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Comments on Stack and Gundlach's "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide:" An "Achy Breaky Heart" May Not Kill You

Gary W. Mauk, Matthew J. Taylor, Karl R. White and T. Scott Allen
Social Forces
Vol. 72, No. 4 (Jun., 1994), pp. 1249-1255
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580303
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580303
Page Count: 7
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Comments on Stack and Gundlach's "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide:" An "Achy Breaky Heart" May Not Kill You
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Abstract

Stack and Gundlach (1992) report a strong link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates for whites. In this article, we argue that the authors (1) fall into the methodological trap of the "ecological fallacy" and (2) present weak arguments on causality by purporting that a country music subculture, at least partially, explains suicides among whites in metropolitan areas. We conclude that inferences about individual behavior drawn from aggregate data are fallacious and that the authors fail to provide compelling evidence to support that country music is any different from others types of music in its relationship to individual life events and suicide.

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