The issue of suicide in contemporary Canadian society: A discourse analysis
LE3 .A278 2013
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis examines bodies of discourse that shape our understanding of suicide, revealing ways by which notions of “truth” emerge through the various ways of knowledge construction. For centuries, suicide, as a contested act, has drawn the attention in part, of academics, Biblical scholars, legal analysts and the lay public. All of this attention has given rise to various discourses that seek to understand and regulate suicide; some of these discourses have proven over time to have greater power and longevity. Using secondary materials, this thesis deconstructs traditional discourses (e.g., Christian doctrine) that have influenced notions of suicide through condemnation. At a further level, I comparatively examine the complementary discourses that have supported traditional discourses, serving to sustain their power vis-à-vis those discourses that have appeared in contest to the more traditional, stringently proscriptive views toward suicide. In examining the missions of more contemporary competing discourses that have surfaced within Western society and which declare suicide as a human right, I propose that ultimately a person should enjoy the right to have control over one’s own body. Suicide should be regarded as a human choice.
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