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The production of pro-suicide content on the Internet: A counter-discourse activity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2012 (English)In: New Media and Society, ISSN 1461-4448, E-ISSN 1461-7315, Vol. 14, no 5, 764-780 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pro-suicide websites are topping search engine result lists, raising fears about the internet's detrimental influence on behaviour and attitudes related to suicide. Based on a qualitative analysis, this article argues that the production of pro-suicide content on the internet should be seen as a counter-discourse, directed against socially dominant perceptions of suicide. On pro-suicide websites, the description of technical, chemical and anatomic details, the expression of honourable and clearly individualistic ideals, the depictions of morbid bodily violence, together with the absence of emotional content could all be said to represent a kind of constructed Western masculinity. Furthermore, because of its potential for identity gain and the acting out of aggressive impulses, it is crucial - although this may seem somewhat paradoxical - to understand the production of the pro-suicide content as a manifestation of what is, for the participants, a meaningful practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 14, no 5, 764-780 p.
Keyword [en]
Internet, websites, suicide, pro-suicide, counter-discourse
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64879DOI: 10.1177/1461444811425221ISI: 000306376500003OAI: diva2:459585
Available from: 2011-11-26 Created: 2011-11-26 Last updated: 2012-10-01Bibliographically approved

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Westerlund, Michael
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ReferencesLink to record
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