Blog #3: Durkheim suicide rates and Latinas at high risk

As I was listening to the NPR station presentation of WHY ARE LATINAS AT RISK I started to think about how Durkheim would categorize this. I personally believe that he would cnsider this type of suicide as an egoistic suicide. By egoism we refer to the individual lacking acceptance in a social group. The burden that these young latinas face is very high. Not only are they exposed to the burden of their parents, but they also have to face cultural differences that society emphasizes. Their parents expect them to do so much and they basically have no freedom because they must balance work at home and work at school. Durkheim stated that suicide depended on geographical, biological, and social factors. This is a very interesting concept because in the case of Latinas, they habve no options. I personally know many Latinas that are obligated to work so hard at home, at work, and at school. It is very sad to have see the reality that these girls live in. For me, Durkheim was outstanding because not only was he looking at suicide rates for his own understanding, but he helped us become aware of larger etiologies that surround each and every one of us. Keeping in mind that the rate of women attempting suicide is higher than men, it is crucial to try and help these girls avoid such a tragedy. Latinas should be obligated to be a part of an organization that helps lower suicide rates. Parents should also become aware of the dangerous situations that their child may face because they lack freedom in a new country. What can we all do to help these young girls? We can try and help them be happy in this country. We hope that Latinas can recieve all they help they deserve to not become victims of such a sad ending.

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One response to “Blog #3: Durkheim suicide rates and Latinas at high risk

  1. Interesting reflections, G. The family circumstances considered to place some Latinas at risk for suicide resemble anomie more than egoism. These young women are typically part of tight-knit and “close,” traditional families, so they are integrated and accepted socially — they don’t lack social ties characteristic of egoism. Due to the experience of being part of different moral worlds — traditional Latino & mainstream (“bourgeois”) American — they suffer a lack of *moral* integration.

    In any “variable-based” studies like this, it’s important to consider the methodological limitations and to properly qualify our conclusions. Always consider how ethnic categories are constructed (based on what criteria) and remember that the data is probabilistic and can demonstrate only correlations — not causation. Also remember that ethnicity/race tend to be highly correlated with other variables such as income. There may be a critical *interaction effect* between ethnicity/race and income that relates to suicide.

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