Proficient Homework

Might the level of integration or regulation in society be an explanation for the “social fact” you have picked?

Why suicides happen, particularly in prosperous and healthy societies, has puzzled social scientists for decades. Listen to the Freakonomics podcast. Find the Freakonomics Podcast on “The Suicide Paradox” and Related Content. The Freakonomics guys—economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner—take a look at why suicide rates rise as a country’s standard of living increases, just as Durkheim would have suspected. Listen to the podcast. If you are not familiar with the Freakonomics podcast, it is a journalist and an economist who use economics to debunk commonly held beliefs about why the world is the way it is. Pick one fact about suicide from the podcast that you find particularly interesting or surprising and give it a Durkheimian spin. Might the level of integration or regulation in society be an explanation for the “social fact” you have picked? In your answer, describe what kinds of methods or data Durkheim might use to support your argument.

Find the Freakonomics Podcast on “The Suicide Paradox” and Related Content. The Freakonomics guys—economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner—take a look at why suicide rates rise as a country’s standard of living increases, just as Durkheim would have suspected. Listen to the podcast.

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