Suicide and the morality of kinship in Sri Lanka

Widger, Tom (2012) Suicide and the morality of kinship in Sri Lanka. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 46 (1-2). pp. 83-116. ISSN 0069-9667

Full text not available from this repository.


Ethnographic research amongst Sinhala Buddhists in community and clinical settings in the Madampe Division, northwest Sri Lanka, suggests that local understandings and practices of suicidal behaviour reflect the kinship structure. In particular, acts of self-harm and self-inflicted death arise in response to the breaking of core kinship rights, duties and obligations, or as a challenge to inflexibility or contradictions within the system. In either case, the morality of kinship is closely associated with the causes of suicidal behaviour, as the ‘inevitability’ or ‘evitability’ of kin relationships is negotiated and lived in practice. This article analyses how local political economies give rise to particular kinship and moral conditions, with special attention paid to those between household (gē) members and brothers-in-law (massinā)

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Tom Widger
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2013 14:19
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2013 14:19
📧 Request an update