The social suicide rates: A review on Durkheim’s theory of suicide

Suicide is a societal disease. Various philosophers have offered opposing opinions on the reason of suicide. However, Ken Morrison’s Marx, Durkheim, Weber: Formations of Modern Social Thought contains a lengthy study of Émile Durkheim’s suicide. This research looks into Emile Durkheim’s idea of suicide. Two examples are presented to demonstrate how he describes various sorts […]

Suicide bereavement and social relationships: A new application of Durkheim (IN Facing Death: Familial Responses to Illness and Death Volume 19, edited by C.L. Scott, H.M. Williams & S. Wilder)

Purpose: The author seeks to identify how suicide-bereaved individuals conceptualize their relationships with deceased loved ones. The author engages Durkheim’s theory of suicide to provide a new framework to analyze this population. Methodology: The author uses qualitative research and coding methods to produce a secondary analysis of previously collected interview transcripts. Findings: The author concludes that participants experience […]

Suicidal behaviour and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: Insights from Durkheim’s sociology of suicide

Whilst suicide is well established as a critical global public health burden causing around 800,000 deaths annually along with many more attempts, there is a concern that the impact of the coronavirus (COVID‐19) pandemic might intensify suicidality. The purpose of this study is to draw attention to the budding correlation between the COVID‐19 pandemic and […]

Toward a cultural-structural theory of suicide: Examining excessive regulation and its discontents

Despite its enduring insights, Durkheim’s theory of suicide fails to account for a significant set of cases because of its overreliance on structural forces to the detriment of other possible factors. In this paper, we develop a new theoretical framework for thinking about the role of culture in vulnerability to suicide. We argue that by […]

The suicidal animal: Science and the nature of self-destruction

Discussion of animal self-destruction during the early nineteenth century was structured by, and perpetuated, the Romantic view that suicide was a rational and even noble escape from intolerable circumstances. Popular accounts generally concerned animals that intentionally ended their lives to escape hopeless danger or human mistreatment

Socio-economic studies on suicide: A survey.


State and regional suicide rates: a new look at an old puzzle.


Factors from Durkheim’s family integration related to suicidal ideation among men with histories of child sexual abuse.

Journal is held in the CSP Library.

Situating suicide as an anthropological problem: Ethnographic approaches to understanding self-harm and self-inflicted death.

More than a century after DurkheimÕs sociological classic placed the subject of suicide as a concern at the heart of social science, ethnographic, cross-cultural analyses of what lie behind peopleÕs attempts to take their own lives remain few in number. But by highlighting how the ethnographic method privileges a certain view of suicidal behaviour, we […]

Tracking a movement: U.S. milestones in suicide prevention.

Suicidology and suicide prevention are relatively new fields of study in the United States, but they have made significant progress since their beginnings. This study aimed to identify the most impactful theories in the history of science and suicidology and the most impactful events in the suicide prevention movement. These theories and events were identified […]

Use of age-Adjusted Rates of Suicide in Time Series Studies in Israel

Durkheim’s modified theory of suicide was examined to explore how consistent it was in predicting Israeli rates of suicide from 1965-1997 when using age-adjusted rates rather than crude ones. In this time-series study, male & female rates of suicide were found to increase & decrease, respectively. Conforming to Durkheim’s modified theory, the male rate of […]

Social Control and Youth Suicidality: Situating Durkheim’s Ideas in a Multilevel Framework

Relying on Durkheim’s theory of social integration, the authors examined the effect of individual- & structural-level social integration on adolescents’ suicidality. Using a sample of 6,369 respondents within 314 neighbourhoods, the assumptions that high levels of religious, familial, neighbourhood, & school integration are associated with fewer suicide attempts among youths were examined. Support was found […]

Testing Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide: a Comment

In ten nations from 1900 to 1988, birth rates were more consistently & more strongly associated with suicide rates than were marriage rates, confirming the results of a study in Bavaria by Wiedenmann & Weyerer. Countries examined included: England/Wales, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, & Switzerland. (5 refs.) JA

Testing Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe

Modern correlation analyses confirm Durkheim’s (1888) conclusion that lower birth rates in European nations are associated with higher suicide rates for both data from the 1870s and from 1980. Countries in this study included Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England & Wales, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, & Switzerland. (7 refs.) JA

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 […]

A Death of One’s Own (IN: The Politics of Deviance, by A Hendershott)

Suicide has traditionally been viewed as a deviant act because it contributes to a climate in which individual life is devalued. Yet, as the author argues in this chapter, the line between suicide that is viewed as being justified (e.g. a person with a terminal illness) & suicide that is for the wrong reasons (e.g. […]

Association Between Terror Attacks and Suicide Attempts

Based on Durkheim’s control theory, the authors explored the association between frequency of terror attacks in Israel & the frequency of suicide attempts admitted to the emergency room of a major general hospital in Tel-Aviv (1999-2004). Analysis of the 6-year study period as a whole revealed no significant correlation between the variables, with the exception […]

Comparing the Changing Suicide Rate in Singapore With the Rates in England/Wales and the USA, 1950-1985

Whereas marriage & birth rates were significantly associated with the time-series annual suicide rate from 1950-1985 in England & Wales & birth rates were associated with the annual suicide rate in the United States, neither variable was significantly associated with the annual suicide rate in Singapore. It seems that different theories of suicide may have […]

Clinical Suicidology: Theoretical Models

This articles examines different theories of suicide, starting with a review of two major sociological theories, those of Durkheim & Henry & Short. The discussion then turns to individual theories of suicidal behaviours, classified into 3 major types: physiological, intrapsychic, & interpersonal. Intrapsychic theories are further divided into psychoanalytic theory, social learning, & cognitive process. […]

Durkheim and French Psychiatric Views on Suicide During the 19th Century: a Conceptual History

The authors of this article assert that Durkheim was biased in his choice of psychiatric sources &, as a consequence, painted a distorted picture of the history of psychiatric ideas on suicide in 19th-century France. (75 refs.)

Integration-Regulation and Rural Suicide: a Test of Three Alternative Models


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.

Denomination, Religious Context, and Suicide: Neo-Durkheimian Multilevel Explanations Tested With Individual and Contextual Data

In “Le Suicide”, Durkheim found involvement in religious communities is inversely related to suicide risk. In this article, 2 explanations for this relationship are examined. One is that religious networks provide support; the other is that religious communities prohibit suicide. Individual-level data on suicide in the Netherlands from 1936-1973 are used. Results show that with […]