Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Durkheim, Suicide, and Wall Street

For the application Durkheim’s work with suicide seems most available. Durkheim argues that social institutions that regulate desires and social changes are the primary factors in suicide. Using this, examining the current economic situation which has been riddled with several high profile suicides should prove enlightening. It would be hard to argue that the American society put easily obtainable limits on the desires due to the capitalistic accumulation inherent to The American Dream. Also the current economic situation is clearly devastating which can be considered a social change. As a result Durkheim would project an increase in suicides. Data is not yet available, but current scholars are projecting that there will be similar results, though not yet immediately (Idov, 2008, http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/53341/ ).

Does the article (link provided) support Durkheim's argument?

1 comment:

  1. The article supports Durkheim's argument accurately. The desires such as the desire for money in a capitalist society, lead individuals to value their desires more than life itself. Many Americans focus their life on prosperity, their world becomes desiring more and more money, we work every day for money, and when one loses everything they worked for, they lose their desire to live. I think that since the economy is so bad in the US, we will definitely see an increase in suicides. All of these businesses or institutions that focus on the desire of prospering will definitely cause an increase in suicide rates as the US economy suffers. The US as a institution influences the society to work hard and prosper, people work for the American Dream, so when they feel like they have lost it, suicide seems to be their only option.