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.



This chapter considers those who die in war, focusing on (1) how they have been used to shape national identity, (2) how some war deaths are validated while others are unrecognized, and (3) how wartime experience of death and treatment of the war dead can influence peacetime experiences of death and its management. Each country experiences the same war differently, so the path dependencies that follow a war can differ, not least because of whether the country experiences victory or defeat. Within a country, different communities, families, and individuals may also experience the same war differently, with different long-term consequences which can take years or decades to become manifest. Several examples in this chapter come from three particularly bloody past wars – the ...

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