Altruistic Suicide, Altruism, Egoistic Suicide, Anomic Suicide, Euthanasia
is a type of suicide, identified by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), occurring in social
conditions where the individual experiences pervasive oppression. Durkheim has defined
fatalistic suicide as resulting "from excessive regulation," whose
"passions [were] violently choked by oppressive discipline,"
Egoistic suicide occurs when an individual has a low
level of integration into society, while fatalistic suicide occurs in a highly regulated,
social environment where the individual sees no possible way to improve his or her life.
For example, the condition of slavery may make an
individual feel that the only way to find escape is suicide. We would call it fatalistic
suicide because the individual considers himself condemned by fate or doomed to be a
slave. Here, is a fatalistic situation calling for a fatalistic suicide as a solution or
The category of fatalistic suicide was constructed mainly
for purposes of symmetry (as contrasted with egoistic suicide) and because it would
undercut his central claims about the role of modern urban life as increasing the
incidence of suicide, Durkheim could never seriously examine the possibility that social
integration could result in suicide.
Fatalistic suicide served as a descriptor for suicides in
traditional societies, because Durkheim was faced with the issue that even in societies
with abundant social capital, individuals nevertheless killed themselves.
"Fatalistic suicide arises from excessive
regulation that pitilessly blocks the possibilities of future. Individuals do not
want their lives due to the extremely suppressing environment. The suicides of those
suffering from mental and physical oppression are closer to fatalistic suicide". -
"Labor Politics of Suicide in Korea", Lim, Hyun-Chin. and Hwang, Suk-Man.
Durkheim distinguished between egoistic, anomic,
altruistic, and fatalistic suicide. Dismissing altruistic and fatalistic suicide as
unimportant, he viewed egoistic suicide as a consequence of the deterioration of social
and familial bonds and linked anomic suicide to disillusionment and disappointment.
Women's Fatalistic Suicide in Iran - A Partial Test of
Durkheim in an Islamic Republic
Akbar Aliverdinia, University of Mazandaran, William Alex Pridemore, Indiana University
This version was published on March 1, 2009 - Violence Against Women, Vol. 15, No. 3
Durkheim's theory of fatalistic suicide, or suicide resulting from overregulation of
behavior, has been neglected empirically. The authors test this hypothesis in Iran by
examining the geographic distribution of female suicide. Employing the province as the
unit of analysis, they examine the association between female suicide rates and multiple
measures of social control of women, with rates expected to be higher in areas with
greater social regulation of the lives of women and stronger traditional tribal cultures.
Results show that provinces with lower levels of female education, female labor force
participation, and urbanization have higher female suicide rates. Thus, whereas social
deregulation is often associated with higher suicide rates in the West, the authors'
findings reveal that hyperregulation is associated with higher suicide rates in Iran, at
least for women.
Durkheim's theory of fatalistic suicide: a cross-national approach. The Journal of
social psychology 1979;107(Second Half):161-8.
Altruism and Fatalism: the characteristics of Palestinian suicide terrorists
Pedahzur A.; Perliger A.; Weinberg L.
Deviant Behavior, Volume 24, Number 4, July-August 2003 , pp. 405-423(19)
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Abstract: Over the last decade, the suicide method became one of the most prevalent
tactics of Palestinian Terrorism in Israel. Who are these people, willing to sacrifice
their lives in such an act, and what drives them to do such things? In our present
analysis, we answer these questions, while relying on the concepts of altruistic and
fatalistic suicide from Durkheim's typology of suicide behavior. Based on a newly
established database compiled for this purpose-which includes information based on
suicide, as well as non-suicide--Palestinian suicide terrorists from 1993 until the
beginning of 2002, fit the "altruistic" type as well as some elements from the
"fatalistic" and represent a combination of both types; thus they can be labeled
under a new category of "fatalistic altruistic" suicide.
Suicides in prison fall into two groups: egoistic and fatalistic (Durkheim typology).
Egoistic suicide occurs when an individual has a low level of integration into society,
while fatalistic suicide occurs in a highly regulated, social environment where the
individual sees no possible way to improve his or her life. Accordingly, most suicides in
prison are egoistic, whereas those by death row inmates may be both egoistic and
fatalistic, because they are socially isolated and heavily regulated, and at the same
time, weakly integrated. - Lester D, Danto BL: Suicide Behind Bars: Prediction and
Prevention. Philadelphia: The Charles Press, 1993, pp 1821