Social Sciences

Start Your Free Trial

  According to Emile Durkheim, what is the relationship between suicide rates and population size?

Expert Answers info

Jessica Pope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write590 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Emile Durkheim posited four different types of suicide: altruistic, egotistic, fatalistic, and anomic. Altruistic suicide is suicide to help others. For example, an older person who can no longer contribute to the family might commit suicide to unburden his family from care-taking. Egotistic suicide happens when people feeldisconnected from their friends, family and extended social network. Fatalistic suicides happen when people living under tyrannical regimes or oppressive conditions feel that there is no other way out. Anomic suicide is wen people kill themselves after experiencing a sudden chaos in the moral order of things.

Durkheim suggested that when there is a large population increase due to migration or other societal merging, anomic suicide rates increase. According to Durkheim, people forced to deal with those who are culturally different loose their sense of stability and belonging.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now