[Air-l] mtg. Wednesday

Greg Elmer gelmer at ryerson.ca
Tue Feb 27 06:37:56 PST 2007

Do you have something for me to read over for Wednesday? Do you still want to meet?

Greg Elmer, PhD
Bell Globemedia Research Chair
Director, Infoscape Research Lab, www.infoscapelab.ca
Rogers Communications Centre/School of Radio-TV Arts 
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario
Canada      M5B 2K3

Space and Culture: An International Journal of Social Spaces

----- Original Message -----
From: Yukari Seko <yukaseko at yorku.ca>
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2007 2:02 am
Subject: Re: [Air-l] Japanese suicide reference
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org

> Dear Dr. Chris,
> I cannot help but replying you since it is the very topic I am 
> currently working
> on for my master's thesis!!
> Since the first online suicide was "scooped" by Mainichi news paper 
> in December
> 2002, several group suicides have been reported by the media and 
> graduallyknown as "Net Shinju (Net Group Suicide)"
> The biggest case was happened in October 2004 in which 7 people who 
> only met on
> a suicide-related discussion board took their life together.
> The followings are English article featuring on the incident;
> http://english.aljazeera.net/news/archive/archive?ArchiveId=7207
> http://www.pimejapan.com/society/articolo_13102004a.htm
> Since I used to work with the journalist Tetsuya Shibui reported in 
> thesearticles, I personally knew some of those who committed online 
> suicides through
> him. Shibui's ethnographical works on Net group suicide are (albeit
> journalistic) the best resources for this issue. Unfortunately, 
> Englishtranslation of his books are yet unavailable, but I'm using 
> the followings for
> my thesis by translating them;
> Shibui, T. (2005). Net Group Suicide: Why "Maria" Chose to Die.
> Tokyo;Shinkigen-sha
> --------(2004). Net Group Suicide. Tokyo;NHK publications
> However, I personally disagree with the perspective that online 
> suicide appears
> to be "a frightening increase in the number of group suicides 
> arranged over the
> Internet through chat rooms dedicated to discussing suicide."  
> Apparentlyvigorous documentations in the media have informed 
> suicidal people a less
> violent way of killing themselves (death of carbon monoxide with 
> charcoalburners) and brought several copy-cat cases, but in some 
> occasions, the same
> online interactions help suicidal people to change their mind. This 
> type of
> grass-roots support is something absent from their offline life. 
> Although the
> number of online suicides is quite small, suicide-related websites are
> increasingly removed from webspace. The growing regulation of suicidal
> discourses in Japanese cyberspace is what I want to investigate in 
> next few
> years...
> Hope it helps,
> Yukari Seko
> -- 
> M.A. candidate
> Joint Programme in Communication and Culture Studies
> Between York/Ryerson Universities
> Comcult GSA Webmaster (York)
> http://www.yorku.ca/cocugsa/
> yukaseko at yorku.ca
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