Synopses & Reviews
Sociologists have debated suicide since the early days of the discipline. This book assesses that body of work and breaks new ground through a qualitatively-driven, mixed method 'sociological autopsy' of one hundred suicides that explores what can be known about suicidal lives.
"This work is a major contribution to the study of suicide, still one of the core topics in sociology. Introducing a novel methodology and an innovative approach to suicidal motivation, it will become a landmark study in the field." -- Professor Anthony Giddens, former Director of the LSE, UK and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, UK
"Through a clever analysis of 100 suicide case files, the authors uncover a variety of neglected social and economic strains which contribute to suicide, such as indebtedness and stressful relationships at work. Their convincing analysis signals a need for researchers and clinicians to look for clusters of both sociological and psychiatric morbidity in order to obtain a better understanding of the complexities of suicide events. This combination of a “psychological autopsy” with a “sociological autopsy” will provide the knowledge base necessary for more effective programs for suicide prevention." --Steven Stack, Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience, Wayne State University
About the Author
BEN FINCHAM is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sussex, UK, and part of the Gender and Inequality Research Group at Sussex. He has researched and written about suicide, mental health and work.
SUSANNE LANGER is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Mental Health and Well-Being, University of Liverpool, UK. Trained as a Social Anthropologist, her interests are health and illness, personhood, technologies and qualitative research.
JONATHAN SCOURFIELD is Reader in Social Work at Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, UK. His main research interests are in gender, child welfare and children's identities as well as distress and suicidal behavior.
MICHAEL SHINER is Senior Lecturer in the Social Policy Department and Assistant Director of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics, UK. His main areas of interest are young people, drugs and alcohol, and suicidal behavior.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
The Sociology of Suicide - A Critical Appreciation
What is a Sociological Autopsy?
Suicide Case Files as Sites of Identity Creation
Suicide Notes as Social Documents
Repertoires of Action
When Things Fall Apart - Suicide and the Life-Course
Lessons for Prevention