ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Farmer Suicides in India

Durkheim’s Types

This article makes an attempt to examine how far Durkheim's types explain farmer suicides in India and suggests that they correspond to two of his types - egoism and anomie. Agrarian changes having considerably lowered the level of economic achievements of farmers, the disproportion between achievement and aspiration is greatly felt by those who experienced egoism. This study argues that anomie is an effect of egoism. The latter, a structural characteristic of modern agrarian economy and society, is the prerequisite for emergence of the former.

Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at the International Workshop, Brunel University, London, 2-3 July 2008; the International Seminar on Farmer Suicides, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, 10-11 February 2010; the All India Sociological Conference, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 10-13 December 2011; and a seminar at Sociological Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, 1 October 2012. The author acknowledges the comments and suggestions made by all participants.

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