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SOC101Y1 (985)
Robert Brym (148)

Introductory Lecture Brym speaks about Durkhind, introducing the course, as well as the concept of culture and focusing particularly on Durkhind's suicide studies during 19th century France.

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Robert Brym

SOC101Y1thSeptember 15 2010Durkhind Suicide French book Durkhind recognized first professor of sociology in france one of the first in the world that most people think of suicide as a very personal and nonsocialantisocial action The person who commits suicide kills all of society at least for one person We think suicide is a deeply psychological issue the result of extreme depression and despair Typically committed in private and is a rejection of society and everything it stands for Durkhind shows that suicide has very deep social causes that we arent aware of By demonstrating this durkhind made clear the importance of sociology He collected statistics from govt sourcesmental institutions to try to find out the relationship bw the rate of suicide in particular categories in the pop and their rate of mental illness neurasthenia If he could find in any particular category the higher the rate of mental illness than the higher the rate of suicide this would be evidence that suicide is the consequence of a capitalogical mental state If there was no relationship between high suicide rates and high rates of mental illness he would have to look elsewhereThe rate of anything is the number of cases or instances of a particular phenomenon per 1000 or 100000 people It is not the absolute number of cases that occur in a category We can compare groups of different size according to some standardDurkhind wanted to figure out why the rate of suicide might differ among different categories of the population Wanted to compare womenmen the different religious groups catholics protestantsjews wanted to compare age He found no relationship bw the rate of any type of mental illness and the rate of suicide He could not find that suicide is the result of any known mental disturbance within big groups of peopleHe found that women are more than twice as likely as men to be admitted to a mental institution but only 13 of the suicide rate of men during this time Similarly he looked at different religious groups and found that the group with the highest rate of mental illness jews had the lowest rate of suicide How do you explain the fact that men are more likely to commit suicide than women protestants more than catholics catholics more than jews married people less likely than unmarried people etc etc The answer he gave and what he sought to demonstrate in his book was the suicide rate is affected by the level of social solidarity of the groups in which one happens to be embeddedA groups level of social solidarity is determined by the frequency with which its members interact and the degree to which they share
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