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The Varieties of Suicidal Experience: A New Theory of Suicidal Violence (Psychology and Crime) (Paperback)

The Varieties of Suicidal Experience: A New Theory of Suicidal Violence (Psychology and Crime) By Thomas Joiner Cover Image
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PROSE Award Finalist for Psychology and Applied Social Work

Argues that a range of behaviors such as murder-suicide, terrorism, and mass shootings are better understood as motivated by suicidal impulses than by homicidal ones

Mass shooters often display behaviors that strongly mirror the warning signs for suicide: lives led in isolation, intense personal suffering, disaffection, and struggle. Letters detailing why they did what they did paint pictures of intense misery and loneliness. As this book makes clear, private despair sometimes leads to social violence.

In this groundbreaking work, Thomas Joiner offers a unified theory of suicide, making the case that many acts that appear homicidal are best understood primarily as suicidal. We must recognize that there are several forms of suicidal violence, some of which masquerade as other types of acts, including terrorism and murder. These include suicide-by-cop, suicide terrorism, murder-suicide, and running amok. Though there are obvious differences among these acts, Joiner argues that framing them as stemming from a common ideology of suicide is a crucial step in preventing these atrocities.

By recognizing the desire to die--not to kill--as being at the heart of many of the acts of those who choose to kill their partner, shoot up their school, or terrorize their community, we can offer more effective measures of intervention. At a time when our nation is scrambling for solutions in the fight to end gun violence, this book presents a crucial component in the detection and treatment of unwell individuals.

About the Author

Thomas Joiner is The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and author of Why People Die By Suicide.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781479823475
ISBN-10: 1479823473
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Psychology and Crime