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Sociology as a Life or Death Issue


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Sociology as a Life or Death Issue


Socialogy is concerned with enhancing human interacton and welfare on the notion that our interactions with other people provide us with the opportunity to reason out and act within preset limits on our train of thought and actions. Thus, a society’s welfare is significantly improved as people have a better understanding of self and evolving better interactions through a greater study of social relationships that shape each and every one of us.

Suicide and Sociology

A 19th century, a Frenchman named Emile Durkheim made a great illustration greatly supporting an approach taken by socialogists in understanding the society and means through which improvements in human welfare benefit the society as a whole. Through he did through the  research on suicide (Brym, 2007). A majority of the world’s citizens relate to suicide as the single most anti social and non social deed that a human being can do. Suicide is basically as a result of acute psychological distress commited by victims while alone (Brym, 2007). Suicide victims tend to reject the society and all its beliefs. However, Durkheim’s studies revealed that acute psychological distress did not necesarrily result in suicide and deduced that the contrary is at times is true (Brym, 2007). Low levels of psychological distress actually do result in suicide.  Durkheim proposed that the rate of suicide and more so the type of suicide in a society serves as a basis for analysing the state of a whole society. Durkheim noted that an individuals state of mind may be skewed towards suicide. A probability influenced by an individual’s social interaction which such an individual associates himself or herself with (Brym, 2007).This is predetermined by the social solidarity which refers to frequency of social interactions and the degree or level of sharing common beliefs, morals and values (Brym, 2007).

Durkheim considered the effects as a result of the level of social solidarity relative to the occurrence of suicide in a given society. The first level cosidered is the low social solidarity level (Brym, 2007). This degree of low social solidarity has a high probability of suicide occurences. Poor interaction and few commo beliefs, moral standards results in a low degree of emotional support and cultural maxims for accepted behavior (Brym, 2007). Durkheim supported his views by illustrating that married couples had a 50% less chance of commiting suicide as compared to unmarried people due to the social ties and moral resposibility created through marriage (Brym, 2007). More so the modern society has resulted in weaker social ties and rural to urban migration resulting in common beliefs, values and moral standards being increasing diverse and high probability for suicide victims (Brym, 2007).

Intermediate social solidarity is the second level of social solidarity as proposed by Durkheim. He suggested that the strengthening of social ties and a common culture in modern day society can help to drastically reduce incidences of suicide in a society (Brym, 2007). In North America standardized high quality daycasre enabled many children to socialise with agemates and adults while sigle paents were enabled to work jobs in which they fostered social ties (Brym, 2007).

High social solidarity. A good example for such social solidarity is seen in the military, where soldiers are a closely knit unit where one of them may put his or her life on the line to save the unit. The same has been seen suicide bombers protecting other religious fundamentalists (Brym, 2007).


The three levels of social solidarity aid socialogists to gauge an individual’s probability of suicide in a given society. Thus socialogy is a great higher education endeavor in which students learn and put into practice theories which have been tried and tested for a very long time. The students can thus embark on ways in which to improve the society through innovative means to improve social welfare and cohesiveness



Brym, R. J. (2007). Sociology as a Life or Death Issue. New York: Penguin.

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