Suicide: A complicated problem

Suicides have been growing in the United States, and Sharon Bopp believes that there isn’t enough awareness being spread about it. The rates have been growing, although car crashes have been decreasing.  One thing in particular caught my eye that related to the reading about Durkheim and his theory on suicides. There was a comparison that was made between the rates and the people who live in Washington county and Ohio county, as Ohio has higher rates of suicides that Washington does. Carolyn Givens, executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, believes that there is more than one factor contributing to the difference, just as Durkheim believed that suicide was the result of social forces. “There is a strong sense of community spirit that is prevalent (in the county). There is also connection to extended family which we consider to be a protective factor,” said Givens. She is referring to the Washington county, and this provides a more socially integrated community than that of Ohio. This helps provide a low risk for suicide, according to Durkheim, because they are involved in the community, not too much, nor too little. This was an excellent example of Durkheim’s theory. In addition, Givens also stated that the residents have a high sense of spirituality. But if it is too much, it could result in altruistic suicide, as they may feel meaningless from the strain of a religion. However, this seems to not be the case as in 2010, 9 people committed suicide from the Washington county, and 1,420 Ohioans committed suicide.

I think in order to prevent suicide, from Durkheim’s teachings, you need to be lukewarm, not too hot, and not too cold. You should be involved with the community, but not to the point where it is too much and you feel meaningless. Everything can’t be to the extreme or else you’ll end up too much on either end of the axis and be more prone to suicide.–no-one-is-talking.html?nav=5002


Group study > lone wolf study?

After reading about the differences between small groups, parties, and large groups, I had a question about the example given. The example to show the difference between the groups larger than a dyad and triad was a study group vs. a cocktail party. In my opinion, I love working in groups, is seems to be more interesting, fun, and has less stress, also you can learn more by getting more input from mutliple sources. So I always wondered is it better to work in a group, or alone? I supposed it all depends on your specific preference on whether you like to be around new people or not. If you’re a keep to yourself kind of person, alone would probably work best for you. But I like to work in groups, particularly, groups that I choose on my own, with people that I know, or would like to know. I somewhat feel weird being put in a group with people I don’t know, but I never turn down the opportunity to meet new people.

For my article, I searched if studying in a group is better than studying alone. I ran into an article that did research to see if people studying on their site did better than those who didn’t study together. Now the generalized assumption about working in groups is that no work gets done because everyone is messing around and no one focuses on what they are supposed to. According to Simmel, this would be a party, as the main focus gets lost and the handful of students begin to become multifocial and do their own thing. However, the research proved that this assumption is wrong and that people tend to be more efficient studying together in a group. There were three main results that supported this.

One was that the students that were in a group studied longer than those that studied alone. This is because studying with others makes studying more fun and enjoyable. The second was the students took on more questions when in groups than when alone. This was a great addition as it helps show that the learners aren’t just taking longer to answer questions by messing around and getting off task, but spending more time “studying”. Third was that the learners were able to answer more questions correctly in a group. Now this could be from sharing answers in a group, but regardless, you get the right information and are able to learn from it so when the test comes, the material is already acknowledged.

Thus, studying in groups is better than studying alone. This supports Simmel’s theory or small group, parties, and large groups. The study group puts emphasis on the studying, staying unifocal. Because they intereact with each other, face-to-face, and have one general focus, the studying becomes better as they engage with each other and help one another learn. It also eases the stress off just plain book study, as the interactions between the group help studying be more enjoyable.

Socialization: Media and violence

Recently, media has been to blame about violence, deaths, and murders in youth. Such as if a teenager commits suicide, the police search for answers, and sometimes will blame anything they can find; if they see a video game on the bed, they’ll state that the violent game caused him to take those actions. This isn’t always the case, when people draw accusations or assume so quickly that media is the scapegoat. Other things come into play, maybe his parents were abusive, or he was being bullied at school, and so on. However, for years, there has been on going research about if media is actually to blame.

There has indeed been findings of influence by media to cause some acts of violence. For example, there has been research specifically focusing on children and how they interact with their peers in violent manners. ” Before age 4, children are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy and may view violence as an ordinary occurrence”, states Eugene V Beresin, M.D. This made me go back and think of “the looking glass self” theory, how children are slowly realizing themselves, and others. So it seems as if the violent shows that the children watch distort this “self concept” as they try to realize the difference between self and other. In You May Ask Yourself the example used for when children begin to move along in social development was when Joey plays a game, and recognizes the other as he makes one person the bad guy, and himself the good cop. Tying this example with media and violence, is a quote from the article,”They become role models for youth. It is ‘cool’ to carry an automatic weapon and use it to knock off the ‘bad guys.’ The typical scenario of using violence for a righteous cause may translate in daily life into a justification for using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers. Hence, vulnerable youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems.” Overtime, children will accept violence as a common thing, as they see it so much in media, and will think of it as a normal way to solve problems 

I think that there is truth to media affecting how children socialize. I see it every time with my two brothers, anytime they watch a movie, show, or even a commercial, they will mimic a line, or action, and replay it exactly repeatedly. If it is a movie, they will memorize lines of it, and walk around the house reenacting parts of the movie. For this reason, and others, my dad tries to make them watch only educational shows, at the most, a silly show like Spongebob. So I do think that media takes its’ toll on children, but I don’t believe it is to blame for every thing violent, because many other factors do tie into violent behavior.