Document Detail

The changing presentation of death in the obituary, 1899-1999.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18027647     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Obituaries from the New York Times are examined at three points to illuminate changing conceptions of death. The findings are twofold. Changes in the obituary demonstrate how the locus of social control over death has shifted from nature and God, to medicine and most recently to the individual. Additionally, it is shown that descriptions of biophysical aspects of the dying process are marginalized over time and that there is more frequent use of language that emphasizes death-resistant themes in the most recent obituaries. This finding exemplifies the observation of increasing claims to authority over mortality by individuals in recent decades.
Jason B Phillips
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Omega     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0030-2228     ISO Abbreviation:  Omega (Westport)     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-11-21     Completed Date:  2008-01-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1272106     Medline TA:  Omega (Westport)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  325-46     Citation Subset:  IM    
New York University, NY, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Death*
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
Writing / history*

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