Suicide Cultures: Reimagining Suicide Research

Suicide Cultures is a 5-year sociologically driven, interdisciplinary study of meanings and practices of suicide across diverse regions of Scotland.

Informed by sociology and by critical suicide studies, the project is examining the diverse ways that suicide is understood and practiced in different places, by different people. The study centres social and cultural contexts and meanings, which are often absent in suicide research, particularly in the UK. 

Researchers are based in three broad geographical regions of Scotland (these regions are anonymised). Within each area, we are conducting: 

  1. Interviews with people who have attempted suicide, been bereaved by suicide, or who work professionally with those affected by suicide.  

  1. A qualitative analysis of institutional reviews of suicides in these areas (focusing on a three year period, between 2011-2019). 

  1. Ethnographic work with communities and organisations affected by suicides.  

  1. Arts-based work, led by communities, exploring understandings and meanings of suicide. 

In addition to the above, PhD Researcher Emily Yue has carried out a focused study of the experiences and accounts of people living in Scotland who identify as of ‘mixed’ ethnicity or as ‘second generation migrants’. This study centres intersectional experiences and challenges the absence and/or reductive ways that ‘race/ethnicity’ has been employed in previous suicide research.  

Alongside our research, the team hosts a blog, a seminar series, and a podcast. 

Funded by the Wellcome Trust.