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Suicide in Russia: A macro-sociological study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This work constitutes a macro-sociological study of suicide. The empirical focus is on suicide mortality in Russia, which is among the highest in the world and has, moreover, developed in a dramatic manner over the second half of the 20th century. Suicide mortality in contemporary Russia is here placed within the context of development over a longer time period through empirical studies on 1) the general and sex- and age-specific developments in suicide over the period 1870–2007, 2) underlying dynamics of Russian suicide mortality 1956–2005 pertaining to differences between age groups, time periods, and particular generations and 3) the continuity in the aggregate-level relationship between heavy alcohol consumption and suicide mortality from late Tsarist period to post-World War II Russia. In addition, a fourth study explores an alternative to Émile Durkheim’s dominating macro-sociological perspective on suicide by making use of Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems. With the help of Luhmann’s macro-sociological perspective it is possible to consider suicide and its causes also in terms of processes at the individual level (i.e. at the level of psychic systems) in a manner that contrasts with the ‘holistic’ perspective of Durkheim. The results of the empirical studies show that Russian suicide mortality, despite its exceptionally high level and dramatic changes in the contemporary period, shares many similarities with the patterns seen in Western countries when examined over a longer time period. Societal modernization in particular seems to have contributed to the increased rate of suicide in Russia in a manner similar to what happened earlier in Western Europe. In addition, the positive relationship between heavy alcohol consumption and suicide mortality proved to be remarkably stable across the past one and a half centuries. These results were interpreted using the Luhmannian perspective on suicide developed in this work. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 66 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 87
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 76
Keyword [en]
Suicide, Russia, historical development, time-series analysis, age-period-cohort analysis, Émile Durkheim, Niklas Luhmann
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195318ISBN: 978-91-554-8602-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-195318DiVA: diva2:608268
Public defence
2013-04-12, IV, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-03-21 Created: 2013-02-24 Last updated: 2014-04-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The historical development of suicide mortality in Russia, 1870-2007
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The historical development of suicide mortality in Russia, 1870-2007
2015 (English)In: Archives of Suicide Research, ISSN 1381-1118, E-ISSN 1573-8159, Vol. 19, no 1, 117-130 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Russia has one of the highest suicide mortality rates in the world. This study investigates the development of Russian suicide mortality over a longer time period in order to provide a context within which the contemporary high level might be better understood. Annual sex- and age-specific suicide-mortality data for Russia for the period 1870-2007 were studied, where available. Russian suicide mortality increased 11-fold over the period. Trends in male and female suicide developed similarly, although male suicide rates were consistently much higher. From the 1990s suicide has increased in a relative sense among the young (15-34), while the high suicide mortality among middle-aged males has reduced. Changes in Russian suicide mortality over the study period may be attributable to modernization processes.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195315 (URN)10.1080/13811118.2014.915774 (DOI)000349329400009 ()25058568 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2013-02-24 Created: 2013-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Age, period and cohort effects on suicide mortality in Russia, 1956-2005
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age, period and cohort effects on suicide mortality in Russia, 1956-2005
Show others...
2017 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 17, 235Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Russian suicide mortality rates changed rapidly over the second half of the twentieth century. This study attempts to differentiate between underlying period and cohort effects in relation to the changes in suicide mortality in Russia between 1956 and 2005. Methods: Sex-and age-specific suicide mortality data were analyzed using an age-period-cohort (APC) approach. Descriptive analyses and APC modeling with log-linear Poisson regression were performed. Results: Strong period effects were observed for the years during and after Gorbachev ' s political reforms (including the anti-alcohol campaign) and for those following the break-up of the Soviet Union. After mutual adjustment, the cohort-and period-specific relative risk estimates for suicide revealed differing underlying processes. While the estimated period effects had an overall positive trend, cohort-specific developments indicated a positive trend for the male cohorts born between 1891 and 1931 and for the female cohorts born between 1891 and 1911, but a negative trend for subsequent cohorts. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the specific life experiences of cohorts may be important for variations in suicide mortality across time, in addition to more immediate effects of changes in the social environment.

Keyword
Suicide, Russia, Age-period, cohort analysis
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195316 (URN)10.1186/s12889-017-4158-2 (DOI)000396054600003 ()28270123 (PubMedID)
Note

The manuscript version of this article (Age, period and cohort effects on suicide mortality in Russia, 1956-2007) is part of the thesis Suicide in Russia: A macro-sociological study http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:608268

Available from: 2013-02-24 Created: 2013-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Alcohol and Suicide in Russia, 1870-1894 and 1956-2005: Evidence for the Continuation of a Harmful Drinking Culture Across Time?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Alcohol and Suicide in Russia, 1870-1894 and 1956-2005: Evidence for the Continuation of a Harmful Drinking Culture Across Time?
2011 (English)In: Journal of studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1937-1888, Vol. 72, no 2, 341-347 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ: Alcohol Research Documentation, Inc., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2011
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150540 (URN)
Available from: 2011-03-31 Created: 2011-03-31 Last updated: 2013-03-22Bibliographically approved
4. Självmord som ett avlägsnande från kommunikation: Ett nytt luhmannskt perspektiv på ett gammalt sociologiskt problem
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Självmord som ett avlägsnande från kommunikation: Ett nytt luhmannskt perspektiv på ett gammalt sociologiskt problem
2013 (Swedish)In: Sosiologi i dag, ISSN 0332-6330, E-ISSN 1893-4617, Vol. 43, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

mer än 100 år har Durkheims makrosociologiska teori om självmord dominerat det sociologiska studiet av självmord. Denna utgår från Durkheims sociologiska metod att förklara kollektiva fenomen utifrån en förståelse av samhällets natur. Här föreslås en utveckling av den makrosociologiska teoretiseringen av självmord utifrån Durkheims sociologiska metod, genom att söka nya förklaringar till självmord som ett kollektivt fenomen i en annan förståelse av samhällets natur. I detta sammanhang tycks Luhmanns teori om sociala system särskilt relevant. Luhmanns teori är en modern generell sociologisk teori som utgör ett radikalt brott mot de sociologiska klassikerna. Den är vidare särskilt adekvat för att förstå dagens informationssamhälle. Syftet med denna artikel blir därmed att bidra till den makrosociologiska teoretiseringen av självmord genom att anta ett luhmannskt perspektiv på självmord enligt Durkheims metod för sociologiska studier.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195317 (URN)
Available from: 2013-02-24 Created: 2013-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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