Suicide ( Social Study) PDF book by Ruth Shonle Cavan (1937)

Download Suicide ( Social Study) PDF book by Ruth Shonle Cavan (1937)

Suicide Free PDF book (1937)

Ruth Shonle Cavan was an American sociologist based at the University of Chicago. She specialized in deviance and criminology and was a leader of the Chicago school of sociology

Excerpt from the book introduction:

The subject for this study was chosen because of an interest in human nature in the midst of perplexities and because of curiosity as to why people, even when perplexed, commit suicide A preliminary exploratory jaunt to published material on suicide revealed a few general treatises by Euro-pean writers, many monographs by French and German psychiatrists and physicians, and almost nothing by English, and particularly by American, writers It showed further a tendency to treat suicide statistically, neglect of life-histories, which are perhaps not so exact as statistics, but which give vastly more insight into, and understanding of, human nature, and an emphasis on cases showing some mental abnormality

The normal person who committed suicide was overlooked, as though the popular prejudice were indeed true that suicide is ipso facto proof of abnormality A further survey of material revealed numerous sources of data, many of which had scarcely been touched by previous writers Collecting these data meant searching through hundreds of books on dusty library shelves in the hope of garnering a sentence here, a paragraph there, not of itself valuable but exceedingly revealing when compared with other statements

Much of the historical and ethnological material was thus gathered piecemeal, although the studies by Westermarck and Lecky aided materially and are referred to freely and frequently in chapters u and iv This historical and ethnological approach gave a perspective to the whole problem difficult to obtain in any other way. Suicide appeared in its relation to other customs, to attitudes PREFACE viii toward life and religion, to political and social changes There was made possible, not a mere chronicling of facts, but an analysis of suicide as a social phenomenon

Some of the contents of the book:

Introduction »


I Suicide Trends 3

What IS suicide? 3

The increasing rate S

Why study suicide? . . 9

n Europe Why Suicide Is No Longer Sineux ... 12

The Grecian decline and the use of suicide cults. 12

Rome, a repetition of the Grecian situation ... 16

Christianity as prophylaxis to suicide .... 18

Medieval philosophy unfavorable to suicide .... 20

The renaissance and the revival of suicide... 22

III Europe and the United States Some Contemporary Factors .... -25

The twentieth-century heritage 25

Is climate a factor? ... 25

The fallacy of the racial-temperament theory ... 26

Does religion prevent suicide?. -37

Suicide and the urban trend 45

The dominance of social factors 54

IV Suicide in Preliterate and Oriental Groups. 56

Preliterate people non-suicidal ..... 56

Suicide from personal motives 6

Institutionalized suicide. 69

Social factors making institutionalized suicide possible 74

V Suicide in America’s Second City A Study of Urban

Conditions ... . . -77

Chicago, a “normal” city 77

Author: Ruth Shonle Cavan
Publication Date:1937


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