A question of justice: Critically researching suicide with Indigenous studies of affect, biosociality, and land-based relations

This paper considers how Indigenous studies can inform the evolution of critical research on suicide. Aligned with critiques of mainstream suicidology, these methodological approaches provide a roadmap for structural analysis of complex systems and logics in which the phenomenon of suicide emerges. Moving beyond mere naming of social determinants of suicide and consistent with calls […]

Representing suicide: Giving voice to a desire to die?

Drawing on interview and online ethnographic data from a study of suicide on the railways, this paper describes the ways in which many of the concepts, assumptions and practices of mainstream suicide prevention are challenged in the accounts of those who are planning, or have enacted, a suicide attempt. We reflect on the ethical dilemmas […]

The bounds of suicide talk: Implications for qualitative suicide research

Following the implementation of a provincial suicide prevention gatekeeper training initiative in western Canada between 2015 and 2018, we conducted a focused ethnography designed to capture the post-initiative context within one small community. Analyses of our field observations and interviews with community members suggest suicide prevention work is represented in multiple informal or coordinated actions […]

Cultural versus classic risk and protective factors for suicide.

The current study examined the predictive value of cultural versus classic risk and protective factors for suicide in a community sample of 322 ethnic, sexual, and gender minority adults. Cultural factors played a significant and substantial role in predicting suicide attempts (explained 8% of variance in attempts and correctly classified 8.5% of attempters) over and […]

Suicide and culture: Understanding the context.


Documenting the quick and the dead: A study of suicide case files in a coroner’s office.


The cultural meaning of suicide: what does that mean?


Towards a reassessment of the role of divorce in suicide outcomes: evidence from five pacific rim populations.


Recall of early non-fatal suicidality in a nationally representative sample of South Africans.

Objectives: Little is known about socio-demographic patterns of non-fatal suicidality in early life in South Africa. We investigated the prevalence of self-reported early suicidality (suicidal ideation, planning and attempts) in a nationally representative sample of South Africans. Design: As part of a larger mental health survey, 3158 individuals aged over 25 years were asked to […]

The complexity of explaining ethnic differences in suicide and suicidal behaviours.


Case-control study in China of risk factors for suicide in men with alcohol use disorders.

Objective: This secondary analysis of China’s National Psychological Autopsy Study assesses the risk factors for suicide among men with alcohol use disorders (AUDs)–the second most common psychiatric diagnosis among suicide decedents in China. Method: Based on data collected from family members and close associates, the characteristics of 68 men with AUDs who died by suicide […]

Factors associated with Alaska Native fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors 2001-2009: trends and implications for prevention.

Suicide rates among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people are significantly higher than other ethnic groups in the United States. Not only are there great differences when comparing AI/AN rates and those of other Americans, some tribal groups have very low rates of suicide while other Native communities have much higher rates. Despite […]

Situating suicide as an anthropological problem: Ethnographic approaches to understanding self-harm and self-inflicted death.

More than a century after DurkheimÕs sociological classic placed the subject of suicide as a concern at the heart of social science, ethnographic, cross-cultural analyses of what lie behind peopleÕs attempts to take their own lives remain few in number. But by highlighting how the ethnographic method privileges a certain view of suicidal behaviour, we […]

Suffering, frustration and anger: Class, gender and history in Sri Lankan suicide stories.

This paper explores competing stories of suffering, frustration and anger that shape the performance and reception of suicidal behaviours in contemporary Sri Lanka. Drawing from the results of 21 months of ethnographic fieldwork, I show how suicidal acts fit within broader narratives of class and gender experience and expression that draw from contemporary and historical […]

Behind the statistics:The ethnography of suicide in Palestine.

As part of the first anthropological study on suicide in the modern Arab world, statistics gathered from the Ramallah region of the West Bank in Palestine painted an apparently remarkably similar picture to that found in Western countries such as the UK and France. More men than women completed suicide, more women than men attempted […]

Chol understandings of suicide and human agency.

According to ethnographic material collected since 2003, the Chol Mayan indigenous people in southern Mexico have different causal explanations for suicide. It can be attributed to witchcraft that forces victims to take their lives against their own will, to excessive drinking, or to fate determined by God. However, it can also be conceived of as […]

Explaining suicide: An afterword.