Durkheim did not say “Normlessness”: the Concept of Anomic Suicide for Introductory Sociology Courses
The definitions of anomic suicide presented in introductory sociology textbooks from 1996-2007 were compared with the definition given by Durkheim in his own writings, both the original French & the English translation. It was found only one textbook correctly gave Durkheim’s own definition while the other definitions showed little or no relationship to the original […]
How do Durkheimian Variables Impact Variation in National Suicide Rates When Proxies for Depression and Alcoholism are Controlled?
Countries included in the present study were Belgium, Denmark, England/Wales, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, & the Netherlands.
See SIEC Number 2003-0415 for the reference to the Page et al study.
This paper defines what suicide is and provides a schema for its moral evaluation. When an individual takes his/her own life it is suicide unless one of two conditions obtains: he did not truly “choose” his death, or there is an alternate description/intention of the act. The moral evaluation of suicides groups them into three […]
Reflections are presented on Durkheim’s theory of suicide 100 years after it was first formulated. It is suggested that much of the research which purports to test Durkheim’s theory does not in fact do so, & suggestions are made as to how the theory might be tested. Research into whether there is a societal effect […]
Issues of the mental health of arctic & subarctic Alaska Natives are explored. Their sociopolitical history is described demonstrating how intervention by European Americans in Alaska has prompted a self-alienation of Native peoples that has contributed to exorbitant suicide rates & other problems. These developments are contrasted with traditional lifestyles. Recommendations are made about the […]
This article examines suicide from a phenomenological perspective. The perceived subjective world of the inmate subculture is given careful consideration. The relationship between inmates’ ethnicity, socioeconomic status, & suicide is explained. For inmates most susceptible (white/middle-class) to a double-deviant status, reality becomes anomic & suicide becomes a cognitive alternative to a meaningless situation & an […]
Suicide in Canadian Aboriginal Peoples: Causes and Prevention (IN: The Path to Healing, by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples)
Societal causes of suicide in Canadian Aborginal peoples, and methods of prevention, are discussed. The economic history of the Micmacs is given to show how poverty contributes to the suicide rate. Anomie, a condition in which all societal values lose structure, is another factor, as much of their culture has been eroded. Prevention strategies are […]
Suicide in the North American Indian: Causes and Prevention. Transcribed and Edited Proceedings of the 1985 Meeting of the Canadian Psychiatric Association Section on Native Mental Health
This speech discusses anomie & its effect on suicide in Native populations. Anomie refers to a situation in which everything loses structure & meaning – a lack of regulatory factors in life. Many Native communities have lost their sense of culture – the young people cannot speak the language and there has been a breakdown […]
Sociological Considerations (IN: Focus Group on Suicide Prevention: Presentations, by Department of Health, Medical Services Branch)
This chapter examines some of the identifying factors of a suicidal individual, particularly as they relate to aboriginal people in Canada. The specific factors that are discussed are: age & gender, social isolation, poverty & unemployment, hopelessness & powerlessness, prior suicide attempts, anomie, & acculturation. Restoule believes that most of these risk factors stem from […]
This excerpt, from “Madame Bovary”, tells the story of the cprecipitating conditions & the suicide of the title character.
Suicide rates were obtained for New Zealand from 1889 to 1988. The overall rate for women has been stable since the 1930s, & the male rate showed marked peaks in the early 1930s & in the 1980s. Analysis of rates by age group revealed that the 1930 male peak was due to increases among the […]
Economy, Work, Occupation, and Suicide (IN: Assessment and Prediction of Suicide, edited by R W Maris et al)
The purpose of this chapter has been to examine the impact of the economy, work, & occupation on suicide. Although a number of studies have shown a statistical linkage between unemployment & suicide, one must be cautious in interpreting these findings. This chapter shows the difficulties with establishing causal relationships between the economy, work, & […]
110 French-Canadian adolescents (60 boys, 50 girls) participated in an analysis of the reliability and validity of a French version of the Scale for Suicide Ideation. Results suggest good reliability. Associations were found between suicide ideation and measures of self-esteem, multidimentional locus of control, life stress, depression, anomie, and age.
This study focusses on the theory that media influence is contingent on audience receptivity. Audience receptivity to suicide stories is assumed to be high in the Great Depression given widespread unemployment; however, analysis of monthly data on suicide & publicized stories finds little support for this theory. Only suicide stories about political leaders were associated […]
Death and Violence on the Reservation. Homicide, Family Violence, and Suicide in American Indian Populations (E 98 C87 B33 1992)
The purpose of this book is to provide a systematic & detailed examination of homicide, family violence & suicide in contemporary American Indian society. The research presented is sociological in its focus; it examines the social structural factors which relate to the incidence of this violence. After estimating incidence & prevalence rates for each of […]
Gender Equality, Legitimization of Violence, Social Disorganization and Rates of Personal Violence (Suicide and Homicide) in America
For the present study, 3 indices (gender equality based on 24 indicators of women’s status; legitimate violence based on 12 indicators of noncriminal violence; & social disorganization based on 6 indicators of social disorganization) were correlated with the suicide & homicide rates of the 48 continental states in 1980. Suicide rates were associated with legitimate […]
The official suicide rate in Ireland increased markedly between 1970-85. This is a genuine increase in suicide & not an apparent one due to previous deficiencies in recording practices. Possible reasons for the change include an increase in ‘anomie’ shown by a rise in the rates of crime, illegitimacy & admissions to hospital for alcoholism, […]
This study compared the perceptions of 20 unemployed & 30 employed British patients recovering from an attempted suicide for motives for self poisoning, intent to die, presence of warning, past history of attempts, history of psychiatric treatments & types of problems reported prior to the suicide attempt. Key relatives/friends were also interviewed. Analysis failed to […]
This paper describes a type of Toraja suicide in which a person kills him or herself after being offended, usually by a close family member. The author argues these suicides are not anomic, as suggested by many analysts, but “indignant” suicides. He concludes by suggesting that Durkheim, as well as contemporary analysts, underestimate the importance […]
Examined whether a correlation exists between unemployment & suicide. Yearly Japanese male unemployment rates from 1961 to 1979, & suicide rates by age group for 10 year spans from age 15 to 75+ years were compared. A positive correlation was strongly supported between suicide & unemployment in Japanese males aged 35-54 years. (6 refs.)