Blog 1 Durkheim & poverty

Suicide is a tragedy that occurs all over the world, and in today’s era it has increased more. During the 1880’s suicide had already begun increasing rapidly according to Emile Durkheim in his study of “Anomic Suicide”. According to Durkheim, Anomic suicide is the state of lack of morality. I think that morality comes from certain religious groups as well as society. Society decides what a moral state is and each society differs from their morals and beliefs. In most cases suicide occurs when an individual gives up on life because it becomes extremely difficult for he/she to deal with it. Poverty is one of the main factors of suicide, but it is not the only factor of suicide. As Durkheim states in this Anomic suicide that religion used to be a very important influence for the workers and the owners whether they were poor or rich people followed it and used it as a guide to life but he states “religion has lost most of its power. And government, instead of regulating economic life, has become its tool and servant.” This statement is true in today’s era as well because, countries around the world that are still facing poverty and their government fails to help those who are needy and poor usually don’t think about how it would be morally wrong to either commit suicide or kill their own babies because they cannot provide for them. Therefore, religion loses its power in that sense, and so does morality. Though in my opinion killing your children and yourself due to poverty seems immoral because we should be able to accept what we have and hope to get through that phase and strive for what we desire as easy as it sounds its as hard to do when an individual is constantly facing these struggles. But poverty can also weaken people to the extent of suicide, but there are also other factors that may come together with this. If suicide is immoral then what makes suicide immoral? If the provider of a family, and the family is helpless and forget having a decent meal of the day rather cannot have a meal at all for days, they can be certain that they won’t survive for too long and to get rid of this helplessness and prevent future weakness they have no choice but suicide then can suicide still be immoral? It’s hard to say but unfortunately for some suicide is the solution to end their problems I think more so because they cannot see a future.

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One response to “Blog 1 Durkheim & poverty

  1. The modern social pathology that Durkheim calls *anomie* is a bit more subtle than a “lack of morality.” Rather it is a lack of moral integration, or a kind of moral confusion, when a society’s standards of right and wrong are unclear or in flux. As you note, Durkheim traces anomie to the declining social influence of religion and the absence of another collective regulatory force, such as government, in its place.

    Somewhat counterintuitively, Durkheim claims that poverty actually offers protection against suicide (See p. 130). “Poverty protects against suicide because it is a restraint in itself.” Generally, anomie describes a situation where people’s desires and means are out of whack. Durkheim argues that persistent poverty limits people’s expectations — they get used to not having much. However, it’s a very different scenario if one has money and then loses it. Anomie is likely to result in the latter case due to the sudden loss of means (income/wealth). People have difficulty getting accustomed to the disruption in their material circumstances.

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