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Flashcards in Suicide Deck (16):

Explain Durkheims positivist approach to suicide

Suicide rate is a social fact since when rates change it coincides with other changes, e.g. they rise during times of economic depression which shows suicide not the result of individual motives.


What does Luke say about social facts?

That they are external to and constrain individuals


What is Durkheim's egoistic suicide? and give an example of what it explains

it is caused by too little social integration and excessive individualism
it explains the lower rate amongst Catholics than Protestants - Catholics are more integrated by collective ritual


What is Durkheim's altruistic suicide? and give an example of it

caused by too much social integration, where the individual has little value and group interests come first. self-sacrifice for the good of the group
hindu women perform sati, throwing themselves onto their husbands funeral pyre so not to burden the family


What is Durkheim's anomic suicide?

Caused by too little moral regulation, when societies norms become unclear creating uncertainty when individuals don't know what society expects of them


What is Durkheim's fatalistic suicide?

Caused by too much moral regulation, where society controls individuals completely


What does Durkheim say about modern industrial societies and suicide?

egoistic and anomic suicides most likely since there is low integration and rapid social change


What does Durkheim say about traditional pre-industrial society and suicide?

higher levels of integration and strict regulation so altruistic and fatalistic suicides


How did Sainsbury confirm Durkheim's findings?

he found that suicide rates were higher in London boroughs where levels of social disorganisation was highest.


Who argue that Durkheim doesn't operationalise his concept of integration and what do they define this as?

Gibbs and Martin
a situation where there are stable and lasting relationships which tend to occur when individuals have status integration - compatible statuses, e.g. their educational and occupational statuses.


How does Douglas's interactionist approach challenge Durkheim?

Suicide statistics are just coroners decisions influenced by social factors to define death as suicide
high integration may not mean less suicide but less integrated people may not have those to deny it as a suicide. So integration merely affects the way deaths are labelled. He also criticises Durkheim for ignoring the meaning of the act for those who do it


Who analysed suicide notes into 6 categories based on actors intentions and what was the problem with the study?

small sample so not representative of suicides in general and no guarantee his interpretations right


Who rejects that we can ever know the true suicide rate since it is impossible know the meanings they gave to their deaths and what doe he say is all we can study instead?

all we can study is how we come to label deaths as suicides
he concludes coroners have a commonsense theory leading them to see certain things as evidence


Why does Hindess see Atkinson's approach as self defeating?

since if all we can study are interpretations rather than objective truth then his accounts are only interpretations


Who did a study of 32 people who'd died from being hit by london tube trains to find half had been defined as suicides even though their was no evidence of suicidal intent. What does he believe about whether we can study suicide?

believes we can explain suicide but must use case studies


Durkheim sees suicide as what? and how does Taylor criticise this and how does he define suicide?

'cases of death resulting directly directly from an act by the victim himself, which he knows will cause death'
Those who attempt suicide aren't always certain of their actions, they may be communicating with others for example through appeal suicides where their wish to die and wish for things to get better are combined so we should look at unsuccessful attempts to
'any deliberate act of self damage where the individual cannot be sure of survival.'