Theories Suicide by Emile Durkheim Term Paper

Pages: 3 (867 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sociology


Suicide by Emile Durkheim

The central purpose of the article appears to be a description of human life in terms of the discrepancy between desire and fulfillment. The author appears to imply that, no matter what the status of the individual, his or her desires will always exceed the means to accomplish these. Human life is therefore likely to be a continuous series of disappointments. As a remedy, the author suggests either nationwide poverty or a moral rule of self-limitation that is acceptable to all human beings within society. In this way, limits are acceptable and desire and fulfillment are experienced within these limits. Problems however arise when society experiences an unusual crisis or upheaval. When the moral limitation or collective poverty is removed, dissatisfaction increases, and the desire to live decreases concomitantly.


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The Question is whether the level of potential desire and satisfaction experienced by human beings can be limited. The hypothesis is that this can be done in one of two ways. The first is via a moral rule universally applied to all of society, and the second by universal poverty within society. It is also however hypothesized that individual wealth may result in jealousy among those who are less well off. This jealousy in turn will result in dissatisfaction with the possibilities of satisfying individual desire. Such jealousy may result in conditions that favor revolt and social upheaval, and ultimately in a crisis situation that destroys possible satisfaction for all individuals. This, according to the author, results in higher rates of suicide.


Term Paper on Theories Suicide by Emile Durkheim the Central Assignment

Durkheim does not offer much beyond philosophical conclusions of social phenomena. He compares the human paradigm of satisfaction with that of animals, stating in essence that animals do not commit suicide, because their levels of satisfaction is dependent upon the immediacy of material availability. They are therefore more easily satisfied than human beings, because the latter add elements such as hope and wishing for more than is available. This discrepancy between what is desired and what is available is then used as evidence for the hypothesis.


The main conclusions may relate to the topic of the chapter, which is suicide. The author appears to indicate the conditions under which there might be an increase in the suicide rate of a society. It might also be inferred that the author is considering suicide from an individual viewpoint: an individual might lose the desire for life if that life becomes a series of disappointments. Desires are never fulfilled, and therefore death is more desirable than life. As the only desirable result, suicide is therefore chosen instead… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Theories Suicide by Emile Durkheim" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Theories Suicide by Emile Durkheim.  (2007, October 28).  Retrieved April 5, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Theories Suicide by Emile Durkheim."  28 October 2007.  Web.  5 April 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Theories Suicide by Emile Durkheim."  October 28, 2007.  Accessed April 5, 2020.