Cosmopolitanism and the relevance of ‘zombie concepts’: the case of anomic suicide amongst Alevi Kurd youth

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Cetin, U. (2017)

Against Beck’s claims that conventional sociological concepts and categories are zombie categories, this paper argues that Durkheim’s theoretical framework in which suicide is a symptom of an anomic state of society can help us understand the diversity of trajectories that transnational migrants follow and that shape their suicide rates within a cosmopolitan society. Drawing on ethnographic data collected on eight suicides and three attempted suicide cases of second-generation male Alevi Kurdish migrants living in London, this article explains the impact of segmented assimilation/adaptation trajectories on the incidence of suicide and how their membership of a ‘new rainbow underclass’, as a manifestation of cosmopolitan society, is itself an anomic social position with a lack of integration and regulation.
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