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Suicide in Sri Lanka

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Suicide in Sri Lanka

The Anthropology of an Epidemic

Format

Paperback / softback

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Suicide in Sri Lanka by Tom Widger
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Description

Why people kill themselves remains an enduring and unanswered question. With a focus on Sri Lanka, a country that for several decades has reported `epidemic' levels of suicidal behaviour, this book develops a unique perspective linking the causes and meanings of suicidal practices to social processes across moments, lifetimes and history. Extending anthropological approaches to practice, learning and agency, anthropologist Tom Widger draws from long-term fieldwork in a Sinhala Buddhist community to develop an ethnographic theory of suicide that foregrounds local knowledge and sets out a charter for prevention. The book highlights the motives of children and adults becoming suicidal and how certain gender, age, class relationships and violence are prone to give rise to suicidal responses. By linking these experiences to emotional states, it develops an ethnopsychiatric model of suicide rooted in social practice. Widger then goes on to examine how suicides are resolved at village and national levels, tracing the roots of interventions to the politics of colonial and post-colonial social welfare and health regimes. Exploring local accounts of suicide as both `evidence' for the suicide epidemic and as an `ethos' of suicidality shaping subjective worlds, Suicide in Sri Lanka shows how anthropological analysis can offer theoretical as well as policy insights. With the inclusion of straightforward summaries and implications for prevention at the end of each chapter, this book has relevance for specialists and non-specialists alike. It represents an important new contribution to South Asian Studies, Social Anthropology and Medical Anthropology, as well as to cross-cultural Suicidology.

Author Biography

Tom Widger has conducted ethnographic fieldwork on suicide in Sri Lanka for more than ten years. He received a PhD in anthropology from the London School of Economics, UK in 2009. He has since held positions at Brunel University, UK, the University of Sussex, UK, the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Durham University, UK.
Release date Australia
January 22nd, 2018
Author
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
12 Line drawings, black and white; 13 Tables, black and white; 12 Illustrations, black and white
Imprint
Routledge
Pages
198
ISBN-13
9781138491618
Product ID
27892007

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