lecture note

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16 Dec 2010
Sociology & Suicide
Durkheim’s Analysis
Social science, use of reason to figure out how the world works, 1700s, industrial revolution,
enlightenment, could stay in social institutions for a long period of time
Do social forces exist?
We know social forces exist because they produce consequences. Social forces change behaviour. Eg.
Budding in line, interrupts our social forces of first come first serve” mentality.
Does social forces relate to suicide?
If Durkheim cant find relations between social forces and suicide rates then sociology doesnt exist. But it
does and he found the similarities.
Social Structure:
Relatively stable patterns of social relations that affect our thoughts, feelings, actions and identify
3 levels of Analysis:
Microstructures/microforces: (patterns of intimate social relations formed during face to face interaction)
eg. One on one
Macrostructures: (patterns of social relations outside and above ones circle of intimates and
acquaintances) eg. Society, political systems, mass media(tv, magazines, books, internet)
-how does society distribute valuable resources? Society makes up ways to distribute Eg. Money
Distribution based on education, power
Stratifications/classes: prestige
Global structures: (patterns of social relations outside and above the national level) eg. Political
-global economy and trade with other countries: quite stable
The Sociological Prospective (Durkheim used this to relate with suicide)
-illustrated through considering causes of suicide
Suicide often regarded as a supremely antisocial and non social acts
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