Based on the social integration, Durkheim identifies several types of suicides that occur in different societies. Each classification of suicide is based on how an individual relates and interacts with the society around him or her. Lack of sufficient social integration may result in egoistic suicide. This is due to an individual’s development of a feeling of isolation from the rest of society. This means that such an individual feels different and neglected by society such that he ceases to have a meaningful purpose in that society. It is common among individuals who lack social guidance and support, for example unmarried men in society tend to have higher suicidal tendencies. This kind of suicide also affects self centered persons who are estranged from the rest of society.
Durkheim also notes altruistic suicide that occurs due to too much social integration. It is mostly common in persons who are too close or intimate to other members of society. They tend to bond too much with others such that they can give their lives to a cause that will benefit other members of society. This kind of suicide is mostly common among military soldiers in exercise of their duties to their country and to their fellow soldiers. Altruistic suicide is usually an expression of self sacrifice of one’s own life due to loss of individuality.
Anomic suicides occur as a result of collapsing of social equilibriums that are necessary for normal living in society. This is common among individuals who decide to commit suicide due to bankruptcy or even sudden acquisition of wealth. Fatalistic suicides, on the other hand, are the consequence of extreme control structures in any given society. This may be evidenced by suicide due to slavery or lack of control of one’s situation. Barrenness has, for example been classified as a fatalistic suicide (Durkheim, 146).
Suicide rates remain constant over time despite changes in social conditions since individuals will never have equal levels of social integration. Society will never be able to satisfy the social needs of all members of society. Similarly, it cannot be able to control individuals’ estimation of the various structures in society. Therefore, the four types of suicides will continue to be existent in society throughout time.
Durkheim, Emile, Spaulding John and Simpson George. Suicide. New York: Simon and
Schuster, 2010. Print.