DescriptionThis stimulating new book provides a sophisticated introduction to the key issues in the sociology of death and dying.
In recent years, the social sciences have seen an upsurge of interest in death and dying. The fascination with death is reflected in popular media such as newspapers, television documentaries, films and soaps, and, moreover, in the multiplying range of professional roles associated with dying and death. Yet despite its ubiquitous significance, the majority of texts in the field have been written primarily for health professionals. This book breaks with that tradition.
It provides a cutting edge, comprehensive discussion of the key topics in death and dying and in so doing demonstrates that the study of mortality is germane to all areas of sociology. The book is organised thematically, utilising empirical material from cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives. It carefully addresses questions about social attitudes to mortality, the social nature of death and dying, explanations for change and diversity in approaches, and traditional, modern and postmodern experiences of death.
Death and Dying will appeal to students across the social sciences, as well as professionals whose work brings them into contact with dying or bereaved people.
PART I. SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS AND ATTITUDES TO DEATH.
1. Death, Denial and Diversity.
2. When and How People Die.
3. Life and Death in "Risk Society’.
4. Death, Religion and Spirituality.
5. Death and the Media.
PART II. SOCIAL STRUCTURES AND INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCES OF DYING.
6. Dying: Institutionalization and Medicalization.
7. The Good Death.
8. The Social Organization of Sudden Death.
9. The Dying and the Dead Body.
PART III. POST-DEATH RITUALS OF REMEMBRANCE AND SURVIVAL BELIEFS.
10. Grief and Loss.
11. Relationships Between the Living and the Dead.
12. Mortuary Rituals.
Conclusion: Resurrecting Death?.
“A comprehensive and thoughtful overview of the subject area. But what is most refreshing about it is its powerful use of structure-agency debates as tools that both challenge problematic assumptions, and also highlight persistent intrinsic/structural inequalities. This book is also, and crucially, an important reminder of how sociological enquiry can help people who work as carers, researchers and teachers to challenge the inequity of service provision in death, dying and bereavement.”
British Journal of Sociology
“A thoughtful, comprehensive, up-to-date, well-evidenced, general guide to sociological work on death and dying.”
“This is a tour de force! Glennys Howarth has written a systematic and in-depth text about an area that is becoming increasingly relevant to many disciplines. Her encyclopaedic knowledge of the topic is conveyed comprehensively and accessibly to both the informed and an as yet uninformed readership. It should be essential reading for all those interested in developing their knowledge of dying, death, disposal and bereavement.”
Jeanne Katz, Open University
- This stimulating new book provides a sophisticated introduction to the key issues in the sociology of death and dying.
- Despite widespread interest across the social sciences in these issues of late, most textbooks have been written with the needs of health professionals in mind.
- Provides a cutting edge, comprehensive discussion of the key topics in death and dying and demonstrates that the study of mortality is relevant to all areas of sociology.
- The book is organised thematically, utilising empirical material from cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives.
- Particular appeal to upper-level sociology students, as well as professionals whose work brings them into contact with dying or bereaved people.