Durkheim, ethnography and suicide: researching young male suicide in the transnational London Alevi-Kurdish community

Cetin, U. 2016. Durkheim, ethnography and suicide: researching young male suicide in the transnational London Alevi-Kurdish community. Ethnography. 17 (2), pp. 250-277. doi:10.1177/1466138115586583

TitleDurkheim, ethnography and suicide: researching young male suicide in the transnational London Alevi-Kurdish community
AuthorsCetin, U.
Abstract

This study of the unusually high incidence of young male suicides in the transnational Alevi-Kurdish community in London, demonstrates the benefits of combining a Durkheimian structural approach with a qualitatively driven ethnographic methodology. Examination of the life experiences of those who committed suicide is located within the underlying social organization of the transnational community in which the suicides occurred, enabling us to explore unanticipated events that render certain groups more at risk of committing suicide. Interviews with significant others facilitated a deeper understanding of the personal life paths of those who committed suicide. The suicide cases followed a particular assimilation trajectory that gradually positioned them in a “rainbow underclass”, an anomic social position leading to suicide. Despite the sensitivity of the subject, participants appreciated the opportunity to discuss their experience frankly and contribute towards a better understanding of the underlying causes in a desperate attempt to prevent further suicides.

KeywordsDurkheim, suicide, ethnography, transnational migration, minority ethnic communities, Alevi Kurds
JournalEthnography
Journal citation17 (2), pp. 250-277
ISSN1741-2714
Year2016
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscriptEthnography_Accepted_13Feb2015.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1466138115586583
Publication dates
Published14 May 2015

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