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Att välja döden: En socialpsykologisk studie av livs(o)vilja : a social psychological study of (un)willingness towards living
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis has been to demonstrate how the interaction with others has an impact on the individual's choice to commit suicide. The perspective used is a social psychological one. The study has taken as its point, of departure the individual's own account of her/his interplay with the others in her/his social context.

The choice to commit suicide has been understood as the culmination of a process which has alternatively been referred to as a presuicidal process and a process of (un)willingness towards living. The "mystery of (un)willingness towards living" has gradually unravelled as this process has become visible. This process consists of four phases: In phase I, the significance of performance is discussed. In phase II, the impact of phase I on the individual's self-image is discussed. In phase III, the impact of phase I and II for the individual's place in her/his community of values, and its significance for the suicidal choice, is discussed. In phase IV, having access to situations experienced as free of demands is discussed. Two "intrigues" in the process can be found: Phase III and phase IV. Their status as "intrigues" has come about as they both deal with experiences of belonging versus being an outsider. That is, this thesis shows that the threat of becoming an outsider is a crucial factor when it comes to the individual's choice to commit suicide.

In the presuicidal process the individual gradually approaches the act of suicide due to experienced rejections from the others in the her/his community of values. In the end, the individual risks loosing her/his position in the context. Hereby a risk arises that the threat to the sense of belonging will be interpreted as evidence of the own incapability to lead a bearable life. This thesis demonstrates that the very motive power in this presuicidal process concerns the will to live, to succeed, to belong to and be accepted among significant others in a community of values, i.e. to maintain a position in the context on which self-acceptance depends.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 335 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, social psychology, suicide, individual choice, identity construction, presuicidal process, (un)willingness towards living
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-720ISBN: 91-7203-820-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-720DiVA: diva2:169064
Public defence
1998-09-25, universitetets lärosal IV, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1998-09-04 Created: 1998-09-04Bibliographically approved

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