Suicidology as a social practice: A reply to Tom Widger

Scott Fitzpatrick, Claire Hooker, Ian Kerridge

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-81
    JournalSocial Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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