Year: 2010 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v.40, no.6, (December 2010), p.574-586 SIEC No: 20110122

Depression-era bank suspensions & failures are conceptualized as products of the first part of what Polanyi (1994) called “the great transformation”, which involved an imbalanced institutional arrangement in which the economy dominated other institutions. Relying on Durkheim & Merton, it is argued these banking problems accentuated the type of chronic anomie that Durkheim theorized would create normative deregulation & elevated suicide rates over the long term. Results from county-level analyses are supportive as the 1930 bank suspension rate is positively related to the 2000 suicide rates, controlling for contemporary & historical factors. The mediating roles of integration & chronic anomie are considered, with the latter measured using data from the geocoded General Social Survey. (60 refs.) JA