Professor Tonmar Johnson
Sociology 001 T&R 9:30-10:45
6 March 2012
What insights people to commit an action? Is it of their own design or perhaps from an influence or lack of an influence that insights this action? As human beings living in a society with the diverse influences of others, our decisions and actions tend to be the reflection of society whether they be positive or negative, rather than of our own creation. According to Emile Durkheim, social forces of influence that exist within our society are what have an effect on one’s likelihood to commit suicide. Durkheim developed this general explanation of suicidal behavior and sought to expound his theory.
Emile Durkheim lived from the mid eighteen hundreds to the early nineteen hundreds; a time when the act of suicide was still a debated question of why the act was in fact committed. Despite the previous notions that people inherited the desire to kill themselves, Durkheim was not satisfied with this biological explanation of a chemical imbalance within an individual. He developed a theory that people commit suicide due to the lack of social connections and or obligations that would prevent them from committing this final individualistic act. Therefore his formulated hypothesis was: “Suicide varies inversely with the degree of integration of the social groups of which the individual forms a part.” (Witt pg. 10 para. 5) With this interpretation of why people commit suicide in accordance to their lack of social affiliations, provides the relevant severity that social bonds have on the individuals within that society. Durkheim claimed that one’s religious, and relationship affiliations were superior factors in determining one’s social integration. His studies and analysis showed that people who were either Protestant, unmarried or didn’t have children were more likely to commit suicide due to the lack of social interaction within their...