Volume 10   Number 2     Fall 2017

A Semiotic-Dialogical and Sociocultural Account of Suicide

Catarina Rosa
University of Aveiro, Portugal

Sofia Tavares
University of …vora, Portugal

pp. 85-105

Abstract. Research in suicidology has focused on the analysis of interindividual differences and has neglected the subjective and intersubjective dimensions of human experience. Suicidal behaviour must be understood in the complex convergence between personal, interpersonal, social and cultural elements. Every human action (e.g., suicidal behaviour) should be placed and conceived in continuity with the sociocultural world. Both societal discourses and personal meanings are constitutive elements of such experience. The representational systems shared by communities or groups are multiple resulting in diverse representations of suicide. In a dialogical self-system these social representations of suicide are personified by collective identity positions. Whenever an experiential moment activates the self-system dynamics, these sociocultural positions take their place in the intrapersonal dialogues constraining the individualís thoughts, feelings and actions. In this sense, we suggest a semiotic-dialogical and sociocultural model of suicide, grounded on the dialogical self theory and the social representation theory.


Keywords: suicide, dialogical self, social representations, collective identity positions