Endings: A Sociology of Death and Dying

Kearl, Michael C. 19891026 Oxford University Press,544p.

last update:20200205


■Kearl, Michael C. 19891026 Endings: A Sociology of Death and Dying,Oxford University Press,544p. ISBN-10:0195045157 ISBN-13:978-0195045154 $78.33 [amazon][kinokuniya] ※ d01



Arguing that death is the central force shaping our social life and order, Michael Kearl draws on anthropology, religion, politics, philosophy, the natural sciences, economics, and psychology to provide a broad sociological perspective on the interrelationships of life and death, showing how death contributes to social change and how the meanings of death are generated to serve social functions. Working from a social as well as a psychological perspective, Kearl analyzes traditional topics, including aging, suicide, grief, and medical ethics while also examining current issues such as the impact of the AIDS epidemic on social trust, governments' use of death symbolism, the business of death and dying, the political economy of doomsday weaponry, and death in popular culture. Incisive and original, this book maps the separate contributions of various social institutions to American attitudes toward death, observing the influence of each upon the broader cultural outlook on life.


1. Introduction: Death's Revelations of Life, 3
2. What Death Means: Death in Cross-Cultural and Historical Perspective, 21
3. Death's Impacts on Society, 67
4. How We Die: The Social Stratification of Death, 120
5. Death and Religions, 170
6. Secular Perspectives on Death, 204
7. Death and Work, 246
8. The Politics of Death, 296
9. Death and the Military Experience, 344
10. Death in Popular Culture, 379
11. Death and the Medical System, 406
12. Death and the Individual: The Social Psychology of Dying and Surviving, 454




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