The Sociological Study of suicide and it's theoretical implications

Katie Powell
Flashcards by Katie Powell, updated more than 1 year ago
Katie Powell
Created by Katie Powell over 5 years ago


AS and A level Sociology (Crime and Deviance, Theory and Methods) Flashcards on The Sociological Study of suicide and it's theoretical implications, created by Katie Powell on 04/29/2016.

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Question Answer
Suicide Introduction Sudicide is a minority cause of deaths and is unique in sociology due to Durkheim's interest. Proving that even highly personal acts can have social causes. The subject has 2 main approached: - Durkheim's and positivist approaches -Interpretivist and realist approaches.
Suicide (Durkheim and Positivism) Durkheim was a french positivist in the late 19th century. Positivism is a scientific approach to sociology. Durkheim disproved many theories in his studies, he proved that climate had no link to suicide rates and argues that although psychological issues may be the reason for some suicides this doesn't explain the rates for all of society or even the social groups. (Jews had higher rates of mantal illness but protestants had higher rates of suicide)
Suicide (Durkheim Social Facts) Behavior is caused by "social facts-forces found in the structure of society" - 3 features of social facts: they are external to individuals, they constrain individuals to shape their behavior; they are greater than individuals- they exist on a different level! 4 patterns Durkheim found: -suicide rates rate for any county stayed constant over time. -changes coinsided with other changes in society, they fell during times of war and rose in times of economic depression and times of prosperity. - different societies have different rates. - within a society the rates varied between social groups (Catholics lower rates than protestants). 2 Facts determine suicide rates: -Social integration- how much a person feels that they belong in society, high levels see a sense of duty to each other. -Moral regulation- the extent that a persons actions and desires are kept in check through societies norms and values.
Suicide (Durkheim 4 types of suicide) 1. Egoistic suicide- this is caused by too little social integration and in individualistic society this is the most common type of suicide, however it is the lowest type in times of war. This explains the differences in Catholic rates and Protestant rates, the level of inegration is significantly different. 2. Altruistic Suicide- killing themselves as it is best for the group (self sacrafice for the greater good of the group) that they are well integrated into. Hindu widows are expected to throw themselves on their husbands burning funeral pyre as to not burden his family. 3. Anomic Suicide- killing themselves as a result of normlesness like in times of economic depression (increase in crime) and times of prosperity peoples expectations rise quicker than the means to achieve them. 4. Fatalistic Suicide- there is nothing they feel they can do to change their fate and feel their life is pointless. Slaves and Prisoners commit this type of suicide.
Suicide (Durkheim 4 types of suicide and Socail Facts links)
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