The Idea of Suicide: Contagion, Diffiusion, and Cultural Imitation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Idea of Suicide

Contagion, Diffiusion, and Cultural Imitation, 1st Edition

By Michael J. Kral


134 pages

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Hardback: 9780367026592
pub: 2019-06-07
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This book is about a new theory of suicide as cultural mimesis, or as an idea that is internalized from culture. Written as part of a new, critical focus in suicidology, this volume moves away from the dominant, strictly scientific understanding of suicide as the result of a mental disorder, and towards positioning suicide as an anthropologically salient, community-driven phenomenon. Written by a leading researcher in the field, this volume presents a conception of suicide as culturally scripted, and it demonstrates how suicide becomes a cultural idiom of distress that for some can become a normative option.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Introduction: Human Imitation as Culture

Chapter Two: On Suicide

Chapter Three: Social Epidemics

Chapter Four: Culture and Suicide

Chapter Five: Cultural Mimesis in Suicide: A Return to Diffusion and Gabriel Tarde

Chapter Six: Afterword

About the Author

Michael J. Kral is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University, USA.

About the Series

Researching Social Psychology

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Grief & Loss