Culture and suicide : An exploration of the cultural factors involved in suicide

Many factors can contribute to suicide. The psychological drivers, however, are most examined. This focus on mental factors is supported by the global hegemony of the medical-psychiatric model. This is reflected in the global focus on preventing suicide by detecting and treating mental risk factors. Other factors that contribute to suicide, such as culture, receive less attention.


In addition, the perspective of the actor is subordinate to the vision of the researcher and suicide research is worldwide also based on Western standards. This dissertation examines how cultural factors relate to suicidal behaviour. To that end, several routes are explored to identify cultural factors among the research group, notably people from the Indian diaspora. First, the prevailing cultural explanations for suicide in the Indian diaspora are assessed.


Next, the concepts of cultural script of suicide and habitus are tested for their potential to single out cultural contributors to suicidal behaviour. For the ex-post identification of cultural factors involved in suicide, the concept of cultural autopsy of suicide is introduced. The findings demonstrate that cultural practices and experiences are scripted and manifest as tendencies in behaviour. This also applies to suicidal experiences and practices.

Indra Boedjarath | 2022
231 pagina's | Amsterdam : Universiteit Amsterdam
Cultural Values, Indians, Mental health, Methodology, Research, Suicidality