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Level 21

Suicide 2.0

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Largely supported Durkheims conclusion but he pointed out that the impact of RURAL vs URBAN lifestyles on suicide rates hadn't been considered
Gibbs and Martin
Argued that Durkheim hadn't use enough scientific methods even though he'd stressed how important they were. They query how anyone can know what "normal" levels of integration and regulation are
Interpretivists on Durkheim suicide theory
These believe that Durkheims work is fatally flawed because he relies on the unquestioning use of official statistics. Interpretivists don't believe in statistics, and they only give you half the story
Is critical of durkheim's use of statistics, he instead suggests families may cover up suicides. In addition in some communities such as Catholic ones, because suicide is a sin coroners may avoid a suicide verdict as it would place shame on the family
Douglas's four types of suicide
Douglas identified four different social meanings for suicides in modern industrial societies. He believes suicide isnt always the same act, the victim can construct how others interpret their death i.e. as an accident or to seek revenge
Transformation of the soul (Douglas's four types of suicide)
Douglas believe people killed themselves to sometimes enter heaven
Transformation of the self (Douglas's four types of suicide)
Douglas believe people killed themselves as a way of getting people to view you differently
Achieving Sympathy (Douglas's four types of suicide)
Douglas believe people killed themselves in order to gain empathy from others
Achieving Revenge (Douglas's four types of suicide)
Douglas believe people kill themselves to spite others and to hurt them
suicide is culturally seem as a transformation of the self as if you have committed a crime etc you can gain repentance through suicide which may explain why japans suicide rates are so high
Used case studies for his research in suicide. He believed suicide was an action chosen by individuals to solve a problem when all other solutions had failed
Atkinson thought these had a preconception of suicide victims for example deaths of young single men were more likely to labelled suicide than those of middle aged men
Steve Taylor
Studied 32 cases where people had been struck and killed by London tube trains without leaving suicide note. He discovered the victim was more likely a victim had a history of mental illness
Found that suicide rates in London boroughs were highest where levels of social disorganisation (such as divorce and illegitimacy) were the highest
Studied coroners courts and suggested that coroners use their own interpretations and definitions in order to define a death as suicideu
Suicide note
(Atkinson- what coroners take into account) this is an important clue to show a persons intention to die. However these can be faked by killers who want a death to look like a suicide or the victim have been under the influence of alcohol when writing it so the motive may be unclear
mode of death
(Atkinson-what coroners take into account) a death of hanging or overdose is more likely to be thought of as a suicide than a death of car crash for instance
mental history
(Atkinson-what coroners take into account ) if the victim had a poor mental condition of had suffered a sad event like a death a coroner is more lilely to rule a death a suicide