Sept 12- lecture 1
Professor Brym and Professor Green
WE WILL DIE.
- Emile Durkheim-1897- Suicide
o Suicide=rare, most antisocial act.
o Main argument- rate of suicide in any given category of the population is a function not
so much of the state of mind as the people, but rather the state of social relations in
o People commit suicide when they suffer from psych distress; the more distress, the
more likely the suicide- what one would normally think, early psych theory.
Eg- women suffer from more psych distress than men; yet men commit 3-4
times more suicide.
Eg- looking at religion-> more suicides among protestants, but most psych
distress was among the jews in France(jews had least rate of suicides)
People embedded in social relations; the nature or these social relations
influences the reaction to psych distress, thus influencing the rate of suicide.
o Durkheim’s theory of suicide I
Whats really important- social solidarity in a given group. A groups leel of social
solidatiyy is determined by
Frequency with which its members interact
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. Eg- married people commit les suicide,
because they have family, kids, etc. to anchor them in the world. With religion-