Archives For suicidology as a social practice

Author Information: Michael J. Kral, Wayne State University, ft2226@wayne.edu

Kral, Michael J. “Critical Suicidology as an Alternative to Mainstream Revolving-Door Suicidology.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 6 (2015): 10-11.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-275

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Image credit: Vinoth Chandar, via flickr

I am not as optimistic as Ian Marsh (2015) has been in these pages about suicidology moving toward a critical perspective. Mainstream suicidology is firmly entrenched in its positivistic scientism. Marsh cites Heidi Hjelmeland showing how very little qualitative research is in suicidology journals (Hjelmeland and Knizek 2010; Hjelmeland 2015). I agree with Heidi that there is not much new that is published in these journals. I stopped going to the conferences of the American Association of Suicidology because there was never anything new. The same risk factors were always being studied with the same populations, and no new research methods or ideas, nor alternative theoretical dimensions, were being discussed. It is a revolving door of sameness.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Ian Marsh, Canterbury Christ Church University, ian.marsh@canterbury.ac.uk

Marsh, Ian. “‘Critical Suicidology’: Toward an Inclusive, Inventive and Collaborative (Post) Suicidology.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 6 (2015): 5-9.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-26B

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Image credit: Vinoth Chandar, via flickr

In the spirit of Jennifer White’s (2015) comments, I am going to take a mildly optimistic stance. Though I too have experienced mainstream suicidology as excluding (and I have often felt quite demoralized as a consequence so I have sympathy with Tom Widger and Jennifer White with regards to this) I think the limited (and limiting) underlying assumptions the field operates within and maintains are beginning to be effectively critiqued.

The paper by Scott Fitzpatrick, Claire Hooker, and Ian Kerridge (2014), Tom Widger’s response (2015) and Jennifer White’s subsequent comments bear witness to that. This ‘critical suiciology’, I believe, can facilitate the development of a ‘post-suicidology’ that has the potential to be far more inclusive, creative, collaborative and critically engaged that the current field of study, and would draw on a broader range of interests and people.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Jennifer White, University of Victoria, jhwhite@uvic.ca

White, Jennifer. “Shaking Up Suicidology.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 6 (2015): 1-4.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-26q

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Image credit: Rising Damp, via flickr

We need shaking up because suicide is encumbered with so many conceptual taboos that we do not know how to think it.[1]

In their excellent article, “Suicidology as a Social Practice”, Scott Fitzpatrick, Claire Hooker, and Ian Kerridge offer a useful platform for re-thinking suicidology, which as Ian Hacking observes, could use a little shaking up. Even though there is a rich body of scholarship on suicide that is broad in scope and engages with a wide range of methodological and conceptual tools, the social practice of suicidology is something different altogether. As Fitzpatrick and colleagues note, “research into suicide is diverse and multidisciplinary [but] this is not necessarily true of suicidology” (5).  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Scott Fitzpatrick, University of Newcastle, scott.fitzpatrick@newcastle.edu.au; Claire Hooker, University of Sydney, claire.hooker@sydney.edu.au; Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney, ian.kerridge@sydney.edu.au

Fitzpatrick, Scott, Claire Hooker and Ian Kerridge “‘Suicidology as a Social Practice’: A Reply to Tom Widger.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 4 (2015): 44-48.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1ZM

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Image credit: Jack Keene, via flickr

In recent years, a growing body of critical literature has emerged that challenges the dominant norms and practices of mainstream suicidological research. Concerns over epistemology and methodology, the (political) rationales that determine how suicide is researched and responded to, and the lack of measurable advances in knowledge and prevention, are, for a growing number of scholars, symptoms of a more widely felt paradigm crisis in contemporary suicide research. Tom Widger (2015) crystallises the incommensurability between the globalising paradigm of ‘scientific’ suicidology and the meanings and nuances of self-inflicted death in specific cultural contexts, extending the concerns raised by our article ‘Suicidology as a Social Practice’ (2014). While recent debates have largely focused on issues of methodological pluralism as a way of moving suicidology forward, Widger questions the degree by which any study of suicide can truly subvert the suicidological paradigm when it produces both the subject and object involved. As he says, the very concept of suicide is suicidological.  Continue Reading…