Document Detail

Why different countries manage death differently: a comparative analysis of modern urban societies(1).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22404392     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The sociology of death, dying and bereavement tends to take as its implicit frame either the nation state or a homogenous modernity. Between-nation differences in the management of death and dying are either ignored or untheorized. This article seeks to identify the factors that can explain both similarities and differences in the management of death between different modern western nations. Structural factors which affect all modern nations include urbanization and the division of labour leading to the dominance of professionals, migration, rationality and bureaucracy, information technology and the risk society. How these sociologically familiar structural features are responded to, however, depends on national histories, institutions and cultures. Historically, key transitional periods to modernity, different in different nations, necessitated particular institutional responses in the management of dying and dead bodies. Culturally, key factors include individualism versus collectivism, religion, secularization, boundary regulation, and expressivism. Global flows of death practices depend significantly on subjugated nations' perceptions of colonialism, neo-colonialism and modernity, which can lead to a dominant power's death practices being either imitated or rejected.
Tony Walter
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of sociology     Volume:  63     ISSN:  1468-4446     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Sociol     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-12     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373126     Medline TA:  Br J Sociol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  123-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© London School of Economics and Political Science 2012.
Centre for Death and Society, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath.
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