chapter  1
The anthropology of suicide
Pages 22

This chapter engages with debates in psychological anthropology and cross-cultural psychiatry to argue that practices of emotionality generate particular kinds of suicide defined as 'psychological pathology' under certain conditions. It concerns to apply a definition of suicide at the outset would be tantamount to placing representation before practice and limiting the practice theory of suicide. People find a paradox between the conventional wisdom which states that masculinities challenged by female labour migration are leading to increased incidence of drinking, violence and suicide, and the meanings and significances that men invest in alcohol, migration and the 'pursuit of fun' as a barrier to suicide. The chapter argues that metta may offer an ontologically relevant model for understanding suicide prevention in contemporary Sri Lanka, and a means to transform the relational grounds of suicide practice into grounds for suicide prevention.