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Accepted Paper:

ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF SUICIDE IN IGBOLAND  
John Chidubem Nwaogaidu (University of Nigeria, Nsukka) Jude Anih (University of Nigeria, Nsukka)

Paper short abstract:

The study identified intrinsic factors that are more spiritual than physical which induce people into suicide. The objective was to explore the understanding of suicide among the Igbo people of Nigeria. The findings showed that suicide is not a normal occurrence in Igbo society.

Paper long abstract:

Suicide is frequently attributed to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse. In African context, the present study identified other intrinsic factors that are more spiritual than physical which induce people into suicide. The objective of the study was to explore the understanding of suicide among the Igbo people of Nigeria. The findings relate to the fact that suicide is not a normal occurrence in Igbo traditional society. It is very clear that traditionally, Igbo conceptualize suicide as a crime and abomination against the gods, meaning that taking one’s life is not permitted by any human and spiritual agents. Since Igboland is a large area, the study adopted culture area method of interpretation. The reason for this method is to avoid falling victim to the error of over-generalization, hence what obtains in one subculture may not be the same in another subculture. The area of concentration of the study is on central sub-cultural area of Igboland, which is Ugbaike Enugu-Ezike of Southeast Nigeria. Data for the study was generated from both event reviews and Focus Group Discussions, and the study identified the reasons for suicide which intrinsically varied. However, suicide stirs up discomfort in supernatural world and powers that is; the divinities, ancestors and other spirit forces are believed to have been offended by such act. Therefore, efforts must be made to escape their wrath, and this is through expiatory sacrifice.

Panel P002a
Life after death: intersubjectivity, care, and hope at the end of existence I
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -