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SOCA01H3 (591)
Lecture 2

Week 2 In-class Lecture Notes
Week 2 In-class Lecture Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

th SOCA01: Lecture 2 Notes September 12 2013 PART 1: Suicide SLIDE 1: Bloor Viaduct (Toronto)  An example of location of suicides and attempts  Many are momentarily; a momentary impulse  Subway suicides cannot be prevented; Bloor Viaduct used to be an open space bridge… now barricaded SLIDE 3: Dante’s Inferno – The Woods of the Suicides and the Harpies  During the 1300’s… suicides in the 7 circle of hell; Harpies break off branches and the suffering commences SLIDE 4: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus  Wrote about the Myth of Sisyphus; and according to Camus, “there is one truly serious philosophic problem and that is suicide” SLIDE 5: Friedrich Nietzsche  Announced the death of God  Nietzsche: “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it, one gets through many a bad night” SLIDE 6: Philosophy (& psychology) approach suicide as an individual issue  Psychology looks at suicide to be the result of depression, failure, etc. SLIDE 7: Sociology looks at it from a social point of view  The sociological imagination: broader social forces affecting one’s life chances - Ex: cancer villages = a broader social force SLIDE 9: Sue Rodriguez  Suffering from muscular dystrophy; asked for permission to commit self-suicide… Supreme Court refused her request SLIDE 10: Dr. Jack Kevorkian  Terminated those who wanted the option of suicide… ended up in jails (for 10yrs) SLIDE 11: Applying the Sociological Perspective  Suicide appears to be… an anti-social, individual act th SOCA01: Lecture 2 Notes September 12 2013 SLIDE 12: BUT…  Durkheim showed that suicide RATES: 1. Decrease with social solidarity 2. Increase with anomie (side note: anomie commonly misused in the media) SLIDE 13: Social solidarity  The idea of having ties that bind you with other people; highly significant ties (i.e. family ties are culturally and religiously variable; and friends) SLIDE 14: Vs. Lonely Crowd  Large numbers of people (i.e. Facebook friends) do not equate to real friendships SLIDE 15: Anomie  Normlessness - Social change as producer of anomie… situation where you don’t have clear norms (occur around life changes… i.e. when suicides happen) - Ex: a new job (a more positive example) - Ex: divorce (an anomie for most people) - Ex: getting fired; illness; death (of people close to you - Ex: riches to rags = anomic SLIDE 16: Apply to men vs. women  Women have higher social solidarity (thus lower suicide rates) and men have greater anomie SLIDE 17: Apply Social Solidarity & Anomie  Young vs. Old o Young = greater social solidarity o Old = greater anomie (ex: retiring is an anomic experience for many people… many people die in the first year of retirement; ex: illness; ex: death of spouses) SLIDE 18: Suicide Rate by Age and Sex – Canada 2004  Males have a much hi
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