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

The Idea of Suicide

Contagion, Imitation, and Cultural Diffusion, 1st Edition

By Michael J. Kral


134 pages

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Hardback: 9780367026592
pub: 2019-06-04
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pub: 2019-05-21
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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

The aim of this series is to make cutting-edge research available to graduate students, academics, and scholars in the field of social psychology and related disciplines.

Bringing together contributions from researchers and scholars based in the Americas, volumes reflect a broad understanding of social psychology and consider current and emerging issues relating to the study of human behavior and thought.

Each volume will be tightly focussed on a specialist topic and will make a conceptual contribution to the field by addressing existing literature, presenting detailed research, and advancing understanding or theory.

Example topics may relate to interpersonal relationships, social attitudes, intergroup relations, cyberbullying, gender and sexuality, climate change psychology, and sports psychology, as well as applied issues.

For information on publishing in this series, please contact Elsbeth Wright ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Grief & Loss