Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Making sense of suicide: a discourse analysis of young people's talk about suicidal subjecthood

Roen, Katrina, Scourfield, Jonathan Bryn ORCID: and McDermott, Elizabeth 2008. Making sense of suicide: a discourse analysis of young people's talk about suicidal subjecthood. Social Science & Medicine 67 (12) , pp. 2089-2097. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.09.019

Full text not available from this repository.


Though there is a substantial body of literature on youth suicide, relatively few studies provide a detailed analysis of young people's own understandings of suicidal behaviour. The present research pays particular attention to how young people make sense of suicide, in the understanding that suicide only becomes possible insofar as it is imaginable. Interviews and focus groups (including 69 participants in total) with people aged 16–24 years provide the empirical material for this study. Research participants were recruited across a range of ethnic groups and sexual orientations, and drawn from rural and urban areas in the North of England and South Wales. Four frameworks for understanding youth suicide are discussed in this paper. These frameworks of understanding variously (i) cast suicidal subjects as Other, (ii) highlight suicide as something that is accessible to young people, (iii) demonstrate the desire to rationalise suicidal behaviour, and (iv) define suicidal subjects in terms of their relationships with others. The interwoven meanings that run through these four frameworks, and their connection with existing literature, are discussed and the implications for suicide prevention are indicated.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: UK; Youth suicide; Suicidal subjects; Discourse analysis
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0277-9536
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 08:52

Citation Data

Cited 25 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item