The Sociological Imagination in Action
Reading 2: Donna Gains- Teenage Wasteland
-What was being studied?
Suicide rates had tripled from 1950-1980
More group suicide pacts
-How was the suicide pact studied?
Suicide is 3 leading cause of death in teenage (following after accidents and
400,000 teenage suicides per year.
86% are males.
Hispanic, Native American, and Alaskan teens are reported most.
100,000 teenagers are checked into hospitals, etc. for self inflicted wounds or
-Suicide is often viewed as a private “trouble”
-Why is suicide a public “issue”?
Relevant Sociological Concepts
-Durheim,, Suicide (1897)
Types of suicide
o Egoistic: using suicide as a mean to escape the consequences of their
actions (ex- Hitler, prisoner, avoiding death sentence)
o Altruistic: committing suicide to farth