Preview

Emile Durkheim's Theory Of Suicide

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1459 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Emile Durkheim's Theory Of Suicide
Structural functionalism argues that society is built on value consensus, which is a shared society of norms and values. They believe in each society, institutions work co-operatively to encourage harmony within society (Hodder. 1994).
Durkheim, a positivist sociologist, argued that society is based on social facts which need to be observed and tested scientifically (Giddens. 1986). Through his empirical study on suicide, Durkheim concluded that although suicide was a solitary act, it was a social fact triggered by causes of society. He found that too less or too much of integration and regulation can be a problem, Protestants had higher suicide rates as opposed to Catholics - Durkheim established a link between egoistic and anomic suicide
…show more content…
The norms become blurred and individuals become unaware of what is right or wrong in society (Lilly, J. Robert et al. 2007). An example of anomie in society is the summer riots of 2011, making news headlines across England. Durkheim would argue that this incident is a lack of norms; offenders being unaware of the adequate norms in society. The article (The Telegraph. 2011) called it a ‘crumbling nation’, supporting Durkheim’s theory of anomie, as individuals in the riot may have been unsure of the norms in society and as a result showed acts of rioting. This suggests that the functionalist theory can yet be applied to society today and explain why people commit acts of crime and …show more content…
1972, p.6). However, Durkheim stated that after a modern society took shape, the repressive sanctions such as mutilation and torture were replaced by restitutive sanctions and punishment became less severe (Spitzer. 1975). Crime in the modernised society became more prevalent due to the differences in culture and individualisation (Giddens. 1976).
Although crime and deviance can be good, it can also disrupt the collective conscience and be a threat to society (Giddens. 1972). Removing crime completely is impossible as differences will form, no matter how small, crime is inevitable and will occur anyway (McLaughlin et al. 2013). However, sometimes crime is pathological and can put society at risk, it therefore has to be prevented or lessened (McLaughlin et al.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    As proved in Emile Durkheim’s sociological research project, Suicide, people who end their lives tend to be categorized in three types of suicides: egoistic, altruistic, and anomic (Zulke 19). Egoistic suicide relates to individuals who feel they are isolated from society and detached from others, inevitably leading one to believe that suicide is the appropriate solution to avoid becoming a burden. Alternatively, however, altruistic suicide correlates with people who view their life as less valuable than those belonging in a group and are willing to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of others. Dissimilar to the idea of egoistic and altruistic suicide pertaining to an individual’s extent of social integration within society, anomic suicide pertains to those who feel they lack normalness in their lives when society experiences drastic changes. Individuals who usually feel fulfilled with their day-to-day behavior but encounter a sense of emptiness and meaninglessness in their goals demonstrate a lose in motivation to want to keep living.…

    • 523 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Durkheim looks at how crime and deviance is inevitable and needed in society as it performs two important positive functions: boundary maintenance and adaptation and change, he says that boundary maintenance is when society reacts to crime and there is social cohesion, and this leads to society condemning the criminal and the punishment given by the social agencies is a way of reaffirming societies shared rules and reinforce social solidarity. The media portrays the court case and the punishment; this acts a way of informing members of society and discourages others from rule breaking. Adaptation and change for Durkheim is when an individual has an idea or belief which is seen to be deviant by rest of the members of society, they fight and challenge the existing norms and values, in time there values may give way to a new culture and morality and not seen as deviant anymore such as cohabiting couples would be seen as deviant due to the couples not been married but in current times it is not deviant as it is more popular in society. These changes in values and in society allow society to progress and evolve. Furthermore Durkheim acknowledges that crime and deviance are inevitable because not everyone is socialized in the same way with the same norms and values. Functionalism is useful as it…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Suicide Durkheim Anomie

    • 251 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Extended Research: In his book Suicide Durkheim creates the concept of anomie. He studies the suicide rates of Catholics…

    • 251 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Joiner mentioned several theories on suicide in his book Why People Die by Suicide (2005). Joiner mentioned Durkheim’s social integration theory, describing it as a person with too much or too little social integration would cause them to commit suicide (Joiner, 2005, pg. 36). Another theory mentioned was Shneidman’s theory of psychache. Joiner (2005) stated psychache is when the psychological pain becomes too much that a person feels it is no hope of being relieved” (pg. 37). Shneidman is suggesting psychache is the reason people commit suicide, to escape the pain (Joiner, 2005).…

    • 93 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    Durkheim & Deviance

    • 1924 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Durkheim was the first to insisted on a sociological explanation and argued that suicide was a social fact and was a ‘social phenomenon that bore patterned properties’. (Giddens, 2006) To show that sociology could explain suicide Durkheim employed positivist methods in order to demonstrate that this was possible. He believed that this was possible by adopting a…

