• 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.

Bereavement in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Bereavement in cross-cultural perspective

Studies of bereavement cross-culturally have produced fascinating and important challenges to much that has been taken for granted about bereavement in U.S. psychology and the social sciences. Although the U.S. bereavement literature gives a sense of something basically human across cultures, as cross-cultural bereavement research has accumulated, the core of what can be said to be basic to human bereavement has shrunk. Based on studies conducted in a variety of cultures, social scientists have demonstrated that many widely held assumptions and truths about bereavement, rooted in research conducted in the United States, are ethnocentric and inaccurate (see, e.g., Hébert 1998; Rosenblatt 1993a, 1993b, 1997, 2001; Rosenblatt, Walsh, and Jackson 1976; Shapiro 1996; Stroebe and Schut 1998).

Universals in Human ...
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