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Understanding Suicide

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures Acknowledgements Introduction 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 Bibliography Index

About the Author

Ben Fincham is Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex, UK. Susanne Langer is Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Jonathan Scourfield is Professor of Social Work at Cardiff University, UK. Michael Shiner is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.


'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 'a wonderful example of what sociology can achieve: Being methodologically innovative and rigorous, theoretically rich and challenging, as well as maintaining direct relevance and utility to policy-makers and practitioners working in suicide prevention' - Network Magazine 'a much needed and important work for advanced students in the field.' - CHOICE '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, USA

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