Taylor: Realism and Suicide
Complete the following questions and tasks (page 151-2) to gain knowledge of Steve Taylor’s theory of suicide.
Q1 Taylor’s approach is called REALISM and is different to both INTERPRETIVISM and POSTIVISM. However he
agrees with interpretivists about what?
Q2 Which possible ‘suicides’ did Taylor study?
Q3 What did he find about half of the cases?
Q4 Which two factors (among others) did Taylor argue inclined coroners to classify deaths as suicide?
Q5 Taylor’s approach is called REALISM and is different to both INTERPRETIVISM and POSTIVISM. However he
agrees with positivists about what?
Q6 Unlike positivists though Taylor thinks that suicide statistics are unhelpful. In his realist analysis what does he aim
Q7 What kind of studies does Taylor use?
Q8 Taylor introduces an important insight which had previously been overlooked in the study of suicide. What was
Q9 The key word in his new definition of suicide which acknowledges this clever insight is?
Q10 Taylor argues that the situations in which a person is most likely to attempt suicide are characterised by two
things. What are these two things?
Q11 Complete the grid on Taylor’s 4 types of suicide:
( symphysic )
3 SACRIFICE SUICIDES
2 THANATATION SUICIDES
Q12 What series of tests in education, at one time sat at ages 5,7,11, can help us to remember these 4 types?
Q13 What is the posh name for self-directed suicides?
Q14 What is the posh name for other-directed suicides?
Q15 Match one of Taylor’s suicide types to the example given:
b)Playing Russian roulette
c)Betrayed through an affair
d)One partner dies after 50 years of marriage and the other partner can’t go on without them
e) A suicide to make a loved one feel guilty for their behaviour towards them
f)A combination of the wish to die and the wish to change things for the better
g)Young Rugby player who was paralysed from the neck down in a rugby accident and took up the option of assisted
suicide in Switzerland
h)Any risk-taking behaviour which dices with death
i)Romeo and Juliet
l) Suicide attempt as an act of despair and hope
Q16 Like the interpretivists Taylor’s theory is based on the actors’ MEANINGS, in other words he has tried to look
inside people’s heads and to stand in their shoes. What is the problem with this?
Q17 Taylor only studied a small sample of case studies. How can we criticise this method?
Q18 Some people have noted big similarities between Durkheim’s theory and Taylor’s theory. However there is a
major difference between the two theories – what is this difference?
Q19 Some people have noted big similarities between Durkheim’s theory and Taylor’s theory. Find the similarities
between the types of suicide by drawing a line from one to the other
Durkheim’s 4 types of suicide
Taylor’s 4 types of suicide
Q20 Note one strength of Taylor’s realist theory of suicide