"a must for any specialist and advanced practitioner's bookshelf." Journal of Interpersonal Care This book focuses on what happens after a death has taken place. Drawing on social theory and anthropology, contributors examine responses to death as they occur within the unique set of cultural, social and historical circumstances which characterizes post-war society. The book does not just document and make sense of contemporary practices but also critically reviews the ways grief, mourning and death ritual have been approached by academics and practitioners in the field. It does this by combining substantial reviews with shorter illustrative examples of grief, mourning and death ritual as they are manifest in specific settings and with defined groups. These illustrative examples include personal and institutional responses to death at different points in the life cycle, and responses to different sorts of death - the death of children and death in disasters for example. The examples include commentaries on bereavement work and on changes in both the funeral industry and memorialization practices. Grief, Mourning and Death Ritual is aimed at advanced students in sociology, anthropology and psychology with an interest in death, dying and mortality. It is also directly relevant to those concerned with loss and how to respond to it. The book is therefore suitable for use on courses in nursing, palliative care, social work and counselling.
Originally published in 1989, Death, Ritual and Bereavement examines the social history of death and dying from 1500 to the 1930s. This edited collection focuses on the death-bed, funerals, burials, mourning customs, and the expression of grief. The essays throw fresh light on developments which lie at the roots of present-day tendencies to minimize or conceal the most unpleasant aspects of death, among them the growing participation of doctors in the management of death-beds in the eighteenth century and the creation of extra-mural cemeteries, followed by the introduction of cremation in the nineteenth century. The volume also underlines the importance of religious belief, in helping the bereaved in past times. The book will appeal to students and academics of family and social history as well as history of medicine, religion and anthropology.
The definitive reference on the anthropology of death and dying, expanded with new contributions covering everything from animal mourning to mortuary cannibalism Few subjects stir the imagination more than the study of how people across cultures deal with death and dying. This expanded second edition of the internationally bestselling Death, Mourning, and Burial offers cross-cultural readings that span the period from dying to afterlife, considering approaches to this transition as a social process and exploring the great variations of cultural responses to death. Exploring new content including organ transplantation, institutionalized care for the dying, HIV-AIDs, animal mourning, and biotechnology, this text retains classic readings from the first edition, and is enhanced by sixteen new articles and two new sections which provide increased breadth and depth for readers. Death, Mourning, and Burial, Second Edition is divided into eight parts reflecting the social trajectory of death: conceptualizations of death; death, dying, and care; grief and mourning; mortuary rituals; and remembrance and regeneration. Sections are introduced through foundational texts which provide the ideal introduction to this diverse field. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with issues of death and dying, as well as violence, terrorism, war, state terror, organ theft, and mortuary rituals. A thoroughly revised edition of this classic anthology featuring twenty-three new articles, two new sections, and three reformulated sections Updated to include current topics, including organ transplantation, institutionalized care for the dying, HIV-AIDs, animal mourning, and biotechnology Must reading for anyone concerned with issues of death and dying, as well as violence, terrorism, war, state terror, organ theft, and mortuary rituals Serves as a text for anthropology classes and provides a genuinely cross-cultural perspective to all those studying death and dying
All societies have their own customs and beliefs surrounding death. In the West, traditional ways of mourning are disappearing, and although Western science has had a major impact on how people die, it has taught us little about the way to die or to grieve. Many whose work brings them into contact with the dying and the bereaved from Western and other cultures are at a loss to know how to offer appropriate and sensitive support. Death and Bereavement Across Cultures 2nd Edition is a handbook which meets the needs of doctors, nurses, social workers, hospital chaplains, counsellors and volunteers caring for patients with life-threatening illness and their families before and after bereavement. It is a practical guide explaining the religious and other differences commonly met with in multi-cultural societies when someone is dying or bereaved. In doing so readers may be surprised to find how much we can learn from other cultures about our own attitudes and assumptions about death. Written by international experts in the field the book: Describes the rituals and beliefs of major world religions; Explains their psychological and historical context; Shows how customs are changed by contact with the West; Considers the implications for the future The second edition includes new chapters that: explore how members of the health care professions perform roles formerly conducted by priests and shamans can cross the cultural gaps between different cultures and religions; consider the relevance of attitudes and assumptions about death for our understanding of religious and nationalist extremism and its consequences; discuss the Buddhist, Islamic and Christian ways of death. Death raises questions which science cannot answer. Whatever our personal beliefs we can all gain from learning how others view these ultimate problems. This book explores the richness of mourning traditions around the world with the aim of increasing the sensitivity and understanding which we all bring to the issue of death and bereavement.
