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 their society.

The four types of suicide that Emile Durkheim delineated are egoistic suicide, in which the individual feels isolated from society, altruistic suicide, in which the individual is highly connected to society and commits suicide as a selfless act, anomic suicide, in which the individual feels lost, and fatalistic society, in which the individual feels oppressed and trapped by society.

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Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist who was attempting to situate suicide in cultural and social context rather than understanding it primarily as an individual psychological phenomenon. He articulates this understanding in his 1897 book Suicide (Le suicide). He distinguishes four types of suicides, all of which he sees as ultimately rooted in social forces and especially in deficits in social integration:

  • Egoistic suicide: This type of suicide is rooted in a sense of separation or alienation from a social group. This motivation explains why single people are more likely to commit suicide than married ones and how social isolation can lead to suicide in the elderly. 
  • Altruistic suicide: Durkheim sees this as parallel to military service in which people might sacrifice themselves to help society as a whole. This might include the Japanese tradition of Seppuku or the Buddhist practice of self-immolation as a form of social protest or someone in an emergency offering a place on a...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 767 words.)

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