Livelihood expectations

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bientum's picture
bientum
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Posts: 38
Livelihood expectations

I have recognised a trend in how expectations of a livelihood as dictated by a country and its quest for economic growth affects people. See this website for that shows suicide by country, and before you read into it note that within a country the demographics change significantly.  http://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2007/05/11/suicide-rates-of-the-world/

Hypothesis: Suicide is caused by expectations about a livelihood as silently dictated by the state, a country, and its culture.

Swiss, eastern europeans, aboriginal australians, koreans and japanese don’t seem to have alot in common at first but look a little deeper. They all have expectations that are too high for realistic achievement. With aboriginal australians, shanty town lifestyles are illegal.  People are expected to maintain a lovely pristine apartment or house in a little town where there is no work for them.  Often they won't leave that small town because of their roots.  The eastern europeans were thrust into the modern world in 1867 with the start of the Astro-hungarian empire, and this autonomy caused alot of suicide.  They went from being farmers to builders of the new world with industrialisation.  The scandinavians lead the world in wealthy living.  They set the highest example in the world. 

Now consider those with the lowest rates including Brazil, Papua New Guinea, south-south east asia exluding china, Africa, and the mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, Italy. The base level expectation is a shanty town or traditional village or simple multigenerational home.  Now I know you are thinking about the suicide in Greece, but read on.  By branding the world as undergoing an ongoing GFC, is actually relieving people of heavy expectations.  We can now live simpler happier lives, with less.  Poverty definately does not contribute to suicide.  Its the expectations about livelihoods.  The Greeks want to stop this suicide, and accepting a Great Depression, will help to stop the suicide.  I've lived in Brazil for a year and New Guinea for over 13 years and seen it for myself.  Many people in Brazil have never even heard of someone else committing suicide.  The shanty town is easy to manage, its thrown together, you don't need a filing cabinet to keep track of all your paperwork, its just simpler living, and accepted or institutionalised into Brazilian society.

Now to exceptions within a country.  There is a tribe in Brazil that recently lost its land and the people are being displaced. Now these tribal people wear loin clothes, and could not even integrate into Brazilian shanty towns because they lived a subsistance farming life. They know no other way. They are an exception in Brazil, and are committing suicide – see link http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/7770.

I feel sorry for the scandinavians and wealthy germanic countries because when the GFC is felt there, they have the furthest to fall.  Could they envision going back to living like Vikings?  Without the raping and pillaging of course.

Another thing to consider is assisted suicide for the elderly and euthanesia for the elderly.  Would that relieve the world of some resources?  It would take away jobs from Nurses.

 

bientum's picture
bientum
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Posts: 38
Note

I finally found relevant recognised scholarly studies directly relating to this subject.  Ever heard of the 'Easterlin Paradox'?  This is basically it. 

bientum's picture
bientum
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Posts: 38
Brick Wall

Actually the Easterlin Paradox just describes how scholars were dumbfounded by how the countries with the happiest people also had the most suicides.  They hit a brick wall and couldn't explain it. 

I hope I've made history by discovering this.

land2341's picture
land2341
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Correlation vs Causaility

Correlation does not inherently imply causality.  There are good studies out there on the correlation between religion and sicide.  Highly religious countries tend to have strong normative prohibitions against suicide, many people, regardless of their personal misery will drag through with whatever hell they're lving in rather than face hell for all eternity.  Cultures who hve honorable suicides often backed by a reincarnation themes have middle levels of suicide and culutres with little spirituality have high numbers.

 

While you may be on to something,  it isn't history,  the ground has been trod before.  All the way back to Durkheim.

There are other countries where the issue appears to be disparity between "expectation of lifestyle" and likelihood of acheiving it as a causal force but there is not enough data yet.  (Check out the info on China's increasing social mobility and then their suicide rate....) 

 

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bientum
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Posts: 38
More evidence

Christians don't go to hell for suicide, that's a fact, they can be forgiven.

I found more evidence by comparing Russia and Brazil.  In the 1930s Russian life changed from Agricultural practices used for centuries to complete government control over those practices.  Russians have lived under a theme of control for decades.  Even in society there are many strict societal taboos about how you sit, what you do in public, etc.  Now take Brazil.  There are practically no social taboos in Brazil.  Anything goes in Brazil. 

Conclusion: Suicide is caused by expectations about a life.  A life with little expectation is free of stress and happier.  A life with high expectation, from society, or the government, of its people, makes life stressful, causes depression, and suicide. 

I also found that a better word for expectation may be 'entitlement'.

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