• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Suicide
Cross-cultural perspectives on suicide

Culture provides a set of rules and standards that are shared by members of a society. These rules and standards shape and determine the range of behaviors that are considered appropriate under prescribed conditions. Such cultural artifacts influence the behaviors of persons of different nationalities and ethnicities as well as other subgroups within a nation. In looking at cultural influences on behavior, one important difference across cultures that comes immediately to light is the difference in rates of suicide.

One of the most interesting phenomena in suicidology is the national variation found in suicide rates. As the data displayed in Table 1 show, suicide rates for males around the world vary from a high of 73.8 per 100,000 per ...

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