Suicide1. Allocate each of the following cases of suicide to one of the four types identified in Durkheim’s typology of suicide:

a) A rural migrant who is bewildered by city life
b) A servant who kills himself on the death of his master
c) A bravery stunt with a gun that works too well
d) A prisoner facing a life sentence in a tough labour camp
e) A person’s attempt to make an ex-lover return
f) An educated person who has just lost his wife and children but cannot turn to religion

Durkheim’s typology:

  • Egoistic – integration too low
  • Anomic – regulation too low
  • Altruistic – integration too high
  • Fatalistic – regulation too high

2. Using the same examples, categorise the cases according to Taylor’s four types of suicide.

a) Are there any that are difficult to place?
b) Whose typology seems to cope best with all the cases given?