Suicide

    Durkheim spent part of his time studying suicide and illuminating the social roots of it rather than the “individual act.” He studied suicide rates between different societies and time frames as well as different social groups within society.  Durkheim argued that areas with a high concentration of alcoholism and mental illness were not the place of high suicide levels, but are higher in areas that lacks both social and moral order or integration.  Durkheim also brought up. as in The Division of Labor, the concerns of traditional and modern societies. He goes on to explain that suicide rates were more frequent and high in modern more industrial societies where as the rates of suicide were lower and rare in more traditional, simple, small societies. He continues to argue the only difference between a traditional and a modern society was the rate of suicide as well as the type of suicide dominant in the society. Durkheim noted two characteristics of the modern society. He termed them egoism, or the lack of integration of an individual in a social group, and anomie, or the lack of moral order.

   Today, young Hispanic females have the highest rate of attempted suicide over young White and Black females and young White, Black and Hispanic males. Placing Durkheim’s theory in perspective, that would mean these females may have a low social morals as well as integration, anomie and egoism in Durkheim’s terms.

 

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