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Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience

Clifton D. Bryant
Dennis L. Peck The University of Alabama
© 2009   1160 pages   SAGE Publications, Inc   
For more information, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-818-7243
Individual Purchasers
Hardcover ISBN: 9781412951784 $430.00

2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Death and dying and death-related behavior involve the causes of death and the nature of the actions and emotions surrounding death among the living. Interest in the varied dimensions of death and dying has led to the development of death studies that move beyond medical research to include behavioral science disciplines and practitioner-oriented fields. As a result of this interdisciplinary interest, the literature in the field has proliferated.

This two-volume resource addresses the traditional death and dying–related topics but also presents a unique focus on the human experience to create a new dimension to the study of death and dying. With more than 300 entries, the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience includes the complex cultural beliefs and traditions and the institutionalized social rituals that surround dying and death, as well as the array of emotional responses relating to bereavement, grieving, and mourning. The Encyclopedia is enriched through important multidisciplinary contributions and perspectives as it arranges, organizes, defines, and clarifies a comprehensive list of death-related perspectives, concepts, and theories.

Key Features

  • Imparts significant insight into the process of dying and the phenomenon of death
  • Includes contributors from Asia,; Africa; Australia; Canada; China; eastern, southern, and western Europe; Iceland; Scandinavia; South America; and the United States who offer important interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives
  • Provides a special focus on the cultural artifacts and social institutions and practices that constitute the human experience
  • Addresses death-related terms and concepts such as angel makers, equivocal death, end-of-life decision making, near-death experiences, cemeteries, ghost photography, halo nurses, caregiver stress, cyberfunerals, global religious beliefs and traditions, and death denial
  • Presents a selective use of figures, tables, and images

Key Themes

  • Arts, Media, and Popular Culture Perspectives
  • Causes of Death
  • Conceptualization of Death, Dying, and the Human Experience
  • Coping With Loss and Grief: The Human Experience
  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • Cultural-Determined, Social-Oriented, and Violent Forms of Death
  • Developmental and Demographic Perspectives
  • Funerals and Death-Related Activities
  • Legal Matters
  • Process of DyingSymbolic Rituals, Ceremonies, and Celebrations of Life
  • Theories and Concepts
  • Unworldly Entities and Events

With an array of topics that include traditional subjects and important emerging ideas, the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience is the ultimate resource for students, researchers, academics, and others interested in this intriguing area of study.

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