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Durkheim's One Cause of Suicide

Barclay D. Johnson
American Sociological Review
Vol. 30, No. 6 (Dec., 1965), pp. 875-886
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2090966
Page Count: 12
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Durkheim's One Cause of Suicide
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Abstract

In this paper I attempt to clarify Durkheim's theory of suicide rates. He maintains that two social variables, integration and regulation, jointly determine rates of suicide. A high rate is caused by an extreme condition of integration (egoism or altruism) or of regulation (anomie or fatalism), or by some combination of extreme conditions. A closer look at Suicide suggests, however, that altruism and fatalism really do not belong in Durkheim's scheme, and that egoism and anomie are identical. Thus, his four causes of suicide can be reduced to one, so that all variation in suicide rates is attributed to a single cause.

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