Year: 2013 Source: Social Science & Medicine.(2012).74(4):466-473.doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.01.054 SIEC No: 20130305

This paperÕs main aim is to argue the methodological case for a particular approach to researching the sociology of suicide. By way of illustrating the use of this approach it also offers some brief examples of substantive findings about the gendered character of menÕs suicides. The first half of the article explains and justifies the research approach. This is a qualitatively-driven mixed method and dual paradigm study of individual suicides. It is a sociological study which draws on the tradition of psychological autopsies of suicide; hence the term Ôsociological autopsyÕ. The second half of the article offers brief illustrative findings from a specific research project which employed the sociological autopsy approach. This was a study of 100 suicide case files from a coronerÕs office in the UK. There is discussion of common sense assumptions about suicide in men; the construction of evidence in case files; a typology of gendered suicides where relationship breakdown seems to be the principal trigger; and the value of case-based analysis, with a single case discussed in some detail.