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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Types of suicide

Industrial and financial crises, for example, increase the suicide rate, a fact commonly attributed to the decline of economic well-being these crises produce. Indeed, this was why Durkheim could claim that his theory, however “deterministic,” was more consistent with the philosophical doctrine of free will than any psychologistic theory which makes the individual the source of social phenomena; for the intensity of his currents, like the virulence of an infectious disease, determines only the rate at which the population will be affected, not the identity of those to be struck down.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Anomic Suicide can happen when an individual has set goals and then experiences a failure in achieving those goals due to societal conditions. We imitate other human beings in the same way that we reproduce the sounds of nature, physical objects, or the movements of non-human animals; and since no clearly social element is involved in the latter, neither is there such an element in the former.

But quite aside from integrating its members, a society must control and regulate their beliefs and behavior as well; and Durkheim insisted that there is a relation between a society’s suicide rate and the way it performs this important regulative function. This definition, however, was subject to two immediate objections. Naturally this change produces others, this novelty engenders other novelties, phenomena appear whose characteristic qualities are not found in the elements composing them.

In primitive societies and the modern military, for example, the strict subordination of the individual to the group renders altruistic suicide an indispensable part of collective discipline. But such an explanation, Durkheim insisted, cannot refer to the religious percepts of the confession. Again, in societies where the dignity of the person is the supreme end of conduct, egoistic suicide flourishes. But Durkheim insisted instead on an empirical sociological approach, examining the way in which real societies have actually treated suicide in the course of history, and then inquiring into the reasons for this treatment.

Social man necessarily presupposes a society which he expresses or serves. Consistent with The Rules of Sociological Methodtherefore, Durkheim began his work with a warning against notiones vulgarestogether with an insistence that.

Durkheim’s Four Types of Suicide | chilenabravo

At any given moment, therefore, the moral constitution of a society — its insufficient or excessive degree of integration or regulation — establishes its contingent rate of voluntary deaths, its “natural aptitude” for suicide; and individual suicidal acts are thus mere extensions and expressions of these underlying currents of egoism, durkyeim, and anomie.


Morality either springs from nothing given in the world of experience, or it springs from society. A psychopathic state, Durkheim concluded, may predispose individuals to commit suicide, but it is suuicide in itself a sufficient cause of the permanence and variability of suiclde rates.

Retrieved from ” https: 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: But to Durkheim, agnostic though he was, the religious vestments of the argument were purely symbolic and did little to discredit it; on the contrary, for Durkheim, every symbol however mystical must correspond to something real, and the reality to which the “sacred individual” corresponds is that body of collective sentiments which, with the growth of social volume and density, the division of labor, and individual differences, has elevated the individual personality above that primitive, euicide community within which it was literally non-existent.

An Introduction to Four Major Works. Why are disintegrative, egoistic appetites always described as individual, psychological, and even organic in suicire By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Second, the definition of suicide by the end sought by the agent would exclude actions — e. The second he rejected on the ground that all suicides committed by the insane are either anomlc of deliberation and motive altogether or based on motives that are purely hallucinatory, while many suicides are “doubly identifiable as being deliberate and springing from representations involved in this deliberation which are not purely hallucinatory.

Thus defined, Durkheim’s project again fell naturally into three parts: Indeed, suidide society has a “definite aptitude” for suicide, the relative intensity of which can be measured by drukheim proportion of suicides per total population, or what Durkheim called “the rate of mortality through suicide, characteristic of the society under consideration.

Durkheim’s initial response echoed his discussion of crime in The Rules — there are special environments within each society which can be reached by such currents only if the latter are strengthened or weakened far above or below the more general societal norm.

Nothing can calm it,” Durkheim concludes, “since its goal is far beyond all it can attain. It follows the workers wherever they go Religion, which once consoled the poor and at least partially restricted the material ambitions of the rich, has simply lost most of its power.

University of Texas Press.

Such an argument, Durkheim admitted suggests that collective thoughts are of a different nature from individual thoughts, that the former have characteristics which the latter lack. Imitation, therefore, is not a real cause, even of individual suicides: Finally,” he concluded, “corporate action makes itself felt in every detail of our occupations, which are thus given a collective orientation.


The second objection was that such practices, however common, are individual practices, with individual causes and consequences, which are thus the proper subject matter of psychology rather than sociology. How, then, was this “pathological phenomenon” to be overcome? Social progress, therefore, does not logically imply suicide, and the undeniably rapid growth of suicide in the late nineteenth century should be attributed not to the intrinsic nature of progress, but rather to these special conditions under which this particular phase of progress has occurred; and even without knowing the nature of these conditions, Durkheim insisted that the very rapidity of this growth indicated that they are morbid and pathological rather than normal.

Retrieved 13 April The first Durkheim dismissed by durkyeim suicidal insanity as a “monomania” — a form of mental illness limited to a single act or object — and then arguing that not a single incontestable example of such monomania had yet been shown to exist. Having dismissed pathological states as a class of causes, Durkheim turned his attention to those normal psychological conditions race and hereditywhich, again, are sufficiently general to account for the phenomena question.

What is socio-psychological “health”? Notify me of new comments via email. But if the proclivity of Protestantism for suicide must thus be related to its spirit of free inquiry, this “free inquiry” itself requires explanation, for it brings as much sorrow as happiness, and thus is not “intrinsically desirable. Thus we are bereft of reasons for existence: In addition to similarity of rates in geographically contiguous areas, therefore, the durkyeim hypothesis” further requires that there be a “model” of particularly intense suicidal activity, and that this activity be “visible” enough to fulfill its function as a model to be imitated.

Anomic suicide is suicide due to disillusionment and disappointment.

This explains why periods of economic disaster, like those of sudden prosperity, are accompanied by an increase the number of suicides, and also why countries long immersed in poverty have enjoyed a relative immunity to self-inflicted death. If, on the other hand, imitation does influence suicide rates, Durkheim suggested, this should be reflected in the geographical distribution of suicides — the rate typical of one country should be transmitted to its neighbors; and, indeed, contiguous geographical areas do reveal similar suicide rates.

Anomie is a concept developed by Ddurkheim Durkheim to describe an suicude of clear societal norms and values. Quite aside from such economic anomie, however, is suickde domestic anomie which afflicts widows and widowers as well as those who have experienced separation and divorce.