This study is an exploration of the religious beliefs, attitudes, traditions and rituals of a British hindu community, with respect to dying, death and bereavement. The observations of this community are compared with material obtained during three months of fieldwork in India and ethnographic sources. The primary focus of this study is on individual Hindus, seen in the context of their family and community: their beliefs, experiences and perceptions about death, and their reactions to the changes that take place. It also examines the process of adaptation and change in the death rituals and the role of the pandits in maintaining continuity. The first part of this study sets the context, introducing the issues confronting Hindus facing death and bereavement in Britain. It discusses theoretical issues in a multicultural study as well as beliefs about death and life after death. In the second part, Hindu ritual practices around death are explored, using a model of nine stages from preparation for death to the final post-mortem and annual ancestral rituals. The third part explores the social and psychological dimensions of death, grief and mourning, the implications of death in hospital and the professional and bureaucratic issues which affect Hindu deaths in Britain. The social aspects of mourning are discussed, with reference to pollution, the role of the family and community, young people and widows. Finally, the author examines the implications of social changes for British Hindus and for those who are involved with them in the caring professions.
All societies have their own customs and beliefs surrounding death. In the West, traditional ways of mourning are disappearing, and though science has had a major impact on views of death, it has taught us little about the way to die or to grieve. Many who come into contact with the dying and the bereaved from other cultures are at a loss to know how to offer appropriate and sensitive support. Death and Bereavement Across Cultures, provides a handbook with which to meet the needs of doctors, nurses, social workers, counsellors and others involved in the care of the dying and bereaved. Written by international authorities in the field, this important text: * describes the rituals and beliefs of major world religions * explains their psychological and historical context * shows how customs change on contact with the West * considers the implications for the future This book explores the richness of mourning traditions around the world with the aim of increasing the understanding which we all bring to the issue of death.
This final volume of ""Death and Bereavement Around the World"" reflects on some major themes: death and after-life, religion and spirituality, rites and rituals, secularist approaches, cultural variations, suicide, and other issues. The first few chapters describe progress in end-of-life care, including some new tools to evaluate hospice care (chapter 1); what children know, when they know it, and how parents can respond to questions, with some guidelines for support by schools (chapter 2); the importance of ritual (chapter 3); and, gender differences in death customs around the world (chapter 4).The transcript of a 1997 interview of John (Jack) Morgan by Pittu Laungani is presented as chapter 5. The following chapters discuss death systems and suicide (chapter 6); HIV/AIDS, including the role of cultural and economic factors in the spread of the disease (chapter 7); and grief and bereavement in the developing world, taking the AIDS pandemic as a specific challenge (chapter 8). Chapter 9 covers issues related to dying and death in Romania. In chapter 10 the focus is on the various functions and uses of names in a cross-cultural context. Roadside memorials as a pivotal healing strategy are the topic of chapter 11. Chapters 12 and 13 focus on spiritual experience with loss.The final chapter presents some conclusions, and in the Epilogue, Mary Ann Morgan honors the life, career, dying, death, and achievements of John (Jack) Morgan. The 'Final Word' includes the words of Pittu Laungani, from a book published just weeks before his death in February 2007.This work is for anyone interested in or working in death and bereavement issues, particularly academics, educators, librarians, chaplains, clergy, funeral service directors, hospice care providers and volunteers, palliative care providers, nurses, immigration officers, psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists, and counselors, especially bereavement counselors.
Describing a great variety of funeral ritual from major world religions and from local traditions, this book shows how cultures not only cope with corpses but also create an added value for living through the encouragement of afterlife beliefs. The explosion of interest in death in recent years reflects the key theme of this book - the rhetoric of death - the way cultures use the most potent weapon of words to bring new power to life. This new edition is one third longer than the original with new material on the death of Jesus, the most theorized death ever which offers a useful case study for students. There is also empirical material from contemporary/recent events such as the death of Diana and an expanded section on theories of grief which will make the book more attractive to death counsellors.
