Year: 1995 Source: Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas, v.43, no.2, (1995), p.201-217 SIEC No: 20010727

The relationship between suicide & one of the major interpretative strategies used to explain suicide in Russia, what the author terms “civilization”, is examined. Focusing first on scholary discussions of suicide in the nineteenth & early twentieth centuries & second on the public discussion around a triple suicide in March 1910, it is suggested that both discussions were fundamentally shaped by contemporary beliefs about progress, urban life, class, & gender, & that these beliefs halped to mold the complex of cultural meanings defining suicide in Russia. Furthermore, the social phenomenon of suicide changed in the nineteenth century because of new methods for its study. As supposed windows into social reality, suicide statistics refracted cultural values & thus shaped the phenomenon they were meant to elucidate. In the end, both suicide & its statistics became metaphors which allow a glimpse into the cultural imagination of late imperial Russia. (70 notes)