Race and Suicide in South Africa  book cover
1st Edition

Race and Suicide in South Africa

ISBN 9781032326702
Published October 5, 2022 by Routledge
330 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $135.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Originally published in 1976 Race and Suicide in South Africa synthesises the two dimensions of suicide: the personal and the social phenomenon. Its approach is Durkheimian in the use of court records, and phenomenological in the examination of actual cases. About 1500 cases of suicide in Durban from 1940-70 are analysed in terms of race, sex, occupation, marital status, economic status, family type and size, residential area, time and method used. What emerges is a revealing picture of suicide in South African ethnic groups. The findings confute the idea of Durkheim and others that behaviour in suicide conforms to certain universal principles and suggest the crucial role of particular social conditions in determining suicide trends, while at the same time challenging the proposition that a high suicide rate is associated with high status. Instead the author found that there were common emotional syndromes among suicides, but there were contributed to by different social factors.

Table of Contents

View More



Fatima Meer was was a South African writer, academic, screenwriter, and prominent anti-apartheid activist.


‘…a fascinating and salutary study.’ Richard Thompson Journal of Sociology, Vol 14, Issue 3