction on, and a means of testing of Durkheim’s theories, some empirical data on domestic integration and the rate of suicide has been done. In a comparative study, S. Stack (1980) found that higher birth rates were associated with higher family integration. This higher family integration was associated with a lower rate of suicide. Furthermore, it was found that the higher the rate of female labour force participation, the lower the family integration and the higher the rate of suicide. This empirical evidence supports Durkheim’s theories on the link between integration and suicide. Similar studies testing Durkheim’s theories have also been done in Japan. In a study by Lester & Abe (1998), it was found that, when looking at family social integration in Japan, merely the divorce rate was positively associated with the suicide

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