Suicide & Culture

Suicide rates differ in various countries and cultures around the world. Some research shows that even the content of suicide notes is different depending on the culture of the suicide victim. However, certain aspects of suicide are consistent across cultures:

  • more men commit suicide even though, in most cultures, females attempt it more often
  • many factors can lead to suicide (e.g., economic hardship or bullying), but depression is usually a common factor
  • people who are suicidal can be helped by similar methods, especially sharing their feelings with people who care about them

Here are some interesting articles that deal with suicide and culture, which I am assigning to individuals, pairs, or groups of three students–depending on their length and difficulty. You should summarize the articles IN YOUR OWN WORDS and write your personal reflections on them in the Nicenet Conferencing area “Culture & Suicide.” You don’t have to cooperate with the person(s) you’re paired with to write your summary and comments; you can work on it independently.

You are also required to respond to the summaries and reflections of, at least, four of your classmates in the same Conferencing area.

The guest speaker whom I invited to our class on Tuesday, November 12th, spoke about his film at TEDxTOKYO. It would help you to prepare for his talk by watching a video of that short lecture, which I have embedded below:

Suicide in South Korea: the dark side of the crisis: Ai

In More Religious Countries, Lower Suicide Rates: Ryo and Yukina S

Suicide in Ethnic Minority Groups: Reiko and Yoshiki

Suicide prevention and developing countries: Mari and Michiko

Farmers’ suicide: Across culture: Marina and Marie

Study Links Japan’s High Suicide Rate To Bad Weather: Zhihao Xu

How tragedy led an Irish man to tackle Japan’s suicide culture: Sayumi

Suicide: First Aid Guidelines: Shinya and Yukina K.

Alcohol consumption and suicide: Kaito and Misato

Japan: ending the culture of the ‘honourable’ suicide: Yuka and Mitsu

Suicide — Differences from Culture to Culture: Kenta

Cultures of suicide: Anna and Mariya

Religious Views on Suicide: Yosuke and Maya

Coping with Loss: Understanding Suicide Loss: Sayaka, K., Yutaka, and Konomi [watch the video and describe that as well]

The following video is a trailer of Rene Duignan’s film “SAVING 10,000 – Winning a War on Suicide in Japan.” Dr. Rene Duignan is an economist here in Tokyo representing the European Union. He has given nearly 100 lectures about his film and it has been screened hundreds of times. Interviews of him about the documentary were reported in both the Asahi Shimbun and the Yomiuri. “Saving 10,000” has been entered in numerous film festivals and has been awarded various prizes.

Here is the film in its entirety:

This is the PowerPoint that the guest speaker, Rene Duignan, didn’t have a chance to go through in a leisurely way during his talk, so, he asked me to pass it along to you.

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