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Cultivating Suicide Destruction of Self in a Changing Ireland

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Cultivating Suicide Destruction of Self in a Changing Ireland

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An examination of the dramatic increase in suicides in Ireland, particularly of young men, from a cultural viewpoint. Part of the Pressure Points in Irish Society Series.


Over the last decade Ireland has experienced unparalleled economic growth and has reached a state of prosperity that makes our European neighbours envious. In addition, with the introduction of divorce, the decline of the Catholic Church as an institution and the consequent decline in religious practice, it may be said that Irish culture has changed at many levels. This change has come at a great cost, however, as can be seen in the dramatic increase in the Irish suicide rate, especially among young men. In this time of economic growth and prosperity, why are so many of Irelands young people, at a significantly higher proportion than their European counterparts, taking their own lives? What is it about Irish culture which is either creating or contributing to such a sense of anomie and lack of hope?

This book looks at the issue of suicide in the Irish context. It takes a specifically cultural approach, as opposed to psychological or medical, by addressing two fundamental questions: Why has there been an increase in suicide in Ireland in recent years and What changes has Ireland seen that other countries have not, or have dealt with differently, which might explain why Ireland has a higher rate of suicide relative to those countries Included in the authors findings are analyses of the changing nature of the Irish family, the dramatic societal changes in the last two decades, issues concerning masculine identity and self-worth and case studies of individuals who have considered or attempted suicide. The book concludes with a look at the current suicide prevention programmes and offers specific suggestions on how they could be strengthened.

About the Authors

Carolyn Smith is a Research Psychologist at Trinity College Dublin. Malcolm MacLachlan is Associate Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. Anthony Clare is Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Clare, Anthony, MacLachlan, Malcolm, Smyth, Caroline
Editor No
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 1-904148-15-8
ISBN-13 n/a
Illustrations No
Date of Publication May 2003
Number of Pages 160

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