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Chapter 1

chapter 1 for soca01

5 pages61 viewsWinter 2011

Course Code
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Sociology Chapter 1; Suicide
Sociological Explanation of Suicide
Durkheim proved that suicide was strongly influenced by social forces. It wasnt only
an act of depression from a psychological disorder
Discovered that more women than men were put in mental asylums
4 males for every 1 female suicide
Believed suicide rates varied because of different levels of social solidarity
Social solidarity degree to which group members share beliefs and values;
intensity and frequency of their interaction with the outside world
The more people interacted with each other, the more secure/firm in a social world,
an individual would be
Married adults are half as likely than single adults to commit suicide
Women are less likely to commit suicide than men because women are more involved
with their social relations and show their emotions easier
Suicide in Canada Today
Suicide among youth has increased dramatically
Youths dont participate in their religious activities as much as before, meaning they
dont share the same morals as their family
Unemployment for youths is very common and stressful
Many children are living with a single parent
oThis suggests that they dont like a lot of social/ intimate interactions with
their parents and they arent as supervised as other youths
Social solidarity has lowered over the decades
From Personal Troubles to Social Structures
Social structures relatively stable patterns of social relations
Microstructures intimate social relation patters
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oFormed with face-to-face interactions (families, friendship circles, work
Macrostructures overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above
your circle of intimates and acquaintances (classes, bureaucracies, power systems)
Global structures patterns of social relations that lie outside and about the
national level (international organizations, patterns of worldwide travel and
communication and economic relations between countries)
Social Imagination and its Origins
Quality of mid that enables a person to see the connection between personal troubles
and social structures
Three modern revolutions that pushed people to think about society in a completely
new way:
Scientific revolution conclusions of the workings of society needed solid evidence
not just speculation
Democratic revolution people are responsible for organizing society; human
intervention can therefore solve social problems
Industrial revolution rapid economic transformation that began in Britain 1780s
oInvolved large-scale application of science and technology to industrial
processes, the creation of factories, and formation of a working class
Durkheim -> Functionalism
Felt that human behavior was determined by their social solidarity. I.e.:
oTheir parents patterns of social interactions, relations, ad structures
oMacrostructures (social relations outside and above your intimate/close
Social structures maintain or undermine social stability
oIncrease in cities and industries lowers levels of social solidarity lead to an
increase of social instability which lead to a higher suicide rate
Social structures are mainly based on shared values and preferences
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