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Post #2 Durkheim and Suicidal Latinas

Post # 2

http://www.newstaco.com/2010/08/29/is-culture-to-blame-for-high-latina-suicide-attempt-rates/

Durkheim and his thoughts on suicide:

He believes suicide is a social factor rather than an individual factor. That is caused by some power, which is over and above the individual or super individual. Durkheim draws to attention that suicide is the result of social disorganization or lack of social integration or social solidarity. He doesn’t focus on the psychological aspect of it because he believes the reason is social. My example focuses on young Latinas having the most attempted suicides because of their social problems. Who would have thought that young Latinas would have the most attempted suicides, then again you’d think about the life they are brought to and what is expected from them. I myself am a young Hispanic that knows what’s it like to be a young Hispanic female dealing with the pressure from parents, the people you work for and people you’re surrounded by. The pressure of not failing like most Hispanics are expected to or dropping out of school at a young age because you’re pregnant. Immigration also plays a big part, having to live a secret life only because you’re brought to this country illegally trying to have a better life. Therefore, you’re living in fear of getting caught and deported and leaving all the hard worked you’ve done here behind. They also face the emotional absence of a father figure, which affects these young women mentally. All of these challenges they face may seem terrifying and the worst part is that they face all these problems at once and may think that their only escape to the misery is death.

The article talks about if the culture is to blame for high Latina suicide attempt rates, a social worker and developmental psychologist Zayas focuses on this issue. He explains that young Latinas aren’t able to “adhere to the cultural norms of a tight-knit family, they find suicide as an outlet.” He also finds some reasons to which may lead them to such act that is poverty, lack of communication in the family household because of the entering and leaving of a parental figure and the immigration status in the family. Young Hispanic females have roles in their family and responsibilities they are forced into; they have a lot to take care of, they have to cook, take care of a younger sibling or clean and wash their families’ clothes. So much is expected from them in their family but very little is expected from these Latinas to society.

– Alexandra Ramos

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One response to “Post #2 Durkheim and Suicidal Latinas

  1. Excellent post. And thanks for adding that link to another interview w/ Dr. Zayas — very helpful.

    The point about how Durkheim focuses attention on the *social* factors behind suicide is critical. To be precise, Durkheim is not saying that individual-level factors (e.g., psychological or biological) are insignificant. But he’s not interested in what causes particular suicides (etiology) but why suicide rates fluctuate over time and vary among different categories of people (i.e., epidemiology).

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