emile durkheim (1858-1917)

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Psychocultural Anthropology:. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917). Durkheim pioneered the disciplines of sociology and social psychology. He was an empiricist and positivist, and so grounded his work in statistics. Works: The Division of Labor in Society (1893). Suicide, a study in sociology (1897). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Psychocultural Anthropology:

  • Durkheim pioneered the disciplines of sociology and social psychology.

    He was an empiricist and positivist, and so grounded his work in statistics.

    Works: The Division of Labor in Society (1893).Suicide, a study in sociology (1897). The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912)

  • Collective Consciousness/Conscience People in primitive societies are inculcated with the same values, norms and beliefs as children, they therefore will unconsciously think and act the in same way as adults.

    Primitive societies exhibit mechanical solidarity. People dont require formal institutions to function in this type of society.

  • Industrial societies are held together by economic interdependence. They come to be composed of people with varied values, aspirations, and beliefs due to the existence of varied social classes. He termed this type of integration organic solidarity.

    What kind of society did Durkheim consider to be more dysfunctional?

  • This is not to say..that the common conscience is threatened with total disappearance. Only, that it more and more comes to consist of very general and very indeterminate ways of thinking and feeling, which leaves an open space for a growing multitude of individual differences. There is even a space where it is strengthened and made more precise: that is in the way that it regards the individual.

  • Anomie This is a evolving condition of societies held together by organic solidarity, the result of an individuals inability to comprehend the totality of conditions in the wider society as it grows more complex, and of poor communication between sodalities such as classes or trade groups.

    In Suicide Durkheim expanded the meaning to reflect an environment where normal social constraints and expectations are done away with by a change in economic circumstances (good or bad), or divorce.

  • In his study of suicide, Durkheim discounted the effects of:

    Mental illness and alcoholism.

    Climate/latitude (cosmic factors).

    Race and ethnicity.

  • He noted that those at higher risk of killing themselves wereMen.Residents of Large Cities.Protestants.Older.Of higher social standing and education levels.Lacking children.

  • We thus reach the conclusion that the superiority of Protestantism with respect to suicide results from its being a less strongly integrated church than the Catholic church. This also explains the situation of Judaism. Indeed the reproach to which the Jews have for so long been exposed by Christianity has created feelings of unusual solidarity among them.

  • He came up with the following classes of suicide:Egoistic suicide we may call egoistic the special type of suicide springing from excessive individualism. Found in societies with organic solidarity.Altruistic suicide - found in societies with mechanical solidarity.Anomic suicide, including conjugal anomic suicide. This is the source of modern strain theory in sociology and psychology.

  • Tendentious.Used statistics from secondary sources.Used statistics of highly questionable quality and consistency.Ignored sources of reporting bias cultural/religious attitudes towards mental illness and suicide.Did not examine individual cases to deduce motivations and circumstances.

  • Why more elderly Asian women kill themselves.LA Times, Sept. 2000

  • 200,000 Chinese kill themselves annually, accounting for 22% of global total. (187,000 Indians kill themselves yearly).Chinese women kill themselves more often than men by a ratio of 5:4.Only 48% of Chinese suicides show mental illness.Rural Chinese kill themselves more often than urban Chinese.Married Chinese kill themselves more often than unmarried Chinese.

  • Of the global suicide toll, a large proportion occurs in developing countries.M Hvistendahl Science 2012;338:1025-1027Published by AAAS

  • Accurate statistics in China on suicide only date to 1980, due to social stigma. Indian Million Death Study has revealed past reporting bias.

    Explanations Jie Zhang

    Chinese suicides are marked by impulsiveness.Impulsive suicides choose lethal means.

    Strain theory When a person is pulled by two or more conflicting pressures..as with a girl who learns Confucian values at home and then goes to school and learns about modern values of gender equality she may be more prone to suicide.

    Of the global suicide toll, a large proportion occurs in developing countries.