Monthly Archives: May 2016

Structuring Roles and Gender Identities: Within Families Explaining Suicidal Behavior in South India

Lasrado, R.A. et al., (2016) Crisis.  DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000379.

Abstract. Background: This paper examines the social structures, culture, gendered roles, and their implications for suicidal behavior in South India. Exploring the cultural process within the structures of family and society to understand suicide and attempted suicide from the perspectives of survivors, mental health professionals, and traditional healers has not been achieved in the existing suicide-related research studies conducted in India to date. Aims: This study aimed to explore the cultural implications of attempted suicide by examining the survivors’ life stories, their perceptions, and service providers’ interpretations of problem situation. Method: A qualitative design was used drawing on constant comparison method and thematic analysis. The analysis was underpinned by the theoretical concepts of Bourdieu’s work. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 survivors of attempted suicide, eight mental health professionals, and eight traditional healers from Southern India. Results: The study found interactions among visible and invisible fields such as faith, power, control, culture, family, religion, and social systems to have strengthened the disparities in gender and role structures within families and societies and to have impacted survivors’ dispositions to situations. Conclusion: The role of culture in causing suicide and attempted suicide is explained by unraveling the negative impact of interacting cultural and structural mechanisms.

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Suicide and Agency: Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood, and Power

Broz, Ludek & Munster, Daniel, 2015, Suicide and Agency: Anthropological Perspectives on Suicide, Personhood and Power, Routledge

Suicide and Agency offers an original and timely challenge to existing ways of understanding suicide. Through the use of rich and detailed case studies, the authors assembled in this volume explore how interplay of self-harm, suicide, personhood and agency varies markedly across site (Greenland, Siberia, India, Palestine and Mexico) and setting (self-run leprosy colony, suicide bomb attack, cash-crop farming, middle-class mothering). Rather than starting from a set definition of suicide, they empirically engage suicide fields-the wider domains of practices and of sense making, out of which realized, imaginary, or disputed suicides emerge. By drawing on ethnographic methods and approaches, a new comparative angle to understanding suicide beyond mainstream Western bio-medical and classical sociological conceptions of the act as an individual or social pathology is opened up. The book explores a number of ontological assumptions about the role of free will, power, good and evil, personhood, and intentionality in both popular and expert explanations of suicide. Suicide and Agency offers a substantial and ground-breaking contribution to the emerging field of the anthropology of suicide. It will appeal to a range of scholars and students, including those in anthropology, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies, suicidology, and social studies of death and dying.

Table of Contents

Part I

Introduction: The anthropology of suicide: ethnography and the tension of agency, Daniel Münster and Ludek Broz.

Part II

Suicide, Personhood and Relationality: Personhood, agency and suicide in a neo-liberalizing South India, James Staples

The lonely un-dead and returning suicide in northwest Greenland, Janne Flora

Between demons and disease: suicide and agency in Yucatan, Mexico, Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster

Four funerals and a wedding: suicide, sacrifice, and (non-)human agency in a Siberian village, Ludek Broz

Part III

Self-Destruction and Power: Bodies, Resistance and Crises: Farmers’ suicide and the moral economy of agriculture: victimhood, voice, and agro-environmental responsibility in South India, Daniel Münster

Dying to live in Palestine: steadfastness, pollution and embodied space,Deen Sharp and Natalia Linos

Accumulating death: women’s moral agency and domestic economies of care in South India, Jocelyn Chua

Learning suicide and the limits of agency: children’s ‘suicide play’ in Sri Lanka, Tom Widger

Suicide, agency and the limits of power, Katrina Jaworski

Part IV

Afterword: Afterword: taking relationality to extremes, Marilyn Strathern

 

“This volume is an excellent and much-needed addition to the literature on suicide. Notions of personhood, agency and suicide are interrogated throughout in rigorous and illuminating ways, and the book clearly demonstrates the valuable contribution anthropology can make to the study of suicide.”— Ian Marsh, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

“We frequently imagine suicide as both an extreme expression of control and an act of the out-of-control. The pieces gathered in this important and timely volume make a virtue of that tension, describing the complex realities in which self-inflicted death and knowledge about such death take shape. They show how suicide is not only about exceptional deaths, but about routine ways of life.”— Kenneth MacLeish, Vanderbilt University, USA

“In the best anthropological tradition, this book heads to what many would consider the margins of social life (in this case suicide), and uses what it learns there to illuminate absolutely central issues of social theory (in this case notions of agency). Those who study suicide, death and dying cannot miss this book, but anyone interested in fresh social theoretical thinking should also want to read it.”— Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge, UK

 

The influence of the Foehn wind (Halny) on the occurrence of suicide in the Tatra Mountains, 1999–2014

Koszewska, I., et al. 2016. The influence of the Foehn wind (Halny) on the occurrence of suicide in the Tatra Mountains, 1999–2014.European Psychiatry 33: S597
In the dawn of increasing interest in climate changes, including extreme weather events, e.g. the Foehn winds, and their influence on public health, it is of great importance to understand their role in suicide.The association between suicides in the Tatra Mountains, Poland from 1999 to 2014 and the Foehn wind (called Halny in this region) was examined. The belief that suicides are affected by Halny seems to be firmly rooted in local language and culture.The purpose of the study was to assess the Halny wind as a suicide risk factor.Data concerning all suicides in the region were included. Meteorological data were derived every three hours during the period of the study. Halny was defined as a complex of interacting meteorological conditions. The two days preceding and following the wind were recognized as the period of the Foehn influence (FI). The probability of suicide in the presence of Halny and during the FI period was calculated.From 1st January 1999 to 31 December 2014 (5844 days), 210 consecutive suicides were registered. The number of suicides in men was markedly higher than in women. Halny did not change the overall probability of suicide. However, the presence of Halny modified the suicide risk according to the season (P=0.00095, two-way ANOVA test). The FI periods appeared to increase suicide risk in summer and autumn.Halny may contribute to the increased suicide risk in summer and autumn. It should be taken into account in suicide preventive interventions in this region.

Life Experience following Suicide Attempt among Middle-aged Men

J Korean Acad Nurs. 2016 Apr;46(2):215-225. Korean.
Published online April 29, 2016.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4040/jkan.2016.46.2.215

PurposeThis study was performed to identify the meaning of life experience following suicide attempt among middle-aged men.

MethodsA qualitative research design was adopted using van Manen’s hermeneutic phenomenological approach. The participants were six middle-aged men who had attempted suicide at least one time. Data were collected in 2013 through in-depth interviews. Individual interviews were recorded; and literary, art works and phenomenological literature were searched to identify the meaning of the experience.

ResultsThe five essential themes of the life experience of middle-aged men who attempted suicide were ‘Bitter reality confronted again’, ‘Anger buried deep inside’, ‘Broken family, inescapable fetters’, ‘Blocked relationships, closed world’ and ‘A step towards a new life’.

ConclusionThe meaning of lived experience found in this study provides deep insight into the experience following suicide attempt in middle-aged men and crucial information to give directions to appropriate support and nursing interventions.