Suicide and Structural Functional Approach

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Suicide and the Sociological Perspective Natalie Newlands Stu A natural ending of every human life is death but for some people, for reasons that have never been fully understood, they choose to end their own lives. This is called suicide. Research and statistics have proven that this phenomenon is considered a social problem due to a large proportion of society considering it as a social problem. In this essay the Structural Functional approach by famous sociologist Emile Durkheim will be used to explain this phenomenon. This essay will firstly outline what suicide is and how it is a social problem with statistics support; it will then go on to discussing the structural functionalists approach to help understand suicide focusing on Emile Durkheim’s study on suicide, then will outline the four main types of suicide established by Durkheim. Suicide is a major social and public health problem in Australia (Hassan, 1996). The groups most vulnerable to suicide appear to be males, youth, farmers and Indigenous people (Kolves, Milner, Kathy & De-Leo, 2012). According the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012), there were 22,526 suicide deaths registered in Australia between the years of 2001 to 2010, suicide accounts for approximately 1.7% of the 1,357,537 deaths. In the 2001-2010 periods, males were 3 and 4 times more likely to die from suicide than females. There were 996 suicide deaths registered across Australia between 2001 and 2010 where the deceased person was identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres trait Islander origin. Suicides accounted for 4.2% of all registered deaths of people identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in 2010, compared with the 1.6% for all Australians. Suicide accounts for a large proportion of all deaths for people between 15 and 24 years of age, and 25 and 34 years of age. Australia has multiple suicide

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