Bereavement is often treated as a psychological condition of the individual with both healthy and pathological forms. However, this empirically-grounded study argues that this is not always the best or only way to help the bereaved. In a radical departure, it emphasises normality and social and cultural diversity in grieving. Exploring the significance of the dying person’s final moments for those who are left behind, this book sheds new light on the variety of ways in which bereaved people maintain their relationship with dead loved ones and how the dead retain a significant social presence in the lives of the living. It draws practical conclusions for professionals in relation to the complex and social nature of grief and the value placed on the right to grieve in one’s own way – supporting and encouraging the bereaved person to articulate their own experience and find their own methods of coping. Based on new empirical research, Bereavement Narratives is an innovative and invaluable read for all students and researchers of death, dying and bereavement.
The make-up of the contemporary nation-state is increasingly multiethnic and statistics show that in many cases no one group is numerically the largest. Interethnic relations are given global visibility by the media while much that happens among different groups depends on context. Editors John D. Morgan (King's College, London) and Pittu Laungani (South Bank and Manchester Universities, England) have gathered leading international authorities to produce Death and Bereavement Around the World the first of a five-volume presentation and analysis of the ways different peoples experience dying and grief. Effective bereavement care requires a knowledge of an individual's physical, social, educational, and spiritual existence since the expressions of grief and the needs that emerge vary widely from one to another and are subject to past experiences, cultural expectations, personal beliefs, and relationships. An individual's identity comes from a sense of personal uniqueness; solidarity with group ideals; continuity with the past, present and future; and from the culture by which an individual is raised or adopted. This first volume discusses the major religious traditions of the world and how they help followers deal with the fundamentals of life.
This volume is directed towards professionals who work in the fields concerning death and dying. These professionals must perceive the needs of people with cultural patterns which are different from the "standard and dominant" patterns in the United States and Canada. Accordingly, the book includes illustrative episodes and in-depth presentations of selected "ethnic patterns".; Each of the "ethnic chapters" is written by an author who shares the cultural traditions the chapter describes. Other chapters examine multicultural issues and provide the means for personal reflection on death and dying. There are also two bibliographic sections, one general and one geared towards children. The text is divided into three sections - Cross-Cultural and Personal perspectives, Dying, Death, and Grief Among Selected Ethnic Communities, and Reflections and Conclusions.; The book is aimed at those in the fields of clinical psychology, grief therapy, sociology, nursing, social and health care work.
How do Americans cope with death? Do our feelings about dying influence the way we live? How are our ideas of death different from those of our ancestors? These questions and others are addressed in this innovative new book -- a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the processes, practices, and experiences concerning death and dying in the United States. Drawing on sociology and psychology as well as history and literature, John S. Stephenson surveys the range of individual and social responses to death -- from our very conception of its meaning to the complex ethical dilemmas surrounding suicide and euthanasia. Stephenson synthesizes a theoretical perspective of death from the contributions of such important thinkers as Freud, Jung, Ernest Becker, and Robert Jay Lifton. He reviews the evolution of American attitudes and behaviors toward death -- from the Puritan era to the present, and charts the significance of such organizations for the dying as hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes. Bereavement as both personal reaction (grief) and social convention (mourning) is also discussed, as is the denial of death as a coping mechanism for individuals and institutions alike. In his final chapters, Stephenson analyzes the ceremonies of death (including gravestones as social indicators) and provides a psychosocial overview of suicide as a final, desperate attempt to assert control. He concludes by exploring the implications of euthanasia at a time when technology can extend life dramatically but is not always capable of assuring its quality. Throughout, authentic case examples -- many drawn from Stephenson's own clinical work -- illustrate the multi-faceted imagery and experiences that comprise the American way of death. Stephenson's book will be welcomed by sociologists, psychologists, social workers, religious leaders, nurses, and others concerned with caring for the dying and the bereaved. It is a brilliant and elegantly written work that crosses disciplinary boundaries to provide a valuable synthesis of existing knowledge and offer educators and professionals a firm foundation for teaching, practice, and research.
This book examines research on death, dying and bereavement, and how our approaches, perceptions and expectations shapes what we can know about the end of life. The contributions include personal and professional reflections, and practical suggestions for conducting research in this field. The volume stems from the resurgence of the international and interdisciplinary study of death in the last 20 years. Within this, empirical research is often viewed as sensitive, but little has been written about the experience of conducting research in this area. There has thus been little reflection on the opportunities and challenges faced in undertaking research as the field of death studies grows, including the accommodation and recognition of cultural differences. This volume seeks to in part address this gap. The chapters in this book were originally published in the Mortality journal and the Death Studies journal.
