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Suicide and agency in African communitarian societies: a philosophical inquiry into the Basotho culture.

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This thesis delves into the nuanced interplay between individual agency and communal responsibilities in addressing suicide, with a particular focus on suicide prevention within African Communitarian Societies (ACS), notably examining the Basotho culture as a case study. The study aims to fill the gap in the existing literature by providing a comprehensive analysis of how cultural practices, social structures, and traditional healing modalities within ACS contribute to suicide resilience and suicide prevention. The significance of this study lies in its exploration of limited communitarianism as a guiding framework for understanding and addressing suicide issues within ACS. Drawing on a wide range of sources, the research illuminates the intricate dynamics between individual autonomy and communal well-being in the context of suicide. Key arguments in the study revolve around the communal practices of the Basotho people, which serve as a testament to their understanding of suicide and well-being as collective responsibilities. The study underscores the significance of integrating cultural sensitivity and community engagement into suicide prevention strategies, advocating for the respect of both individual autonomy and communal responsibilities. In this thesis, I seek to argue that Limited Communitarianism is a viable framework that helps understand the idea of suicide better; hence, suicide is not just an individual act or issue but goes beyond to being a communal one. With this theory, it can be seen that the individual’s rights and dignity are advocated for since limited communitarianism takes each person’s individuality seriously and accords the right to determine their own actions.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.