The Pros and cons of Human Cloning
As humans, we form social perceptions as a result of several factors. According to the social learning theory, people learn through imitation of peers and companions; thus, they form opinions based on the beliefs of those around them. Without a doubt, the social learning theory applies to the discussion of suicide. Current acceptance of suicide in the United States originates from the many different cultures and societies which make up the United States today. The conventional notions relating to suicide do more than just explain the American viewpoint; such information can be extremely revealing about the American social structure. Acceptability of suicide, however, is not fully dependent on those who view it; the suicide victim also forms justifications for his suicide based on that which society presents to him.
To obtain information about former societies and their cultures, historians rely on items such as recovered documents and artifacts; however, the idea of analyzing suicides as means of divulging information about a society is not a new concept. Over one hundred years ago, Emile Durkheim became one of the first men to study suicide. As a result, he developed a theory which links suicides to society. According to Durkheim's theory, a suicide victim's reasons committing the act reflect that which society considers acceptable or decent. Even today, social perspectives about an issue as controversial as suicide reflect that which is considered "acceptable" behavior. By considering the circumstances under which suicide is considered "acceptable" or "rational", one can learn about the typical moral structure of the United States.
In the book, Le Suicide, Emile Durkheim discussed four forms of suicide, each involving a different personality type. David Lester relates these types to today's society ("Applying Durkheim's Typology" 231). The first of the four is the egoistic suicide. In this case the individual chooses to end his life because of the inability to successfully fit into society. Most frequently, such is the case in suicides committed by young adults. The pressure to be part of a group can sometimes be overwhelming, so much so that the youth feels his only solution is to kill himself. Such a feeling is not only prominent in the United States, but in China as well. The Chinese custom of arranging marriages often causes stress among Chinese youth, so much so that dating and marital stress lead the list of causes for suicide among inhabitants of China (Zhang and Jin 1996). The next form, altruistic suicide, is virtually the opposite of the egoistic personality. In this case, the individual is overly involved with a group and feels that nothing, even his own life, is too much to spare for the benefit of the group. In the United States, the media's coverage of this form of suicide is not very extensive in because suicides of this form have been to known to be committed by cult societies and the such. Next comes the anomic suicide; here, the victim is involved in some sort of crisis situation with which his is incapable of dealing. Say for example, that a man loses his job and becomes unable to pay his bills or support his family. If this man decides to commit suicide, he would partake in an anomic suicide because he has encounter a situation which he believes can only be avoided by death. Victims of anomic suicides rarely take into account that committing suicide will only worsen the situation for those who are dependent upon him. Most frequently, social breakdowns are represented by anomic suicides. Finally, there is the fatalistic suicide, in which the victim feels that he is the object of extreme regulation, and in turn he feels that he lacks freedom and means of escape. This type of suicide attempter may also feel that he has little opportunity to establish himself as an individual. Determining which categories suit recent suicides provides trivial information about...
Cited: Battin, Margaret Pabst. Ethical Issues in Suicide. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice- Hall, Inc., 1995.
Choron, Jaques. Suicide. New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 1972.
Gardner, Sandra and Gary Rodenberg. Teenage Suicide. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Julian Messner, 1990.
Izenberg, Neil (Ed.). "The Romeo and Juliet Myth: Teenage Suicide Isn 't Romantic." Kids Health. The Nemours Foundation, 1996. Online. Internet. 20 May 1996. Available HTTP: KidsHealth.org/parent/behavior/suicide.html.
Kastenbaum, Robert J
Leenaars, Antoon A. and David Lester. "The changing suicide pattern in Canadian adolescents and youth, compared to their American counterparts." Adolescence 30(119) (Fall 1995): 539-547.
- - -. "An Attributional Analysis of Suicide." The Journal of Social Psychology 136(3) (1996) : 399-400.
Lewis, Robin J., Jeffrey Atkinson, and Joanne Shovlin
Malyszko, Mark (Ed.). "Suicide at the Center of Media Talk." Washington Square News. 1995. Online. Internet. 17 April 1995. Available HTTP : www.nyu.edu/pages/wsn/1995/04_17.html.
Pahl, Jorg J. "The rippling effects of suicide." USA Today 125(2616) (Sept 1996): 62-64.
Smith, Judie. Coping with Suicide. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1986.
Zhang, Jie and Shenghua Jin
Please join StudyMode to read the full document