Anomie, the American Dream, Shame, and Diffusion: The Impact of the Economy on Suicide
Karlijn Roex (doctoral project)
Economic change and marketization influences the prevalence of suicidality, but the strength of this relationship differs remarkably between societies. Although scholars have given plenty of attention to the overall relationship between the economy and suicide, much remains unclear on what contextual factors make economic shocks much more suicidogenic in some countries. Welfare state generosity has been shown to play a role, but several other potentially interesting contextual factors have been understudied. For instance: Is unemployment more distressing for individuals in societies that put a higher overall emphasis on work and economic success? Is there greater distress in societies where market thinking has penetrated formerly non-economic institutions? Do marketization and economic shocks also have population-wide effects by fostering anomie in societies? Drawing on Durkheimian thought, anomie-and-strain theory, and diffusion accounts, this dissertation project studies the impact of economic change and marketization on suicide as well as its potential moderators and mechanisms. The effects are examined across multiple industrialized countries and regions spanning several decades. Project duration: October 2014 to April 2018.