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September 20, 2012 suicide theory notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

Class: Introduction to Sociology Course Code: Professor: S. Ungar Date: September 20, 2012 Suicide from a sociological perspective! Albert camus “there is but one truly serious philosophicl problem, and that is suicide” Philosophy and psychology approach Depression, failure, etc… Psych perspective incomplete Sociology Looking at broader social forces affecting one’s life chances… 48 members of the Canadian cult in 1970 committed suicide Sue Rodriguez went to supreme court for right to be put down because she was in tremendous pain and lost case but died soon after It wont be long assisted suicide will be legal – Prof shelly Dr. jack Kevorkian was really famous for putting people to death (assisted suicide) ended up in prision in the states US Military On average 1 daily suicide in afghanistan (us military) 6,500/yeah among war vets - Traumatic brain injury (TBI) - 25x number killed by warfare Recall suicides 25 x death rate Afghan war - Still majority vets not kill selves (social solidarity(brain injuries), anomie (many soldiers serve with anomie, high unemployment rate amongst vets due to injury)) Illusions We live by - Regime of ‘truth’ foisted on us by constant repetition - Unquestioned - Un-open to questioning Example last class: - Strangers (moral panic when comes to children) - Americans love military (illusion) - Made heroes of the first responders of 911 (many of them developed cancer) this year for the first time they have provided medical money. Applying sociological perspective. But Durkheim showed that suicide rates - decrease with social solidarity - Increase with ANOMIE (find examples and apply them) Social solidarity Means close ties like family friends that support you Interaction with people Vs. lonely crowd ANOMIE Normlessness - Social change as producer of anomie - Death of someone close can but anomie - Divorce - Getting fired - Moving somewhere new Great depression was known for high suicide rate Applying concept Men vs. Women Men social solidarity is lesser than woman Woman have more social solidarity - Most family run through women (mother etc…) - Woman arrange family events - Woman have better friendship (can tell anything too) - Men are much more superficial with friendships Men have more Anomie (typically) Men have higher suicide rates than woman Logic - If suicides were JUST the result of individual depression or mental illness, they would NOT vary systematically by group, time…. (Important idea) Apply social Solidarity & Anomie Who has more solidarity & anomie? - Young vs OLD (typically as you age social solidarity goes down (death etc…)) - Old people tend to suffer more anomie (retirement, spouse etc…) - Rural vs. Urban (rural tend to have more solidarity (everyone knows each other, tv and satellite are changing that) - Typically anomie is higher in urban areas aswell (less contact with people etc…)(rural areas people tend to communicate more, more friendly) - Catholic vs. protestant (catholic has more social solidarity) - Non-aboriginal vs. aboriginal (non-aboriginal have more solidarity and less anomie) Research Durkheim & Suicide theory (Learn rest myself) Second Slide u � → In medieval Europe, the social order was s
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