Narrating death

Affective reworking of suicide in rural Greece

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Author:
Stavroula Pipyrou University of St Andrews sp78@st‐andrews.ac.uk

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This paper examines cases of suicide in rural Greece where the deceased have been provided with new affective narratives that detract from the circumstances of death. Living relatives redirect public attention away from the social taboo of suicide by reconfiguring affective stories that appeal to the local tool‐kit for dealing with unexpected death. Resultantly, the reputation of the family remains untainted by the connotations of immorality and insanity that suicide carries. Grabbing public attention, the affective story rouses sympathy for the victim and their family, whilst cultivating abhorrence towards a culprit, representing a final mark of respect to the dead person.

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