Identify and describe the four types of suicide that Emile Durkheim delineated.  Include in your description the particular way in which people who commit each type of suicide are connected to...

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Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, published his book Suicide (Le Suicide) in 1897. In this book Durkheim defined the four different types of suicide and their grounding in societal factors not individual factors. The four different types of suicide defined in the text are Egoistic, Fatalistic, Anomic, and Altruistic.

Egoistic Suicide

People who would be most likely to commit this type of suicide feel extremely detached from their community. They do not feel a part of the greater whole or a sense of belonging. Typically, elderly people who have lost communication with their community due to inability to get out of their homes would be defined as those who commit egoistic suicide.

Fatalistic Suicide

People who commit fatalistic suicide feel oppressed by the society around them. They feel constantly repressed, both physically and mentally, by those who enforce power over them. People who live in very oppressive countries or prisoners would be most likely to commit fatalistic suicide.

Anomic Suicide

This type of suicide is typical of people who feel morally lost and have no sense of direction in their lives. Given the lack of a solid path, this person would rather die than feel lost. This type of suicide has been defined as the type which people who have been sexually abused would commit. Others have identified this as the type of suicide teenagers commit.

Altruistic Suicide

This type of suicide happens when a group or society has very influential power over individuals. This is also associated with soldiers who go to war for their country and run into the line of fire for their country's good.  Another example of altruistic suicide is committed by suicide bombers or cult suicides. This would be likened to allowing one's self to be sacrificed for crops or gods as well.


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