Durkheim 's Theory Of Suicide Essay

1136 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
Durkheim’s theory of suicide is relevant today in explaining the problem of veterans’ suicide. The theory suggests that social factors are the main cause of suicide among veterans, and it is especially noticeable in our society today.
Suicide can be defined as: “an act performed advisedly, where the agent knows that death will be the result of his act, regardless of whether or not death is the goal” (Jones, 1986, p. 82-114). Durkheim’s definition was: “Suicide is applied to all cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result” (Durkheim, 1897). In his theory of suicide Durkheim studied the rates of suicide among Catholics and Protestants, stating that Catholics had lower suicide rater because of the stronger social control. He developed characteristics of people who are more likely to commit suicide, based on their gender, age, social status, and job. Durkheim came to the conclusion that social factors caused suicide, and not individual factors. For Durkheim suicide is an imbalance of human nature. When social conditions are in an unhealthy state and individuals’ social interactions fail to meet their own social needs a certain number of suicide-prone individuals respond by committing suicide. The suicide rates of a particular society reflect the extent to which it is socially integrated. Durkheim found that the more strongly the individual was integrated with social groups, the…

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