1st Edition

The Idea of Suicide
Contagion, Imitation, and Cultural Diffusion

ISBN 9780367670658
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
144 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

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

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