Death comes to all humans, but how death is managed, symbolised and experienced varies widely, not only between individuals but also between groups. What then shapes how a society manages death, dying and bereavement today? Are all modern countries similar? How important are culture, the physical environment, national histories, national laws and institutions, and globalization? This is the first book to look at how all these different factors shape death and dying in the modern world. Written by an internationally renowned scholar in death studies, and drawing on examples from around the world, including the UK, USA, China and Japan, The Netherlands, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. This book investigates how key factors such as money, communication technologies, the family, religion, and war, interact in complex ways to shape people’s experiences of dying and grief. Essential reading for students, researchers and professionals across sociology, anthropology, social work and healthcare, and for anyone who wants to understand how countries around the world manage death and dying.
Whereas Parts I and II considered modern societies in general, Parts III and IV examine the factors that cause modern societies to differ from one another in how they manage death and loss. Part III looks at culture, Part IV at the nation.
Though there are national cultures (Herzfeld, 2014), nation and culture are not the same thing. Several nations may broadly share a culture, for example one that is individualistic, or hierarchical, or Confucian, or family-centred. Then there is mono-culturalism and multi-culturalism: a nation’s celebration of one culture or of its diversity of cultures. Some nations, such as Japan, are rather mono-cultural; others such as the USA, Australia, or the UK are more multi-cultural. Sweden used to be mono-cultural, but over recent decades ...