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To Die For: Gender, Suicide, and Moral Personhood in a South Asian Village

Jeanne Marecek is William Rand Kenan Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College. She is a member of the Gender Studies Program and the Asian Studies Program. She earned her M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. at Yale University. She has been particularly interested in developing post-positive approaches in psychology. She has been studying suicide and self-harm in Sri Lanka for 15 years. She currently serves as president of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies
When Mar 17, 2005
from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where 102 Kern Building
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JEANNE MARECEK

 

Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College

Jeanne Marecek is William Rand Kenan Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College. She is a member of the Gender Studies Program and the Asian Studies Program. She earned her M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. at Yale University. She has been particularly interested in developing post-positive approaches in psychology. She has been studying suicide and self-harm in Sri Lanka for 15 years. She currently serves as president of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies.

To Die For: Gender, Suicide, and Moral Personhood in a South Asian Village

For several years in the 1990s, Sri Lanka recorded the highest rates of suicide in the world. This reflected a 700% increase over previous levels of self-harm. Most of suicide deaths involve young rural-dwellers who swallow pesticides and other poisons. Girls and young women are at special risk, a pattern recently observed in India and China as well. In this presentation, I ask: Why now? Why young women? Why rural villagers? To answer these questions, I examine emotion practices, the gendered effects of economic “liberalization,” and some culture-specific responses to intimate conflicts.