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M3A1: Analyze Social Phenomena Utilizing Theoretical Frameworks (Essay Sample)


By the end of this activity, you will be able to:
Analyze social phenomena utilizing theoretical frameworks (Sociology Major Outcome #2)
Analyze significant political issues according to the standards of the discipline in three of the following areas: 
The enduring controversies and values underlying the contending theoretical and philosophical controversies which have marked either classical political theory and/or modern positive political theory (Political Science Major Outcome #2
Explain why Durkheim defined suicide as a “social fact.” Next, explain the relationship between ideas about social integration and suicide using specific concepts out of Durkheim's work. Finally, explain the role of positivism in either of Durkheim’s work in explaining societal phenomena.
Project 2 (1200-1500 words) 
PowerPoint slides for Chapter 3 [PPT File Size 2584KB]
Alan Macfarlane video on Durkheim [Video File Size 47:05 mins]
Module Notes 3


Project 2
Course Title:
Suicide as a social fact
Durkheim alluded that suicide came from social roots rather than what the society feels as an individual act. He argues on the consistency of suicide as being a social fact through analysing suicide rates, in that, this consistency came from an individual being regulated and integrated by moral constraining forces of life. His analysis on suicide rates involved the society, the historical periods and different social groups existing in the same society (Deflem, 2013). He linked the different rates of suicides of the society and social groups to specific characteristics of the society or the social group. He found out that individual characters are rooted in social groups and that suicide rates are high at situations or places where an individual lacks moral and social integration and regulation (Appelrouth & Edles, 2016; module notes)
Social integration and suicide
Suicide occurs in both traditional and modern societies, but what differs is the type of suicide that happens. He refers to suicide as death, that results from a negative or positive act that is carried out by the victim with knowledge that these result will be produced. Durkheim points out two types of suicides as egoistic and altruistic suicides that resulted from over and under-integration of the victim by the society (Ayabaya, 2007). The society`s over and under regulation caused anomic and fatalistic suicides. Suicides that are committed in a society in a specific time period, its total is not just a sum of individual units, but it is made up of a new fact sui generis that has its individuality and unity, thereby, its own social nature (Appelrouth & Edles, 2016).
A modern society lacks integration and regulation of the individual to a social group. Egoistic suicide resulted from individuation of the modern society. The same modern society has a very low social integration and moral regulation, and this is noticed during an individual`s social and personal change. However, a traditional society has an intensification of social regulation which reduces individuation and this could lead to altruistic suicides (giving ones’ life for a social group) (Ayabaya, 2007).
In religion, Durkheim observed that suicide was less among Catholics and Jews than Protestants. The kind of suicide Protestants committed was egoistic suicide in a single society. Protestantism offers more freedom of thought and inquiry than Catholicism or Judaism, and free inquiry overthrows traditional beliefs. This makes Protestantism have few common practices and beliefs. When religious society loses cohesion, an individual seeks to find out more knowledge about social integration which would increase chances of suicide (Deflem, 2013).
In family integration, married couple also commit suicide less than unmarried people, and widows would commit suicide more than married people, but less than single people. In the constitution of a family, Durkheim realised that the more children a family has, the less they would commit suicide and marriage protects men from suicide more than women. The degree of integration of a family would reduce suicide rates among the married couple and their children (Lecture on Emile Durkheim suicide (1897), Module Notes).
A political society that has cohesion in their sentiments, strong patriotism and political faith would lead to less suicide. During periods of social upheavals, political wars and political chaos, the rate of suicide would lower down. This is because the degree of integration of a political society will help reduce suicide rates from occurring among the members of the political society (Hart, 2014).
Both excessive and insufficient individualism leads to suicide, especially among the primi...
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