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I wish I could simply write it was nonsense, but I am not certain it is – I’ll come to it below.
In the former, while it is shown that people diagnosed with mental illness (I am putting aside the discussion about the validity of such diagnoses) do commit more suicides (yes, I use the phrase ) than the non-diagnosed population, still the rate of diagnosed people taking their lives is still relatively low (I am not at all suggesting that it is acceptable), which might actually lead to a conclusion that it is not the illness itself, but its social context, for example, the stigma it carries.
In critical suicidology Ian Marsh’s work on history of ‘discourses of suicide’ is a great example of challenging the relationship between suicide and mental illness.
These are the ‘little’ demographics ‘one offers’ and, I suppose, it makes some sense, especially in view of both masculinity research, depression research and probably some other.
Still, we write these things mostly without giving it another thought, we just follow the practice, I think.
So here is a little snippet from the introductory chapter of Men’s Discourses of Depression: As it happened, all my interviewees were white, Polish, heterosexual, between the ages of 30 and 60.
All were or had been (three were divorced) in stable relationships with female partners (usually, wives).Or perhaps I should describe the person by what I did?I remember a moment in one of the interviews when I looked at my watch.But as I was writing my ‘homework chapter’, I was also very conscious of creating categories for my informants, which they didn’t necessarily inhabit, at least during the interview.I was making them into people that ‘we’, academics, consider important.I am pleased to say that I actually did ask myself at the time why those characteristics, but the answer was too difficult to consider in the book was and it has remained elusive.The only response I could come up with was: because this is what I am expected to do.The solution – much more of Graham Scambler’s meta-reflection, also outside sociology.But as I was musing about the above, probably feeling a bit smug, I started thinking about my own work, for example, my research on men’s depression.Will the reader have a different definition of X than I do?Will the reader agree that X is important, or do I need to justify my study of X?