A Durkheimian theorization of Scottish suicide rates, 2011-2017

Chris Holligan, Robert McLean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines recent aggregate statistical data generated by Scottish Government medical bodies concerning suicide rates and the social contexts of those who die by suicide. It compares rates and trends with international studies. Inherent in the data sets explored are indications suggesting that suicide is patterned by variables such as gender, employment, class and marital status. Neoliberalism increases social disparities that influence patterns of suicide, resulting in anomie and alienation, disproportionately impacting the already disenfranchised. Using recent statistical data (2011-2017) the article offers a theorization of suicide through the lens of Emile Durkheim’s social causation model of suicide. Suicide is associated with risk factors inherent in social structures and political processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number274
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2019


  • Durkheim
  • Gender
  • Social structure
  • Suicide
  • Neoliberalism
  • Scotland


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