The internal dialogue between the individual and the community: A discourse analysis of public views on suicide among the Baganda, Uganda

  • Mugisha J
  • Hjelmeland H
  • Kinyanda E
 et al. 
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Abstract

Studies on attitudes towards suicide are important in the designing of suicide prevention efforts. However, relatively little research has been conducted on attitudes toward suicide in low-income countries as compared to high-income countries. This study was conducted in Uganda and is based on discourse analysis of data collected from 28 focus-group discussions and 30 key informant interviews. Four discourses emerged: long-term illness, failed love affair, death of a loved one and loss of property. In all the four discourses there was a struggle within the individual to articulate both individualistic (I) and communal (We) views on suicide, where the communal views always submerged the individual views. In urban areas, however, more individual views could emerge and be sustained. Communalism is still strong among the Baganda, though its influence in urban areas may be starting to wane due to modernization. Suicide prevention in Uganda should take care of this diversity in planning suicide-prevention programs in future. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Uganda
  • attitudes
  • internal dialogue
  • suicide

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Authors

  • James Mugisha

  • Heidi Hjelmeland

  • Eugene Kinyanda

  • Birthe Loa Knizek

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