Altruistic Suicide, Egoistic Suicide, Anomic
Suicide, Successful models who committed
is a type of suicide, identified by David Emile
Durkheim (1858-1917), occurring in social conditions where the individual experiences
pervasive oppression. Durkheim has defined fatalistic suicide as resulting "from
excessive regulation." Suicide by individuals whose passions are choked by oppressive
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
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
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
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
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.
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. 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. Provinces with
lower levels of female education, female labor force participation, and urbanization have
higher female suicide rates. 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)
The suicide method became one of the most prevalent tactics of Palestinian Terrorism in Israel. Who are these people willing to sacrifice
their lives and what drives them to do such things? We answer these questions, while
relying on the concepts of altruistic and fatalistic suicide from Durkheim's typology of
suicide behavior. 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.
Therefore, 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.