Lecture 17

Lecture 17 - Emile Durkheim Suicide (Part II) Suicide and...

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Emile Durkheim Suicide (Part II)
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Suicide and Social Integration Durkheim argues that there is a relation between the degree of social integration and suicide. He proposes that “suicide varies in inverse ration to the degree of integration of the social groups of which the individual forms a part.”
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Egoistic Suicide “Egoistic suicide” occurs where “the individual self asserts itself to excess in the face of the social self and at its expense.” The individuality of Protestantism as opposed to the “socially integrated” character of Catholicism would thus explain the higher rate of suicide in the former.
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In addition to “egoistic suicide” In addition to “egoistic suicide” arising from individuation there is a type of suicide which is also the product of lack of social integration, but is due instead to “moral deregulation,” or a weakening of the bonds between individual and society. Whereas in egoistic suicide it is individualism which weakens social integration, in Anomic suicide the social integration is weakened through moral deregulation.
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Egoistic suicide “Protestantism is the religious forerunner and primary source of modern moral individualism, which has in other areas of social life become wholly secularized. Egoistic suicide is thus an offshoot of the growth of the ‘cult of personality.’ (Giddens, p. 85)
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Anomic suicide “Anomic suicide, on the other hand, derives from the lack of moral regulation particularly characteristic of major sectors of modern industry.” Giddens, p. 85.
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There is overlap between the two Egoistic and anomic suicide are nevertheless closely related to one another, especially on the level of the individual suicide. [DURKHEIM] ‘It is indeed almost inevitable that the egoist should have some tendency to deregulation; for, since he is detached from society, it has not sufficient hold upon him to regulate him.’ (Giddens, p. 85)
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Economic Crisis and Suicide Economic crisis which cause poverty cause a rise in suicides, but is this because they increase poverty? “Actually, if voluntary deaths increased because life was becoming more difficult, they should diminish perceptibly as comfort increases.” (242) So far is the increase in poverty from causing the increase in suicide that even fortunate crises, the effect of which is abruptly to enhance the country’s prosperity, affect suicide like economic disasters.”(243)
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Counterintuitive examples….
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Lecture 17 - Emile Durkheim Suicide (Part II) Suicide and...

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