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Thursday September 17, 2009 ± Lecture 2 Sociological Theory
Today: Read BRYM Chapter 1, BRYM Chapter 12
-DURKHEIM AND SUICIDE
-READ IN TEXTBOOK, VERY IMPORTANT
-Unlike psychology and philosophy, sociology looks at suicide from all points of views.
-To sociology, suicide appears to be an anti-social, individual act.
-However, Durkheim showed that suicide rates:
1. Decreased with social solidarity.
2. Increase with anomie.
-Defined as ties with other people.
-Ex. Family, friends, etc.
-Normlessness: social change as producer of anomie.
-Defined as lack of usual social or ethical standards in an individual.
-Ex. debt in family, market crash, unemployment, new job, etc.
Applying to Men vs. Women
-Women have more social solidarity.
-Men have more anomie.
-Therefore, higher suicide rates among men.
-LOGIC: If suicides were just result of individual depression or mental illness, they would NOT
vary systematically by group, time, etc.
Applying to Young vs. Old
-Young have more social solidarity.
-Young and old both have fair amount of anomie. (20+)
-Old may suffer through retirement, isolation from family, etc.
-Therefore, old have higher suicide rate.
Applying to Rural vs. Urban
-More anomie in urban areas (cities)
-More social solidarity in rural areas. (More in the past then now)
-Therefore, higher suicide rates in urban areas.
Applying to Catholic vs. Protestant
-Protestant is more of an individual religion.
-Therefore, protestant have higher suicide rates.
Applying to Aboriginal vs. Non-aboriginal
-Aboriginal have higher anomie, lots of unemployment, and not much social solidarity.
-Therefore, aboriginal have higher suicide rates.
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