“Who’s Got My Back?”: A Neo-Durkheimian Analysis of Suicidality and Perceptions of Social Support in British Columbia and Saskatchewan

Reza Nakhaie, Ronjon Paul Datta


Critically reconsidering Durkheim’s sociology of suicide, we develop a quantitative analysis of individual level data contained in the Canadian Community Health Survey (2009-2012) to investigate the relationship between perceptions of social support and suicidality in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. We operationalize Durkheim’s general sociology to investigate relationships between people’s perceptions of the more objective aspects of social life (structural-institutional) and the more subjective dimensions of social life, on suicidal ideation. We find that people’s perceptions of the quality of social support available to them significantly affect susceptibility to suicidality, lending credence to key aspects of Durkheim’s general sociology of social pathology.


Suicidality; Durkheim; Social Support; Social Pathology.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29173/cjs28332