• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

The Malevolent “Undead”: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
The malevolent “undead”: Cross-cultural perspectives

Across the world and throughout time, there is a relationship between the living and the dead. An individual begins to prepare mentally for death once he or she is old enough to comprehend the concept. When a child turns to her father at the age of 4 and says, “When you are dead… you don't come back anymore,” that realization begins the child's unfortunate walk toward death. All individuals follow similar avenues. However, different cultures march to different drummers in the ways they handle and cope with the dead. The living bury the dead, rebury the dead, pray for the dead, discuss and celebrate the dead, eat the dead, mutilate the dead, and visit the dead. ...

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