Presentation Title

Suicide : The Influence of Social Forces on Self-Sabotage

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Danielle Muller, Dr. Brian Bartlett, Dr. Nyree Berry

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 10:15 AM

Location

15-1822

Session

Social Science 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

In the 19th and 20th centuries, death by suicide was the response to social forces affecting many of the world’s elites, as sociologist Émile Durkheim proved in his 1897 study Suicide. This disturbing trend was the result of strong forms of social control and oppression. Durkheim conducted rigorous research involving the bourgeoisie and published his findings which reveal correlations with suicide among gender, class, occupation, and religion. Based on his data, suicide is not only attributed to individual psychological issues but also societal antagonism (social facts). Playwrights in this era, used the stage to highlight the plight of women and the hypocrisy of the upper-class. Among plays used to garner public attention were Hedda Gabler, Six Characters in Search of an Author and Tosca written by Henrik Ibsen, Giacomo Pirandello and Giacomo Puccini respectively. Protagonists in all three plays self-destruct before their curtain call and reflect real-life scenarios where women are expected to surrender to inequalities, restriction, and subjugation. Durkheim’s theoretical typology of suicide includes anomic, egoistic, fatalistic and altruistic causalities. Self-destruction is an emotional response to homogeneity (Martin 1109) with forewarning long before disaster strikes. Individuals who self-destructed did not always do so selfishly but because society gave them no other option to live beside conformity, as is evinced with Hedda Gabler. Playwrights acted as social doctors, recognizing conformism as a pathogen that was causing self-destruction and attempting to treat it. Playwrights in this era used the stage to showcase the work that came later by anthropologists and sociologists.

Works Cited:

Crossman, Ashley. The Study of Suicide by Emile Durkheim. ThoughtCo, Aug. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/study-of-suicide-by-emile-durkheim-3026758. Puchner, Martin, Norton and Company, The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Vol. 2., 1650 to the Present, Volume 2., New York, London, 2013. Durkheim, Ãmile. On Suicide. Penguin, 2006. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed., 2010, 15th Printing Worldcolor Versailles KY, September 2010. Prosperity, Depression, and the Suicide Rate, Walter C. Hurlburt, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 37, No. 5 (Mar., 1932), pp. 714-719. Durkheim Emile, De la Division du Travail Social.

Summary of research results to be presented

The Stage, Society and Self-Destruction:

Playwrights of the Modern era mock the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie and show the relationship between suicide and the upper class resulting from social pressures. Research results for this paper include the 1897 study by Emile Durkheim and a 2017 interview with Professor Martin Garcia of Los Angeles City College addressing suicide in mammals, such as lemurs.

While art and literature thrived in the older eras, science was only in its inception. Now, thanks to innovations in science and technology, we know of the microcosmic world of cells. There is a parallel universe existing here. In this world, “cancer” metaphorically describes the unhealthy living conditions of women and social outcasts like homosexuals. Like our somatic cells are destroyed by cancer, our societies self-destruct from the oppressive forces: homogeneity and conformism.

During the life cycle of a cell, phasic checkpoints ensure that division and growth occur according to DNA instructions. When irreparable errors occur, a cell programs its own death through apoptosis. Apoptosis happens in multicellular organisms like eukaryotes (in this case, humans). Biochemical changes bring about cataclysmic events that result in “cell suicide.” Cells program their genes to self-destruct by stopping specific growth during a problematic phase. The cell then sends a chemical signal to produce an enzyme to end its life.

Upon closer inspection, these theatrical pieces show a scientific correlation: that a metaphorical cancer resembles physical cancer. The artistic assertion: the play Hedda Gabler illustrates that oppression can drive one to suicide, as well as the implication that an unhealthy society leads to individuals self-destructing.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 10:15 AM

Suicide : The Influence of Social Forces on Self-Sabotage

15-1822

In the 19th and 20th centuries, death by suicide was the response to social forces affecting many of the world’s elites, as sociologist Émile Durkheim proved in his 1897 study Suicide. This disturbing trend was the result of strong forms of social control and oppression. Durkheim conducted rigorous research involving the bourgeoisie and published his findings which reveal correlations with suicide among gender, class, occupation, and religion. Based on his data, suicide is not only attributed to individual psychological issues but also societal antagonism (social facts). Playwrights in this era, used the stage to highlight the plight of women and the hypocrisy of the upper-class. Among plays used to garner public attention were Hedda Gabler, Six Characters in Search of an Author and Tosca written by Henrik Ibsen, Giacomo Pirandello and Giacomo Puccini respectively. Protagonists in all three plays self-destruct before their curtain call and reflect real-life scenarios where women are expected to surrender to inequalities, restriction, and subjugation. Durkheim’s theoretical typology of suicide includes anomic, egoistic, fatalistic and altruistic causalities. Self-destruction is an emotional response to homogeneity (Martin 1109) with forewarning long before disaster strikes. Individuals who self-destructed did not always do so selfishly but because society gave them no other option to live beside conformity, as is evinced with Hedda Gabler. Playwrights acted as social doctors, recognizing conformism as a pathogen that was causing self-destruction and attempting to treat it. Playwrights in this era used the stage to showcase the work that came later by anthropologists and sociologists.

Works Cited:

Crossman, Ashley. The Study of Suicide by Emile Durkheim. ThoughtCo, Aug. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/study-of-suicide-by-emile-durkheim-3026758. Puchner, Martin, Norton and Company, The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Vol. 2., 1650 to the Present, Volume 2., New York, London, 2013. Durkheim, Ãmile. On Suicide. Penguin, 2006. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed., 2010, 15th Printing Worldcolor Versailles KY, September 2010. Prosperity, Depression, and the Suicide Rate, Walter C. Hurlburt, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 37, No. 5 (Mar., 1932), pp. 714-719. Durkheim Emile, De la Division du Travail Social.