September 14 2011
Sociology is the systematic study of human action in social context. It is based on the idea
that our relations with other people create opportunities for us to think and act but also set
limits on our thoughts and actions.
- Durkheim (first sociology professor in France and in the world) : set up
foundations of the disciple of sociology
- He suggested that Suicide is a psychological problem
- He found that Herostemia (check spelling) (prof said don’t need to know the exact
word) is twice as high among men.
- Suicide rate is 3 times as high among men.
- As people age, the rate of suicide increases.
- Higher for people who are unmarried
- Different groups of the population are characterized by different grounds of social
- The level of Social Solidarity dictates whether or not their psychological state will
have certain outcomes.
o Ex: someone who isn’t married is more likely to commit suicide
- People who are married are at a higher level of S.S
- Family acts as an anchor that keeps your grounded. They provide strong emotions
- When you are young, you have more relationships than if you are older
o Friends go away, children move out, spouses die
Religious Group (example)
- Jews have been persecuted by Christians and they form solid social solidarity They
have the highest level of social solidarity of all religious groups.
- Catholics have a pope and a central church. This church dictates what people are
suppose to do. Christians form and bond well together.
- Protestants don’t have that, they focus on individuals finding their own path to God.
This causes a higher rate of the lack of unionizing and relationships.
Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide
Social solidarity is determined by the frequency with which its members interact
and the degree to which they share beliefs, values and morals
Suicide rates are lowest at intermediate levels of social solidarity and highest at low
and high levels of social solidarity.
Altruistic: doing something for the good of the group. (example: knowingly dying
for your religion, which is the same thing as committing suicide. Also, killing
yourself for the sake of your religion)
In the 19 century he saw that more and more p