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Suicide Bombing - the Verstehen Approach

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Suicide Bombing - the Verstehen Approach
| Suicide Bombing | The Verstehen Approach | | Mildred Ploss | |

|

Instructor Cort
Deviant Behavior
SOC 362
March 23, 2011 2
Suicide Bombing, the Verstehen Approach This paper will explore suicide bombing through the verstehen approach, a look at the bomber from his point of view, by stepping into his shoes. We will look into Durkheim’s view of suicide and attempt to relate Durkheimian thought to the bombings in the Middle East. In addition to Durkheim’s view a glimpse will be taken into the conditions that might prompt suicide bombings and how they are excusable under Islamic religion. To begin, one must define Durkheim’s view of suicide. According to his theory, there are two major causes of suicide: (1) Social integration, individuals voluntarily attaching themselves to a group or society of which they are members and (2) social regulation which involves individuals being restrained, constrained, or controlled by a group or society of which they are members. Individuals with too little or too much social integration or with too little or too much social regulation tend to be more likely to kill themselves. Durkheim sees too little social integration leading to egoistic suicide and too much leading to altruistic suicide. Too little social regulation leads to anomic suicide while too much leads to fatalistic suicide. (Thio, 2010) This paper will delve into altruistic suicide, the sacrificing of life for the good of the culture, in the context of a suicide bomber. Imagine three generations born in the same cramped room. Their only alternative is to survive or not to survive. This will to survive comes from being under the weight of being a people without a land and without a promise of tomorrow. Palestinian refugees are the world’s longest suffering and largest population. They have lived in exile for decades, most of them within 100 km of their original homes. The homes in which they live are

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