Endings: A Sociology of Death and Dying

Hardcover | October 1, 1989

byMichael C. Kearl

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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 howdeath 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 asthe 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 Americanattitudes toward death, observing the influence of each upon the broader cultural outlook on life.

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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 howdeath contributes to social change and how th...

Michael C. Kearl is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:544 pages, 9.57 × 6.81 × 1.18 inPublished:October 1, 1989Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195045157

ISBN - 13:9780195045154

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"A comprehensive and contemplative textbook in cross cultural perspective [which] provides us with an important starting point....Kearl advances the art of textbook writing well beyond the safe conventions by constructing an elaborate argument for the systematic study of the salience andpersonal experience of dying and death from a base of substantial cross cultural data....Should become essential reading as well as an indispensable teaching tool."--Nexus