Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/12182
Title: Hungry, Angry Ghosts: A Construction of Female Suicide in Traditional China
Contributor(s): McKay, Kathryn  (author)
Publication Date: 2012
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/12182
Abstract: Suicide has long been constructed as a monstrous death within many societies. Its very existence challenges the social norms the majority of people presume to be acceptable; it leaves behind people questioning the reasons behind the choice. In this way, those who choose suicide have also been branded monsters - the most common of which is the belief that ghosts can arise from these deaths. Traditional Chinese stories of female suicide-related ghosts seemed to follow a distinct narrative trope involving rational, heroic men and irrational, villainous women. The ways in which stories of hungry ghosts were told speaks to the ways in which female suicide was understood and rationalised within traditional Chinese society. It also provides a demonstration of suicide prevention based within supernatural encounters. While the seriousness in which these stories were held is uncertain, they remain a colourful and potent source of suicide story-telling. By seeking to understand this mythology, we also begin to better understand the stigma and stereotypes that continue to attach to female suicide in modern rural China.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Monsters and the Monstrous, 2(1), p. 41-46
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1756-770X
Field of Research (FOR): 111712 Health Promotion
160805 Social Change
160804 Rural Sociology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920506 Rural Health
920507 Womens Health
920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links: http://monstersjournal.net/volumes/volume-2-number-1/
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Rural Medicine

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