Representations of suicide and mental health issues

Harvey-Grainger, Megan (2013) Representations of suicide and mental health issues. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study is concerned with the ways in which suicide and insanity are represented in images. The study does not attempt to explain suicide, or its relationship with mental illness. It is concerned with how these phenomena are depicted, and what such images say about society’s attitudes to them. It adopts a perspective originally proposed by Durkheim, i.e. that economic change and the associated changes in social relations and moral reasoning are among the causes of suicide (Bailey, 1998, p. 17). Durkheim sought to explain suicide from a positivist position, and concluded that the statistics suggested specific relationships, i.e. between suicide and urbanisation, individualism, egoistic or altruistic behaviour (Bailey, 1998, p. 17). However, his contemporaries looked at much the same evidence, and often saw a variety of other explanations. The study combines Durkheim’s social perspective with the kind of visual analysis suggested by Berger (2008, p. 3), i.e. that societies, cultures, and individuals and artists have a “way of seeing” images. As he explains, the reception of every image, whether produced by mechanically or by hand, “…also depends upon our own way of seeing.” (Berger ,2008, p. 3).

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Art and Design
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2013 14:30
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:26

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