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The cultural turn in critical suicidology: What can we claim and what do we know?

Jason Bantjes, Leslie Swartz
Death Studies 2017, 41 (8): 512-520
The cultural turn in critical suicidology notes the limitations of dominant acontextual, biomedical, quantitative approaches to suicide prevention. Qualitative methods are idealized within this cultural turn as the only way to advance suicidology. Qualitative methods, however, also have limitations. Drawing on our research with traditional healers in South Africa, the authors explore tensions associated with making truth claims based on qualitative research. Turning the critical gaze on their work, they consider the question of what we can claim to know about suicide prevention when investigating culture using qualitative methods. The authors suggest a circumspect approach to making truth claims about what the cultural turn can achieve.


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