Suicide and Sociological Factors
Nowadays many people around the world commit a suicide according to the recent statistic data. During the last century, the rate of committing a suicide has tripled among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and it became one of the most important issues of the modern society (Stapley, 2010). Why do adolescents commit a suicide; what are the main reasons; do these reasons include only personal factors or are there some other factors, which make the youth end their life – these are the questions for many sociologists and psychologists to address. Many juveniles feel themselves unbearable and meaningless. They are lonely, friendless, neglected and abused by their peers. Some teenagers are not accepted by other members of the community. Numerous social factors make them lonesome, unloved, hopeless, unhappy as they do not meet the expectations of the contemporary social life (Jones, 1986). Therefore, there are different causes, but most of all, sociological factors are responsible for such a fatal decision. Suicide is not an act of a personal will. It is influenced by many other people from one’s environment. The level of the person’s desire to kill himself/herself depends on his/her integration into the community and his/her standing there (Jones, 1986). When an individual resorts to self-destruction, others attempt to be aware of the reasons of ending one’s life. Due to investigations of each particular case, it becomes clear that every single act of suicide is connected with the structure and culture of society and sociological factors, which lead to self-murder.
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The impact of the public can be so abusive that it can result in an intention of suicide. According to the research of Emile Durkheim, the French sociologist, people take their lives because of various sociological factors. It is necessary to determine different kinds of suicide, as some of them can be regarded as a sacrifice or an act, which is not realized by a person, and can lead to death. The rate of suicide can be reduced if people follow some main principles of socializing and integration within the society (Jones, 1986). Primarily, it is essential to define suicide. The concept implies any death (positive – such as shooting oneself or negative –namely, refusing to eat), which is committed by a victim himself/herself (Isaksen, 2013). Anyway, according to Durkheim, there are two types of self-murderers: the victim of hallucination (when one jumps from the roof considering it not high) and the sane individual, who commits a suicide, knowing that this will result in death (Isaksen, 2013). Only such an act can be regarded a suicide when a victim is sure that his/her action will lead to his/her demise, as it is his/her main goal. Durkheim claims that any self-destruction is connected with a group of people who make a person to reach such a decision. Thanks to Durkheim’s research, many common approaches to sociology were developed. Due to Durkheim’s study, it is possible to identify social factors and their influence with the help of such concepts as norms, values, socialization (Stapley, 2010). Norms determine the case of suicide based on the norms of the community; values dictate what is right and what is wrong in the public, and socialization governs the level of one’s integration into the society.
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The given work provides the analysis of the group suicide, which happened in many countries last year. It is a very uncommon and complex case. Last summer many teenagers around the world took their own lives by jumping from the roofs of the houses or intentionally getting under the wheels of cars on the road, as these were the rules of the game imposed on them through the social networks. Therefore, particular groups were created for youngsters with some hidden leaders, who established special rules of the game, according to which the last level included jumping from the roof and attempting to fly or falling under the wheels of the vehicle on the road in order to try their luck. The leaders influenced adolescents at night hypnotizing them. It was a terrible event, and such groups were closed and forbidden for children. Parents were warned about such cases and asked to observe what their kids did on the Internet. Hence, this instance of suicide proves the theory of Emile Durkheim, which reveals that a person cannot commit a suicide only in his/her own wish. The individual is affected by different sociological factors (Isaksen, 2013). The given case is related to the concept of socialization. Analyzing these events teenagers’ suicide, one may state that they felt the lack of socialization that is one of the Durkheim’s concepts. According to the interviews with their neighbors, friends and family members, it becomes clear that these juveniles felt lonely, they did not have many mates and had a resolved way of life. Another sociological factor, which impacted their decision to take their lives, was the fact that those young people were from the families with authoritarian parents, where children were enforced to do what their parents wanted. Moreover, such teenagers did not have any personal rights and aimed at achieving some freedom by joining the group in the social networks. In the analyzed case, adolescents were influenced by online leaders and followed their recommendations. If those juniors had not joined that group and had not started playing that game, they would have never committed a suicide at their own will. Therefore, they became the victims of social abuse.
