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    African personhood, Humanism, and critical Sankofaism: the case of male suicide in Ghana

    Kong, Camillia (2020) African personhood, Humanism, and critical Sankofaism: the case of male suicide in Ghana. In: Stoyanov, D. and Fulford, K. and Mills, C. and Stanghellini, G. and Van Staden, W. and Wong, M. (eds.) International Perspectives in Values-Based Mental Health Practice. Springer Nature, pp. 85-93. ISBN 9783030478513.

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    Suicide in Ghana is criminalised and those who survive suicide attempts are subject to significant social condemnation. Paradoxically, studies show that male suicide is often driven by individuals’ strong sense of responsibility to meet social norms and expectations around gender as well as the internalisation of societal views that death would be preferable to shame and disgrace. This contradiction prompts a critical re-examination of the communitarian tradition of African personhood which posits an intimate link between the individual attainment of socially affirmed roles and the status of personhood. Through an analysis of the Akan concept of critical sankofaism I suggest that African approaches to suicide may draw upon important adaptive, critical resources internal to African cultural values, thus highlighting the progressive potential of the African tradition. I show specifically how male gender norms and societal responses to suicide attempts distort core humanistic values at the heart of African communitarian personhood.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Suicide, Personhood, Masculine norms, Communitarianism, Sankofa, Humanism, Hermeneutics
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Crime & Justice Policy Research, Institute for
    Depositing User: Camillia Kong
    Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2021 08:02
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:56


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