We live more intimately with nonhuman animals than ever before in history. The change in the way we cohabitate with animals can be seen in the way we treat them when they die. There is an almost infinite variety of ways to help us cope with the loss of our nonhuman friends—from burial, cremation, and taxidermy; to wearing or displaying the remains (ashes, fur, or other parts) of our deceased animals in jewelry, tattoos, or other artwork; to counselors who specialize in helping people mourn pets; to classes for veterinarians; to tips to help the surviving animals who are grieving their animal friends; to pet psychics and memorial websites. But the reality is that these practices, and related beliefs about animal souls or animal afterlife, generally only extend, with very few exceptions, to certain kinds of animals—pets. Most animals, in most cultures, are not mourned, and the question of an animal afterlife is not contemplated at all. Mourning Animals investigates how we mourn animal deaths, which animals are grievable, and what the implications are for all animals.
In early modern Europe it has been estimated that up to one in two children did not survive to the age of ten. In the light of this high mortality rate, some historians have argued that parents did not form close relationships with their children, especially the very young. This is clearly refuted by the testimony of bereaved parents such as Martin Luther, and by the volume of consolatory writings produced for grieving families in early modern Lutheran Germany. The authors, clergymen and lay people, regarded grief as a deep wound which required treatment, and they applied the balm of consolation through sermons, tracts and occasional poetry. This study analyses these writings, focusing particularly on the neglected genre of the epicedium (funeral poem). It asks how and why poetry was used to counter the affective impact of parental bereavement, and considers what makes it a suitable vehicle for consolation. The poems, which are analyzed against the contemporary theological, philosophical, and poetological background, are taken from Leichenpredigten (printed funeral booklets), as well as from collections by two contrasting poets, Paul Fleming (1609-40), an unmarried man who wrote to console others, and Margarethe Susanna von Kuntsch (1651-1717), who lost thirteen of her fourteen children. The study seeks to rehabilitate a neglected genre and participates in discussions on the sociology of death, Lutheran teachings about death and mourning, literary presentations of mortality and loss, and the depiction of children and parent-child relations in literature.
Technology plays a significant role in the socialization and development of society. One popular technology includes Facebook, a Social Networking Site (SNS). As Facebook has become a common site for reaching out to others for a sense of support and connection, it has also become a site to express grief and bereavement through the creation of Memorial Groups. Through a qualitative survey design, descriptive information regarding the impetus to create a Memorial Group as well as the desired utility was examined through the perspective of the creator. An online questionnaire consisting of open and closed-ended questions was completed by 68 individuals. Results indicate that creators of Memorial Groups are heavily invested in the technology, using the group to support the bereavement process. Thematic analysis, utilizing interpretative phenomenological analysis, identified six organic themes within the personal narratives including in memoriam, connection to others, connection to the deceased, personal mourning, and culture of technology as well as a number of concerns associated with the Memorial Group. Additionally, 98.5 % of responders would recommend the creation of a Memorial Group to others. Further, 59% of responders rated the Memorial Group as more helpful than other traditional death rituals. This study suggests that individuals who actively utilize the technology appear to identify significant personal benefit. Facebook Memorial Groups include the necessary components of traditional rituals, as well as several advantages such as accessibility and continuity, combining to create a modern death ritual that has been embraced by popular culture.
First published in 1981, this reissue examines mankindâe(tm)s preoccupation with death and mortality by isolating various societies in different periods of time. The authors examine not only the formal rituals associated with the last rite of passage, but also the social attitudes to death and dying which these rituals evidence. The essays establish that different periods do seem to be characterized by different images of death and attitudes to it, but the authors wisely avoid trying to impose strict chronological pattern. A pioneering work in the historical study of attitudes to death, this reissue should reignite discussion on the significance of death in human history. Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood examines attitudes to death as reflected in myth and religious thought in Ancient Greece and relates them to social and economic change. R. C. Finucane analysis the social significance of the âe~exemplaryâe(tm) deaths of kings, criminals, traitors and saints in medieval Europe. Paul Fritzâe(tm)s essay illustrates the importance of royal burials in early modern Britian; while Joachim Whaley examines the social and political significance of funerals in Hamburg between 1500 and 1800. John McManners discusses the work of Phililppe Aries and other prominent French scholars on the history of attitudes to death. David Irwin examines the images of death portrayed in European tombs around 1800. C.A Bayly analyzes the relationship between death ritual and society in Hindu Northern India, while David Cannadine discusses the impact of war on attitudes to death in modern Britain.