Our Book of the Month choice for September

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.


Understanding suicide: a sociological autopsy

Ben Fincham et al.

Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Shelfmark: HV6545.UND 2011



The Book of the Month for September has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy & Intervention. It was chosen to tie in with World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September).



Book Overview

The theoretical treatment of suicide is one of the few classical subjects in Sociology. Indeed through the work of Durkheim and others it was of central importance in establishing Sociology as an independent academic discipline. Even now the subject continues to both attract and illustrate competing research paradigms.

In ‘Understanding Suicide: a social autopsy’, Fincham, Langer et al uncover a variety of neglected social and economic strains which contribute to suicide, such as indebtedness and stressful relationships at work. Their analysis signals a need for researchers and clinicians to look for clusters of both sociological and psychiatric causes in order to obtain a better understanding of the complexities of such events.


“A major contribution to the study of suicide, still one of the core topics in sociology. Introducing a novel methodology and an innovative approach to suicidal motivation, it will become a landmark study in the field.”

Anthony Giddens, former Director of the LSE and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge

“A wonderful example of what sociology can achieve: Being methodologically innovative and rigorous, theoretically rich and challenging, as well as maintaining direct relevance and utility to policy-makers and practitioners working in suicide prevention.”

Network Magazine

Where can I find it?

We have one copy, which is for library use only. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and take a look at it. The shelfmark for the title is HV6545.UND 2011

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