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  1.  16
    Toward a Cultural-Structural Theory of Suicide: Examining Excessive Regulation and Its Discontents.Seth Abrutyn & Anna S. Mueller - 2018 - Sociological Theory 36 (1):48-66.
    Despite its enduring insights, Durkheim’s theory of suicide fails to account for a significant set of cases because of its overreliance on structural forces to the detriment of other possible factors. In this paper, we develop a new theoretical framework for thinking about the role of culture in vulnerability to suicide. We argue that by focusing on the cultural dynamics of excessive regulation, particularly at the meso level, a more robust sociological model for suicide could be offered that supplements structure-heavy (...)
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  2.  43
    The Socioemotional Foundations of Suicide.Seth Abrutyn & Anna S. Mueller - 2014 - Sociological Theory 32 (4):327-351.
    Durkheim’s theory of suicide remains one of the quintessential “classic” theories in sociology. Since the 1960s and 1970s, however, it has been challenged on theoretical and empirical grounds. Rather than defend Durkheim’s theory on its own terms, this paper elaborates his typology of suicide by sketching suicide’s socioemotional structure. We integrate social psychological, psychological, and psychiatric advances in emotion research and argue that (1) egoistic, or attachment-based suicides, are driven primarily by sadness/hopelessness; (2) anomic/fatalistic, or regulative suicides, are driven by (...)
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  3.  2
    Tastes, Emotions, and Social Cohesion: Toward a Cultural Theory of Social Exchange.Adam Vanzella-Yang & Seth Abrutyn - 2022 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 52 (2):315-335.
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  4.  18
    What Hindu Sati Can Teach Us About the Sociocultural and Social Psychological Dynamics of Suicide.Seth Abrutyn - 2017 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 47 (4):522-539.
    By leveraging the case of Hindu sati, this paper elucidates the ways in which structure and culture condition suicidal behavior by way of social psychological and emotional dynamics. Conventionally, sati falls under Durkheim's discussion of altruistic suicides, or the self-sacrifice of underindividuated or excessively integrated peoples like widows in traditional societies. In light of the fact that Durkheim's interpretation was based on uneven data, nineteenth century Eurocentric beliefs, and a theoretical framework that can no longer resist modification and elaboration, by (...)
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  5.  29
    Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy.Seth Abrutyn - 2009 - Sociological Theory 27 (4):449 - 465.
    Institutional differentiation has been one of the central concerns of sociology since the days of Auguste Comte. However, the overarching tendency among institutionalists such as Durkheim or Spencer has been to treat the process of differentiation from a macro, "outside in" perspective. Missing from this analysis is how institutional differentiation occurs from the "inside out, "or through the efforts and struggles of individual and corporate actors. Despite the recent efforts of the "new institutionalism" to fill in this gap, a closer (...)
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  6.  21
    The Role of Agency in Sociocultural Evolution: Institutional Entrepreneurship as a Force of Structural and Cultural Change.Seth Abrutyn & Justin Van Ness - 2015 - Thesis Eleven 127 (1):52-77.
    Inspired by Weber’s charismatic carrier groups, Eisenstadt coined the term institutional entrepreneur to capture the rare but epochal collective capable of reorienting a group’s value-orientations and transferring charisma, while making them an evolutionary force of structural and cultural change. As a corrective to Parsons’ abstract, ‘top-down’ theory of change, Eisenstadt’s theory provided historical context and agency to moments in which societies experienced qualitative transformation. The concept has become central to new institutionalism, neo-functionalism, and evolutionary-institutionalism. Drawing from the former two, a (...)
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  7.  1
    A Motivational Theory of Roles, Rewards, and Institutions.Seth Abrutyn & Omar Lizardo - forthcoming - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.
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  8.  15
    The Decline in Shared Collective Conscience as Found in the Shifting Norms and Values of Etiquette Manuals.Seth Abrutyn & Michael J. Carter - 2015 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 45 (3):352-376.
    In this article we address Emile Durkheim's theory that norms and values become more generalized and abstract in a society as it becomes more complex and differentiated. To test Durkheim's theory we examine etiquette manuals—the common texts that define normative manners and morals in American society. We perform a deductive content analysis on past and present etiquette manuals to understand what changes have occurred regarding shifting behavioral norms and values over time. Our findings suggest that a change has occurred in (...)
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  9.  2
    The Social Roots of Suicide: Theorizing How the External Social World Matters to Suicide and Suicide Prevention.Anna S. Mueller, Seth Abrutyn, Bernice Pescosolido & Sarah Diefendorf - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    The past 20 years have seen dramatic rises in suicide rates in the United States and other countries around the world. These trends have been identified as a public health crisis in urgent need of new solutions and have spurred significant research efforts to improve our understanding of suicide and strategies to prevent it. Unfortunately, despite making significant contributions to the founding of suicidology – through Emile Durkheim’s classic Suicide – sociology’s role has been less prominent in contemporary efforts to (...)
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