'Insightful and refreshing.' - Professor Dennis Klass, Webster University Religion Department, St. Louis, USA
'A tour de force.' - Dr Colin Murray Parkes, OBE, MD, FRCPsych, President of CRUSE
Some societies and some individuals find a place for their dead, others leave them behind. In recent years, researchers, professionals and bereaved people themselves have struggled with this. Should the bond with the dead be continued or broken? What is clear is that the grieving individual is not left in a social vacuum but has to struggle with expectations from self, family, friends, professionals and academic theorists.
This ground-breaking book looks at the social position of the bereaved. They find themselves caught between the living and the dead, sometimes searching for guidelines in a de-ritualized society that has few to offer, sometimes finding their grief inappropriately pathologised and policed. At its best, bereavement care offers reassurance, validation, and freedom to talk where the client has previously encountered judgmentalism.
In this unique book, Tony Walter applies sociological insights to one of the most personal of human situations. On Bereavement is aimed at students on medical, nursing, counselling and social work courses that include bereavement as a topic. It will also appeal to sociology students with an interest in death, dying and mortality.
"This is an important book with its refreshingly new insights into the process of grief and the context of bereavement. It should be on the reading list of all practitioners and students of loss and bereavement." - Ageing & Society
Series editor's preface
Part one: Living with the dead
Other places, other times
War, peace and the dead
twentieth century popular culture
the dead in everyday conversation
The last chapter
Part two: Policing grief
Guidelines for grief
the English case
Vive la difference?
the politics of gender
integration, regulation and postmodernism