Durkheim’s theory of ‘suicide’ is related in various ways to his study of the In other words, anomic suicide takes place in a situation which has cropped up. According to Durkheim, there are four types of suicide: Anomic suicide relates to a low degree of regulation and this kind of suicide is carried out during. David Emile Durkheim linked anomic suicide to disillusionment and disappointment.

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Second, of all the great Protestant countries England has the lowest suicide rate; and it also has the most “integrated” of Protestant churches. Often this type or state will result anomkc the act of committing suicide and it will usually be with a clear and sober mind in the decision anyway, to take an overdose, to shoot oneself or jump to their death and is in many cases calmly chosen and decided upon in a clear way.

First, the scale of services and rewards is not immutable, but rather varies with the amount of collective revenue and the changing moral ideas of the society itself; and second, the system must secure some degree of legitimacy — both the hierarchy of functions and the distribution of these functions among the population must be considered “just” by those subject to it. Durkheim distinguished between egoistic suicideanomic suicide, ankmic suicideand fatalistic suicidebroad classifications that reflect then-prevailing theories of human behavior.

Briefly, when society is disturbed by some crisis, its “scale” is altered and its members are “reclassified” 33 accordingly; in the ensuing period of dis-equilibrium, society is temporarily incapable of exercising its regulative function, and the lack of constraints imposed on human aspirations makes happiness impossible.

Most decisive, however, is the fact that an abrupt change in that social environment is accompanied by an equally abrupt change in the suicide rate. Life is too much for them to handle and it becomes meaningless to them.

Suicide (book) – Wikipedia

In trade and industry, therefore, “the state of crisis and anomy is constant and, so to speak, normal. How, then, was this “pathological phenomenon” to be overcome? The pathological increase in suicides is thus a result of the “moral poverty” of our age, Durkheim insisted, and a new moral discipline is required to cure suicude but as always, he insisted that this moral poverty durkhei, had structural causes, and thus a reform of social structure i.

Second, regardless of the credibility of such reports, Durkheim simply denied that motives were true causes, a characteristic position he supported by pointing to the contrast between relatively constant proportions of different classes of “motive explanations” both over time and across occupational groups and extremely variable suicide rates themselves over the same time period and across the same occupational groups.


When a person commits this type of suicide they are greatly involved in a group. The biological cell, Durkheim observed, is made up exclusively of inanimate atoms; but surely this doesn’t mean that there is “nothing more” in animate nature.

On the contrary, the statistical data going back to the eighteenth usicide, as well as legislation surviving from still earlier periods, suggested to Durkheim that suicide was a normal element in the constitution of all societies.

Anomic suicide is suicide due to disillusionment and disappointment.

Quite aside from such economic anomie, however, is that domestic anomie which afflicts widows and widowers as well as those who have experienced separation and divorce. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Or are there rather several, which should be distinguished from one another and then durkhiem separately? The fact that these questions and others are continuously begged simply reiterates an earlier point — that Durkheim’s macro-sociological explanations all presuppose some social-psychological theory, whose precise nature is never made explicit.

Types of suicide

A psychopathic state, Durkheim concluded, may predispose individuals to commit suicide, but it is never in itself a sufficient cause of the permanence and variability of suicide rates. Durkheim speaks of a “collective current” that reflects the collective inclination flowing down the channels of social organization.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Altruistic suicide, by contrast, springs from a reduced respect for the individual life, as does homicide; but these are the social conditions of primitive rather than civilized societies. First, as we have seen p. Another example would be a Marta or a suicide bomber.

They feel like they are an outsider or loner and the only people they have in this world are themselves. The third type of suicide is exactly what it says it is.

In this state of moral confusion, the least cause of discouragement gives birth to desperate self-destructive resolutions a suicidal tendency that infects not only individuals but whole societies; and, precisely because these intellectual currents are collective they impose their authority on the individual and drive him even further in the direction he is already by internal disposition inclined to go. The annual rate of certain diseases, like the suicide rate, is both relatively stable for a given society and perceptibly variable from one society to another; and since insanity is such a disease, the demonstration that suicide is the consequence of insanity a psychological fact would successfully account for those features of permanence and variability which had led Durkheim to suggest that suicide was a social fact sui generis.

Moreover, this strength itself depends on three causes: Human needs, however, are not limited to the body alone; indeed, “beyond the indispensable minimum which satisfies nature when instinctive, a more awakened reflection suggests better conditions, seemingly desirable ends craving fulfillment. But don’t such currents of altruism, egoism, and anomie cause suicide only if excessive? Thus the spirit of renunciation, the taste for individuation, and the love of progress each have their place in every society, and cannot exist without generating suicide.


In The Elementary Formsfor example, Durkheim first defined religion as a body of beliefs and practices uniting followers in a single community, and later he concluded that this is one of religion’s major functions.

The traditional view of marriage — that its purpose is to protect the woman from masculine caprice, and to impose a sacrifice of polygamous instincts upon the man — is thus clearly false; on the contrary, it is the woman who makes the sacrifices, receiving little or nothing in return.

Assuming, as always, that any given effect has one, and only one corresponding cause, Durkheim argued that there must be as many special types of suicide as there are special causes producing them: To Montesquieu or to Hume, such an argument, based on a religious premise, was less than compelling.

After developing a statistical measure of the immunity to suicide enjoyed by various groups, 21 for example, Durkheim was able to show that, while marriage alone has a preservative effect against suicide, this is limited and benefits only men; the larger family unit, on the other hand, provides an immunity which husband and wife share.

Durkheim was thus particularly concerned to eliminate insanity as a probable cause of suicide, and he did so by attacking that hypothesis in its two most common forms: In every case, Durkheim observed, suicide increases in those months, days of the week and hours of the day when social life is most active, and decreases when collective activity declines.

Durkheim’s repeated insistence that sociology is a science with its own, irreducible “reality” to study also led him to adopt a language that was both highly metaphorical and systematically misleading. At what point, for example, does the death of a professional dare-devil or that of a man neglectful of his health cease to be an “accident” and start to become “suicide”?

Consistent with The Rules of Sociological Methodtherefore, Durkheim began his work with a warning against notiones vulgarestogether with an insistence that. Durkheim’s use of this technique, of course, does not imply that his candidate does not deserve to be elected; but as a rhetorical device, argument by elimination runs at least two serious risks: It follows the workers wherever they go