Suicide and the Body Politic in Imperial Russia

Suicide and the Body Politic in Imperial Russia

by Susan K. Morrissey
     
 

ISBN-10: 052186545X

ISBN-13: 9780521865456

Pub. Date: 12/28/2006

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

In early twentieth-century Russia, suicide became a public act and a social phenomenon of exceptional scale, a disquieting emblem of Russia's encounter with modernity. This book draws on an extensive range of sources, from judicial records to the popular press, to examine the forms, meanings, and regulation of suicide from the seventeenth century to 1914, placing

Overview

In early twentieth-century Russia, suicide became a public act and a social phenomenon of exceptional scale, a disquieting emblem of Russia's encounter with modernity. This book draws on an extensive range of sources, from judicial records to the popular press, to examine the forms, meanings, and regulation of suicide from the seventeenth century to 1914, placing developments into a pan-European context. It argues against narratives of secularization that read the history of suicide as a trajectory from sin to insanity, crime to social problem, and instead focuses upon the cultural politics of self-destruction. Suicide - the act, the body, the socio-medical problem - became the site on which diverse authorities were established and contested, not just the priest or the doctor but also the sovereign, the public, and the individual. This panoramic history of modern Russia, told through the prism of suicide, rethinks the interaction between cultural forms, individual agency, and systems of governance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521865456
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2006
Series:
Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories Series, #9
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Public Order and its Malcontents: 1. Victims of their own will; 2. Virtue and vice in an age of enlightenment; 3. The regulation of suicide; 4. Punishing the body, cleansing the conscience; 5. Policing and paternalism; 6. Arbiters of the self: the suicide note; Part II. Disease of the Century: 7. Sciences of suicide; 8. Crime, disease, sin: disputed judgments; 9. A ray of light in the kingdom of darkness; Part III. Political Theology and Moral Epidemics: 10. Freedom, violence, and the sacred; 11. Children of the twentieth century; Epilogue; Selected bibliography.

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