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New Book on the Anthropology of Suicide

03. Dez. 2015

Dr. Daniel Münster, leader of junior research group “Agrarian Alternatives”, and Ludek Broz (Czech Academy of Sciences) have edited a new book on the topic of self-harm, suicide, and agency. Under the title “Suicide and Agency: Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood, and Power”, the volume was published by Ashgate in December 2015.

Through the use of rich and detailed case studies, the authors assembled in this volume explore how interplay of self-harm, suicide, personhood and agency varies markedly across site (Greenland, Siberia, India, Palestine and Mexico) and setting (self-run leprosy colony, suicide bomb attack, cash-crop farming, middle-class mothering). Rather than starting from a set definition of suicide, they empirically engage suicide fields – the wider domains of practices and of sense making, out of which realized, imaginary, or disputed suicides emerge. By drawing on ethnographic methods and approaches, a new comparative angle to understanding suicide beyond Western bio-medical and classical sociological conceptions of the act as an individual or social pathology is opened up. The book explores a number of ontological assumptions about the role of free will, power, good and evil, personhood, and intentionality in both popular and expert explanations of suicide.

The volume “Suicide and Agency: Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood, and Power” was published by Ashgate in the series “Studies in Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time”. The series explores the fact that human experiences and conceptions of time inherently hinge on the material world, and that time as a socially experienced phenomenon cannot be understood as separate from material form or expression.

Dr. Daniel Münster is Junior Research Group Leader of C15 "Agrarian Alternatives". Dr. Ludek Broz is a researcher at the Institute of Ethnology at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic.

To purchase the publication with 50% discount please contact Daniel Münster [] for a discount code.

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