Suicide, Durkheim, fatalism, poverty, health, slavery


In describing fatalism in Suicide, Durkheim executes two blunders. The first can be categorized in errors of commission while the second should be included in errors of omission. In the error of commission area, he hypothesizes two platforms for existence of fatalistic suicide. Without employing theory-embedded data, he contends that infertility is a catalyst for fatalistic suicidal. Later, he asserts that slavery is fertile soil for fatalistic suicide. Although there is suicidal data in these two arenas, a closer inspection demonstrates that these are not characteristics of fatalistic suicide. For errors of omission, he failed to systematically observe two social factors for which data was available during his time of study. Poverty and poor health existed in a social environment which is best described by Durkheim’s vision of fatalistic suicide. He missed observing and collecting the available data to lend support for the empirical existence of fatalistic suicide. These four social factors are discussed.

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