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Suicide - Research Paper Example

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Emile Durkheim, in his much renowned Le Suicide, defines suicide as cutting off relationships as oppose to the simple putting an end to one’s own life. These feelings arise out of social pressures and the incapability to deal with them and thus choosing to loosen ties with such…
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Suicide Research Paper
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Download file to see previous pages Namely, these are fatalistic, altruistic, egoistic and anomic. The act by itself reflects not primarily focusing on the individual but on his overall existence as part of the society and that the same could either reflect culture or of sudden events that occurred (Ferrante, p.15). Suicide is always done with intent where the ultimate goal is death. Corollary to the concepts of prevailing religions such as Judaism and Christianity, Western attitudes toward suicide is sternly negative as oppose to other cultures more particularly in Japan where hara-kiri is an accepted practice. Throughout and different philosophers, the question on view regarding the subject matter has been polarized (Clinard and Meier, p.304). Besides the varying statistics among countries, suicide rates also have other relative factors such as age, gender, race and other factors that are yet to be defined theoretically. The numbers are inconsistent but recent study shows the steady increase through the years and that there is a discrepancy between actual suicides from those documented (ibid, pp.306-307). It has been found that men carry out the most successful number of suicides than women but the latter gender has a greater number of attempts than the previous. In average, one young person between the ages of 15-24 successfully commits suicide about every 2 hours and 2 minutes. Generally, it is at its peak among those separated, widowed and divorced as oppose to married individuals (Corr, Nabe and Corr). Suicide is listed among social deviance such as drug abuse, prostitution and crime. In essence, these behaviors are what can be considered as offensive to society and are therefore denounced. Deviance is a matter of social control which represents what is acceptable and what is not according to moral customs. In such a way that there is a formal control over these acts, the law is often the way to enforce such positive prohibitions. “Deviant behaviors represent such undesirable acts that people want to ‘do something’ about them” (Clinard and Meier, p.26). Unlike other deviant behaviors wherein the state has enforced formal control over, suicide has no positive law prohibiting it in the United States as this would technically violate individual rights to life and liberty which concurrently also includes the termination thereof through personal choice. It is initially through religious practice and subsequent general social adoption that has rendered suicide as a deviant behavior. As previously mentioned, Japan is a great example on how suicide can be relative with regard to population and social norms. In the Asian country, suicide is an acceptable notion which explains why it has constantly been the country with the highest number of suicides per year. The relativity of suicide according to time and place can best be described by the economic atmosphere of a certain country at a certain time. In fact, it was recorded that the highest suicide rate in the United States was during the height of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. This would be consistent with Durkheim’s anomy classification that relates that inability of people to cope with unemployment as a reason to commit suicide. This encumbrance of social pressure is too pressing to be dealt with for other people. Though Durkheim has received many oppositions and comments on the central thesis of his work, his refined theory of social integration is very much appropriate as a theoretical approach to describe suicide as a devi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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