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SOCA01H3 (591)

Lecture 2

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Sheldon Ungar

Lecture 2 Suicide rates. Sociological theories and theorists Applying the Sociological Perspective: Social solidarity and anomie Purpose: to show that suicide rates are powerfully affected by social relations. Suicide appears to be an anti-social, nonsocial individual act: -condemned widely by society -generally committed in private -comparatively rare When Durkheim examined the relationship between suicide rates and rate of psychological disorder for various groups he studied he expected to find high rates of psychological disorder accompanied by high rates of suicides. Instead he found that Jews have one of the highest psychological disorder rates and one of the lowest suicide rates, clearly there must be another factors affecting suicide rates Durkheim showed that suicide rates increase with anomie and decrease with social solidarity Social solidarity: Indicated by the number of social supports you have. Variables: family ties, # of friends you could tell anything too, memberships in groups,(volunteering, church, orgs) Social solidarity vs. the lonely crowd: Anomie: normlessness, not the same as alienation, not knowing how to behave in a situation -social change as producer of anomie: Moving, new job, new school, being fired, divorce, death of someone, market crash, Egotistic and Anomic Suicide Altruistic suicideDurkheim argued that the suicide rate decreases t i and then raises as social solidarity increases. e d e Egotistic suicide results from the poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties e r t a i s l c s to others. Anomic suicide occurs when vague t y i d l a o norms govern behaviour. People knowingly giving up their lives to save others commit altruistic suicide. Comparing suicide rates: 1. men vs. women Social solidarity Anomie Men more likely to get fired or to feel lost after a divorce Women social support: family (even during marriage), friendships Men have higher rates; women however might try more often as a cry for help. Men also use guns more. The statistics are pretty stable around the world
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