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Handbook of the Sociology of Death, Grief, and Bereavement: A Guide to Theory and Practice
Thompson, Neil and Gerry R. Cox (Eds)
Routledge / Softcover / 2017-05-01 / 1138201073
Grief Counseling & Therapy
reg price: $187.50 our price: $ 168.75 (may be subject to change)
424 pages
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The Handbook of the Sociology of Death, Grief, and Bereavement sets issues of death and dying in a broad and holistic social context. Its three parts explore classical sociology, developments in sociological thought, and the ways that sociological insights can be useful across a broad spectrum of grief-related topics and concerns. Guidance is given in each chapter to help spur readers to examine other topics in thanatology through a sociological lens. Scholars, students, and professionals will come away from the handbook with a nuanced understanding of the social context—cultural differences, power relations, the role of social processes and institutions and various other sociological factors—that shape grief experiences.


"A fascinating and important departure from conventional thinking on death, grief, and bereavement, this collection of essays extends our understanding via a sociological lens, opening up for inspection issues such as culture, gender, and place. As such, this book is a magnificent tour de force in its scope and depth, embedding a fresh disciplinary analysis to this field of study." – Professor Charlotte Williams, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

"This is an astoundingly valuable book that combines a depth of knowledge and insight with genuine accessibility for readers who may be exploring these issues for the first time. Its international scope and the broad range of topics make it a must read for academics, researchers, practitioners, and students. Expertly edited by two internationally respected authors, this book not only fills many gaps in the existing literature: it opens up new and thought-provoking areas of debate." – Bernard Moss, Emeritus Professor, Staffordshire University, England

"An innovative, insightful, comparative and compelling handbook on issues associated with death, grief and bereavement grounded through sociological intersections. This handbook is a leader in its field and deserves to be widely cited given its authenticity and impact."– Professor Jason Powell, University of Chester, England

Table of Contents


Foreword – Dr. Bob Bendiksen, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse



The editors

The contributors



Sociological Foundations

Introduction to Part One

Emile Durkheim
Michael Brennan, England, UK

Max Weber
Jodie Croxall, Wales, UK and Michael Brennan, England, UK

Neil Thompson, Wales, UK

George Herbert Mead
Gerry R. Cox, USA

Erving Goffman
Gerry R. Cox, USA

Women’s Contributions to Classical Sociology
June Allan, Australia


Sociological Developments

Introduction to Part Two

Michel Foucault
Neil Thompson and Eryl Owen, Wales, UK

Pierre Bourdieu
Neil Small, England, UK

Neil Thompson, Wales, UK

Continuing Bonds
Dennis Klass, USA

An Egalitarian Perspective
Darcy Harris, Canada

Disenfranchised Grief
Neil Thompson, Wales, UK and Kenneth Doka, USA


Contemporary Issues and Debates

Introduction to Part Three

Dark Tourism
Erin Dermody, Canada

Aging and Ageism
Sue Thompson, Wales, UK

Alcohol and Other Drug Use
Wulf Livingston, Wales, UK

Culturally Competent Practice
Neil Thompson, Wales, UK

Toward a Sociology of Terrorism
Gerry R. Cox, USA and Neil Thompson, Wales, UK

Is Grief a Disease? The Medicalization of Grief by the Psy-Disciplines in the 21st Century
Leeat Granek, Israel

Being-in-the-World of the Sociological Imagination: Understanding Living with and Beyond Cancer
Jan Pascal and Olivia Sagan, England, UK

Death, Grief, and Virtual Connections: The Role of Social Media for Social Support and Memorialization
Kathleen R. Gilbert, USA

Infertility and Loss: Conception and Motherhood in the Era of Assisted Reproductive Technology
Iris Po Yee Lo and Celia Hoi Yan Chan

The Demise of Accountability in Public Services: A Dilemma Exemplified by the Hidden Sepsis Crisis
Paul Stepney, Finland

The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Grieving
Neil Thompson, Wales, UK

A Cultural Sociological Review of Chinese Funeral Rituals
Sharon Chan and Amy Chow, Hong Kong, China

Afterword – Dr. Inge Corless, USA


About the Editors

Neil Thompson, PhD, DLitt, is a writer and online tutor and a visiting professor at Glyndwr University in Wales, where he teaches in the MSc Advanced Practice in the Human Services.

Gerry R. Cox, PhD, is professor emeritus of sociology/archaeology and former director of the Center for Death Education & Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

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