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Due to the research of Durkheim, people resort to self-murder because of particular problems in their environment, namely at work, in the family, with friends, income, partners and children. Neither religious beliefs nor traditions can cause such a high rate of suicides. The main factors of suicide are sociological ones, which encompass integration in the society, one’s position in it, as well as religious, social and occupational status of a person. Every suicide is not just an individual act, but it is connected with a group of people from the environment of a victim (Stapley, 2010). The factor of cohesiveness has a great meaning. It is very important for a person to feel connected or accepted by the public. If one finds themselves rejected, it can lead to the attempts of self-murder, as everyone needs to be loved, cared and accepted by the community. Hence, it becomes clear, that lonely teenagers, who felt alone and neglected by their peers in their environment joined the groups in the social networks in order to win friends and support there. In this group, they had common ideas with other members as well as shared interests. Consequently, it is possible to see the connection between the integration of juveniles into their environment and participating in the game, which led to their suicide.
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Watching a video on Durkheim’s theory, one may identify different factors, which are the most significant in this case. One of factors is religion. A person without any religious beliefs is under a greater threat to take his/her life than an individual who has some religious affiliations. Another social group who face a risk to commit suicide are unmarried people (NikosKaranikolas, 2015). Unlucky love relations can lead to the self-murder as well. Military officers are more likely to resort to self-destruction than others. The conditions of war and peace also considerably influence the population. In the circumstances of the armed conflict, people feel depressed, stressed and in despair that is why such a situation can promote self-murder. Economic factors are also very important and they greatly affect a person’s attitude to life and death. If an individual has big financial problems, he/she wants to solve his/her issues but if there is no easy solution, one may decide to die by committing a suicide and to be released from all debts (NikosKaranikolas, 2015). Another factor implies that a person, or particularly a teenager, lives among wealthy peers as well as experiences lack of money and materialistic needs. Additionally, such an individual feels excluded from his/her community and finds himself/herself not equal with others that is why he/she can feel depression and dissatisfaction with his/her life (NikosKaranikolas, 2015). Other factors include racial and sexual characteristics. The blacks and those of non-traditional orientation often face bias at school and at work. It can also lead to the wish to take their lives. Their rejection by the society makes them unhappy and lonely. By the way, the research has proved that the blacks are less likely to commit a suicide less than white people.
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According to the economic situation in the country, it is easy to predict a rate of suicide, whether it will rise or not. The number of self-murders depends not only on personal characteristics, but also on different sociological factors, which influence the population. Therefore, in order to change the high percentage of suicide, it is necessary to introduce the reforms in the society (Crossman, 2017). The theory of Emile Durkheim has a great meaning for modern sociologists, theory makers and social policy makers. Her main theory demonstrates why people take their lives and what sociological factors have to be taken into consideration to reduce the level of suicide. Thus, her theory provided many answers to the question why individuals commit a suicide. It helps to improve the situation in the community as well as to be more attentive to individual needs and interests so that to avoid their wish to kill themselves because of loneliness, unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life. Many cases of self-destruction can be explained and investigated in reference to nine factors, which were suggested by Emile Durkheim.
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In the analysis of the reasons of suicide, it is important to take into account individual characteristics, namely depression and frustration, which are connected with social forces that explain the behavior of a person. It is also necessary to consider the social and historical factors that may have induced the self-murderer in order to understand the real cause of this act. Everything is interrelated and interdependent. The given example of teenagers’ suicide shows that that the range of sociological factors contributed to self-destruction of numerous juveniles. Due to the investigations of this case, it becomes clear that every single act of committing a suicide is associated with the structure and culture of the society as well as sociological factors. The first one was the wish of adolescents for socialization. They felt lack of integration into their community of peers. Moreover, they were friendless and isolated. Another sociological factor included the upbringing by authoritarian parents so that children were imposed to behave in the way their parents wanted them to conduct themselves. Consequently, these sociological factors made those youngsters join the game and decide to kill themselves. They played that game, when all were sleeping, in order to feel free and independent.