Year: 2004 Source: Archives of Suicide Research, v.8, no.1, (2004), p.81-97 SIEC No: 20041277

This article explores common political & social-psychological factors involved in acts of self-immolation that took place in Vietnam & South Korea in the later part of the 20th century. Drawing upon the work of Durkheim, the author identifies some key analytical distinctions between altruistic suicide & cases of self-immolation. Using suicide notes, diaries, & letters left behind by 22 self-immolators, the author sheds light on the intentions & beliefs of those actors & social significance of their acts. The symbolic message imbedded in the acts of self-immolation is explored. (15 refs)