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Rising Trend of Suicides among Youth in Chitral: A Sociological Analysis

Noor Sanauddin1, Zafar Ahmad2 & Imran Ahmad Sajid3

Abstract
This study explores suicides among youth in district Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Data collected through in-depth interviews, case histories of the victims and official statistics is analyzed using Durkheim‟s theory of suicide and existing literature. The study argues that the traditional culture of Chitral is subjected to drastic social change in a very short time.Youths are the main agents of change. The social change has made youths aware of their fundamental rights; however, their modern aspirations are frustrated by centuries-old traditions. Modernism has entered but in a hybrid form. The culture, traditions and festivals which once used to give socio-cultural identity to the individuals turn weak and so do the bonds and the
meanings necessary for keeping individuals into a cohesive whole. The culture is in a state where traditional norms tend to disappear yet are not fully replaced by the new ones, what could be called anomie. Themind has become split between tradition and modernity creating uncertainty regarding how to live a balanced life which has increased vulnerability towards suicide.

Keywords: Suicide, Youth, Durkheim, Anomie, Social Factors, Culture, Modernity