Socioeconomic inequalities of suicide: Sociological and psychological intersections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Suicide is complex; yet suicide research is dominated by ‘psy’ disciplines which can falter when seeking to explain social patterning of suicide rates, and how this relates to individual actions. This paper discusses a multi-disciplinary report which aimed to advance understandings of socioeconomic inequalities in suicide rates in the UK. Contrasts are drawn between health psychology and sociology. Important intersections are highlighted, including a lack of attention to socioeconomic inequalities, and an emphasis on adverse life experiences and emotions to understanding inequalities and suicide. There are also curious disconnects, both within and between relevant psychological and sociological perspectives. I argue that there are significant gaps in existing theorisation regarding suicide, which can only be addressed through meaningful inter-disciplinary collaborations between sociologists, psychologists and others. Current theorisation in mainstream suicide research is limited by failures to engage with enduring, yet vitally important sociological debates regarding structure and agency, nature and culture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Theory
Early online date8 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2019

Keywords

  • agency
  • emotion
  • psychology
  • self-harm
  • sociology
  • suicide

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