    • 1924 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Positivism is the belief that society can and should be studied scientifically. This approach believes that the goal of sociology should be to produce laws to explain the observed patterns in human behaviour. Before presenting his own sociological explanation of suicide, Durkeim examined several other theories. For example, Durkheim rejected psychological theories of suicide. Although he accepts that some individuals may be more pyschologically predisposed to suicide than others, he does not believe that psychological factors can explain the differences in the suicide rates of whole groups or societies. Durkeheim observed that suicide rates differed greatly from one society to another but usually stayed stable within each society. Therefore indicating that decisions to commit suicide might be influenced by the type of society in which people lived. Samaritans completed research into suicide and they found that suicide rates vary throughout…

    • 1925 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    5. What is the definition for Anomie? What is Anomic Suicide? Give an example to help support your answer.…

    • 1087 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    It has long been observed that the social relationship has influence on suicide. Comparative statistics for countries and categories of people within each country showed that suicide rates were relatively constant; therefore it must be a social fact that a collective tendency towards suicide existed (Thompson, 1989:110). Durkheim examined suicide statistics and found that no matter how diverse and unique the motives of suicide would be, the suicide general trend of the numbers of growth and decline is repeated in each country and changing because of social factors. He considered suicide rates as a social fact and social disintegration as a major reason of the suicide. It was an effect of imbalance of social structural forces. As Thompson wrote, that “it was suicide rates, as disclosed by statistics, that constituted the social fact to be explained as an effect of an imbalance of social structural…

    • 2034 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Case Study on Suicide

    • 11354 Words
    • 46 Pages

    Undoubtedly, the challenge of simply fathoming suicide accounts for the vast array of attitudes toward suicide found in the history of Western civilization: bafflement, dismissal, heroic glorification, sympathy, anger, moral or religious condemnation. Suicide is now an object of multidisciplinary scientific study, with sociology, anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry each providing important insights into suicide. Particularly promising are the significant advances being made in our scientific understanding of the neurological basis of suicidal behavior (Stoff and Mann 1997) and the mental conditions associated with it. Nonetheless, certain questions about suicide seem to fall at least partially outside the domain of science, and indeed, suicide has been a focus of philosophical examination in the West since at least the time of Plato. For philosophers, suicide raises a host of conceptual, theological, moral, and psychological questions. Among these questions are: What makes a person's behavior suicidal? What motivates such behavior? Is suicide morally permissible, or even morally required…

    • 11354 Words
    • 46 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Émile Durkheim, a Frenchman commonly cited as the father of sociology, was the first to argue that the causes of suicide are found in social factors not just individual problems. He argued that suicide rates are affected by various social conditions from which they emerge. Durkheim studied how people feel integrated into a social structure and how that is likely or unlikely to produce suicide. Sociology classifies three different types of suicide: anomic suicide, altruistic suicide, and egoistic suicide.…

    • 579 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Explain why crime and deviance can be understood as normal. This essay will discuss whether it is possible to classify crime and deviance as normal in everyday social life by basing on theories of Emile Durkheim, Robert Merton and Marxist criminologists. However, to in order to do this, one should first comprehend the essence of both concepts. It is important to be aware that crime is only a form of deviance that is simply more defined and regulated.…

    • 1561 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Durkheim On Deviance

    • 617 Words
    • 3 Pages

    As society evolves through time, concepts and perceptions in relation to the construction of deviance are altered as new cultural customs are installed; and when analyzing such topic, two different approaches can be analyzed. To a functionalist approach, Emile Durkheim argues that deviance is bound to occur through an individual's experience with freedom, once norms developed are distinct in different societies. Conjunctively, the sociologist argued that deviance is necessary for a successful society. On the contrary,, Michel Foucault's ideas on punishment rely on how individuals perceive and behave towards surveillance. Concepts constructed within a given society may vary, and are not legally imposed.…

    • 617 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The main purpose of this document is to give an explanation to Durkheim’s theory in the light of his sociological analysis of suicide. I will stress the importance of suicide that Durkheim considered and how he was competent enough to present reasons to the social causes, as well as examining the variations in suicide rates by means of his hypothesis of social integration and regulatory functions of society. In doing so, this will determine the outcome if there are any complications to his theory.…

    • 2248 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    A fundamental point to his work on crime is the concept of ‘collective conscience’. In his own words, Durkheim (1960, p79) describes this as “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average citizens of the same society”; or simply the shared norms and values which are considered the general standards of all members of a society. It is through this collective conscience that deviance advocates social cohesion (Marsh et al, 2006), a term which alludes to a stable society through the bringing together of its peoples. For example, the mutual social resentment which occurs in response to a crime, especially one which is observed to be despicable. For example, a murder.…

    • 612 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Why is it Wrong to say that “What is Good for Society, is Good for the Individual” Structural Functionalism focuses on the idea of how Institutions within society are structured, and work together in order to eventually form a functional society. It doesn’t study the individuals of society, but provides analysis on the overall social system, its functionality, and how it affects human behaviour. This theory can also be understood by looking at the metaphor of organs within a system. Organs, much like Institutions, work together to form a functional system, where Institutions form a society.…

    • 688 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays