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Emily Durkheim - Studies on Suicide

             Durkheim, as mentioned in the introduction, conducted the study of suicide to prove that it was social, rather than extra social factors that influenced suicide. The first extra social factor, to which suicide was mostly attributed to is insanity. Durkheim investigated this theory and pointed out that if suicide was caused by a certain insanity then this would be termed as ˜monomania' " in Durkheim's words, "a delirium of localized nature " that is, a person is otherwise normal but has sudden desires to drink or use abusive language. It was believed that a sudden emotional disturbance was enough to provoke monomania. However, Durkheim rejected this theory for two reasons; one, there is no concrete proof to show the existence of monomania, second, mental functions are completely dependent on one another, and insanity is present in one area, then it should also be present in another as well, that is if insanity affects one function it should affect at the other functions as well. Therefore the concept of monomania, where an individual displays normal behavior in every other action but shows absolute abnormality in just one particular action is unacceptable and therefore the idea that insanity causes suicide does not hold true according to Durkheim .
             Suicide And Normal Psychological Conditions: Heritance .
             Durkheim then turns his attention to normal psychological conditions such as race, nationality and heredity to which psychologists attributed suicide to. He believed that to sociologically define race was a difficult task yet he studied the theory given by Morselli regarding race and its effects on suicidal tendencies. Morselli identified four groups on the basis of suicidal rates, put them in descending order and concluded that the Germans had the highest rate of suicides, then came the Celto-Romans, third stood the Slavs and the last group was too small to assess. It was thought that suicides based on nationality rather than race would be a better option to study but in this case too, a nation consisting of mixed ethnic groups would be best to study in order to avoid the confusion that suicide is the cause of a specific civilization.

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