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