Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id KAA16165 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:50:55 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745DC2@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:47:23 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>is in relation to the mediation part of the issue- that mediated
>>(e.g. press reports, or TV dramatisations) lead to suicides in
<One wonders if non-suicidal people _ever_ commit suicide? It seems
> impossible- it is certainly unlogical semantically.>
I take the point. Indeed, it's kind of what I meant. There has
been an assumption in some contagion research that the same actions are
caused by the same factor (or factors), hence notions that a mediated
suicide increases rates of actual suicide_because_ all those subsequent
suicides were exposed to that mediated suicide, and people became suicidal
as a result. What doesn't seem to be explicated by such a view is what
about the state of mind of the people who commit the subsequent acts. Isn't
it highly likely that these people were suicidal already, or at best near
suicidal, since as you rightly say non-suicidal people generally don't try
and commit suicide? That's why the vast majority of us don't top ourselves
or kill people when we encounter mediated suicde and murder. Mediated
suicide then isn't a causal factor in suicidal states of mind.
<Japan has a long and traditional culture of suicide, and there is
> 'honor' code among european males to remove themselves from disgrace in
> this fashion. The typical last scene with the off-stage gunshot....
> Places of high expectation, graduate schools, etc., have long histories
> of student suicides, until recently actively suppressed in the media (at
> least at Harvard and at MIT), but, continuing and constant with a
> reliable frequency nonetheless.>
Absolutely. I think things like Seppuku, or suicide rates in
military academies, and the like would be more relevant to talk about in
this kind of debate.
Your own responses to suicide are extremely valid I think.
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