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Dissertation Information for Augustine Savarimuthu

- Augustine Savarimuthu

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Rutgers University (USA) (2001)

- Hartmut Mokros

- Linda Lederman
- Lea Stewart
- Karen Cerulo

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Commitment to living: A microanalytic study of the emotion of shame and the perceived erosion of social bonds in two cases of adolescent suicide

Abstract: This proposed dissertation attempts to explore the centrality of commitment and social bonds for human survival and well being. It does so through a case study of two audio-taped suicide notes produced by two adolescent males. The study begins with the assumption that suicide is a rupture in one's commitment and social relatedness. Thus, an inquiry into the narration of the suicidal persons reveals their sense of self, social bonds, and commitment. Self, social bonds, and commitment are elusive concepts revealed through the communication of social emotions such as shame. By observing the path of shame, one can have a glimpse of the suicidal person's inner world of motivation and meaning. The focus in this study is not the act of suicide, but the meaning of suicide, so that through such a study one may better understand human struggles for meaning and commitment, and thus offer assistance to pastoral counselors and other mental health professionals by providing a way to theorize the meaningful nature of lived experience.

This project is guided by and committed to the development of a constitutive theory of communication with explorations of identity representing a prominent locus of consideration. It is also committed to the further development and evaluation of this theory through research of naturally occurring communication practices that occur in meaningful real-world settings. Anchored within the constitutive theory of communication, this study strives to understand the communicative acts of two teenagers embedded in their suicide notes, in terms of what this reveals about their social connection and commitment to living.

The major concern of this study is the development of methodology appropriate to the study of suicide notes and consistent with the basic premises of constitutive approach. The multiple microanalytic methodology is a useful tool to investigate the complex communication practices of the suicidal persons, namely, their suicide notes. Through multiple microanalytic methods this dissertation examines the audio-taped suicide notes, and show how the analysis of lived experience offers clue to understand the meaningful and relational nature of the self. In addition, this study by following the path of social emotions moment-by-moment demonstrates how unacknowledged shame can be devastating to the social bond and thereby to the self.

This constitutive approach to understanding suicide can be extended to one's meaning of self, social bonds, and commitment in other contexts as well such as, marriage, family, education, business, government, and other social institutions that are constituted by communication practices. This study has also important consequences for the nature of counseling especially pastoral counseling and the training of ministers.

MPACT Scores for Augustine Savarimuthu

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:11:20

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Students under Augustine Savarimuthu

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