1st Edition

The Idea of Suicide Contagion, Imitation, and Cultural Diffusion

By Michael J. Kral Copyright 2019
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages
    by Routledge

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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.


    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


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