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Death, dying and loss in the 21st century

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Product Description

By Allan Kellehear

Published: 2007
ISBN: 978-0-9757422-9-7
Pages: 96


Some 30 years ago, death was a source of embarrassment, dying was frequently viewed as medical failure, and grief was something you were expected to 'get over' as quickly as possible. The so-called 'taboo' on death has slowly turned upside down.

Today, the hospice and palliative care movement has encouraged openness about dying, television now features death as the new exotica in police shows obsessed with forensic work, and more people visit cemeteries annually than popular tourist sites. The materialist assumptions about death as finality that were expected to spread across the modern scientific world after World War Two are in retreat, beaten back by religious revivalism, the ascent of the New Age, the popular media coverage given to near-death experiences, angels, miracles, or mediums. Death is becoming, well, becoming!

Why have our experiences of mortality changed in the last decade or so? How has death slowly become central to our lives once again? What are the new social inequalities suggested by these changes? Has the old sequestration between life and death given way to new divisions between 'wealthy' death and deaths in poverty; or hospice dying and nursing home dying? Do medical narratives exaggerate death as an experience linked to the body, overlooking its social, moral and political importance?

These are some of the questions addressed in this exciting and very special issue of Health Sociology Review.

Table of Contents

Allan Kellehear PhD

The mismanagement of dying
Beverley McNamara, Lorna Rosenwax

Death and the body beautiful: Aesthetics and embodiment in press portrayals of requested death in Australia on the edge of the 21st century
Fran McInerney

Avoiding death: The ultimate challenge in the provision of contemporary healthcare?
Kay Price, Julianne Cheek

Practical bereavement
Philip Bachelor

Whatever happened to social class? An examination of the neglect of working class cultures in the sociology of death
Glennys Howarth

Closing in on death? Reflections on research and researchers in the field of death and dying
Jenny Hockey

Book Reviews

Talking with angel about illness, death and survival
Evelyn Elsaesser-Valarino
Reviewed by Dorothy H Broom

Bodies at Risk: an Ethnography of Heart Disease
Elizabeth E Wheatley
Reviewed by Jeanne Daly

Xenotransplantation: Law and Ethics
Craig Fry
Reviewed by Sheila McLean, Laura Williamson

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