You are here

Delays in shipping: Due to current delays in our warehouse shipping services, please expect longer than usual delivery times for any print book and journal orders. If you need access to content immediately, please consider ordering a digital product. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

If you need further assistance please visit our Contact us page for further information. 

Understanding Death and Dying

Understanding Death and Dying
Encountering Death, Dying, and the Afterlife

August 2020 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Understanding Death and Dying teaches students about death, dying, bereavement, and afterlife beliefs by asking them to apply this content to their lives and to the world around them. Students see differing cultural experiences discussed in context with key theories and research. The text’s pedagogy delivers relevant multi- and cross-cultural applications and connections across topics. This helps students evaluate their personal assumptions and appreciate how the content applies to their own current and future roles as individuals, family members, work colleagues, and as part of a community. The text simultaneously challenges learners to consider their own perspectives and to think critically about the parallels between their own lives and different cultures.

Included with this title:

The password-protected Instructor Resource Site (formally known as SAGE Edge)
offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides. Learn more.

About the Author
Chapter 1: Attitudes Toward Death and Dying
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Understanding Attitude

Chapter 2: The Socialization of Death and Dying
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Death Socialization: Person and Environment Interaction

Death Socialization in Childhood

Death Socialization in Adolescence

Death Socialization in Adulthood

Chapter 3: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Death and Dying
Learning Objectives

Real Life

History of Death

Triarchical Environment of Developing Societies

Historical and Cultural Death and Dying Practices

Chapter 4: Death Systems
Learning Objectives

Real Life

The Event of Death

Societal Systems that can Contribute to Death

Societal Systems that can Help Prevent Death

Systems that can Help Restore Society after a Death


Chapter 5: Healthcare
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Death Prevention

Death Acceptance

Accepting Medical Help

Guidelines on What to Say to a Dying Person

Chapter 6: End-of-Life Decisions
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Medical Ethics in End-of-Life Decisions

End-of-Life Decisions Pertaining to Oneself

End-of-Life Decisions Pertaining to Loved Ones

End-of-Life Issues and Decisions in Another Culture

Factors Prompting End-of-Life Decisions

End-of-Life Decision Making by a Third Party

Chapter 7: Views and Treatment of Life-Threatening Diseases
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Life-Threatening Diseases: Overview

Life-Threatening Diseases: Trajectories

Living with a Life-Threatening Disease

Pain Management

Chapter 8: Death Rituals and Final Act on Dead Bodies
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Last Rites


Death Rituals

Final Act on Dead Bodies

History of Death Practices in the United States

Modern Funeral Practice in the United States

Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule

Traditional Funeral

Military Funeral


Vault or Outer Burial Container

Outer Burial Liner

Professional Services by Funeral Homes

Modern Funeral Practice in Another Society

Chapter 9: The Experience of Loss
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Understanding a Loss

Theories and Models of Bereavement

The Experience of Loss: Direct and Indirect

Bereavement and Grief

Types of Loss Experiences: The Death of a Loved One

Multiple Loss Experiences

Grief: Normal Versus Complicated

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Chapter 10: The Dying Experiences of Children and Adolescents
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Changes in Death Attitude Throughout Life

The Dying Experiences of Children

The Dying Experiences of Adolescents

Integrating Cultural Diversity


Chapter 11: The Dying Experiences of Adults
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Adults' Understanding of Death

Death Anxiety in Adults

Death Anxiety Management

End-of-Life Conditions and Death Anxiety

Death Experiences in the Life of an Adult

Coping with a Loss

Positive Growth from a Loss

Chapter 12: Suicide
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Terminologies for Suicide Communication

Suicide as Cry for Help

Suicide as Escape from Self

Lifespan Developmental Model of Suicide

Cultural Factors in Suicide

Theories Explaining Suicide

Suicide across Different Age Groups

Suicide Prevention

Chapter 13: Death Caused by Accidents, Violence, and Trauma
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Deaths Caused by Accidents

Deaths Caused by Violence

Death Caused by Trauma

Chapter 14: Afterlife Beliefs
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Afterlife Beliefs

The History of Afterlife Beliefs in the United States

Afterlife Beliefs about Animals

The Human Predisposition to Believe in an Afterlife

Near-Death Experiences

Biopsychological Explanations for Near-Death Experiences

The Future of Afterlife Beliefs

Chapter 15: The Way Forward
Learning Objectives

Real Life

Embracing Life

Evaluating Personal and Social Choices

Social Choice by Incentives and Disincentives

Applicable Motivational Principles and Theories on Social Choice

Embracing Death

End-of-Life Decisions

Coexistence of Living and Dying Thoughts

Good Life and Good Death


The Future of Death and Dying



Instructor Resource Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.

“The text's benefits are the excellent discussion questions, the clarity of the text, and the real depth of consideration of psychological theory.”

Jan Charone-Sossin
Pace University

“I like that this text incorporates so many different perspectives and topics into each chapter. I imagine it would help meet my goals quite well.”

Melissa S. Atkins
Marshall University

“For the topics it addresses, this is the most useful and comprehensive guide I have seen for giving practical information about death and dying...”

Anna M Schwartz
Boston College
Key features
  • Chapter outlines and learning objectives serve as guideposts to help students mindfully navigate through each chapter successfully.
  • Chapter-opening Real Life features highlight death’s reality through brief stories that students can relate to and apply to their own experiences.
  • Reflection questions at the end of each chapter help students analyze their past, present, and future experiences with death, dying, and bereavement.
  • Samples of documents show students what forms like living wills and death certificates look like and what information they include.
  • Chapter-ending summaries and key terms help students review and reinforce chapter content.
  • Additional readings are offered at the end of each chapter for students whose interest is piqued by a particular topic.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site