'Social Death'

Brennan, Michael 'Social Death'. In: Non-Death Loss and Grief: Context and Clinical Implications. Routledge, London and New York. (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

This chapter examines the concept of social death. It does so by tracing the genesis and usage of the concept across a range of subject areas – from medical-thanatology through anthropology and genocide studies – in ways that involve a variety of non-death losses. Being dead while socially alive, and conversely, being alive while socially dead, I suggest, can be illustrated through cross-cultural comparison, where, for example, in some non-Western societies the deceased continue to play an active role in the lives of the living, or where, in others, the elderly and infirm are regarded as socially dead once they are perceived as no longer contributing to the lives of the living. Social death is also examined in a number of care contexts and institutional settings, where ‘non-person’ treatment of an individual may reflect wider social divisions in society and serve to limit the type of care they receive. With this in mind, the chapter concludes by providing some practical suggestions for countering social death in institutional care settings.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Social Science
Depositing User: Michael Brennan
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 08:12
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 08:12
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2864

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