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.


Many features of the modern world pay little respect to national or cultural boundaries – infections, global warming, plastics in the ocean, and nuclear fallout, to name but a few. Unless such life-and-death issues can be controlled, all humans may face a common extinction of their species. Controlling them requires both a global perspective and co-operation between nation states. Environmental concerns are an important but not the only reason to lead some to argue that global processes are eroding the relatively short-lived dominance of the nation state. Multinational companies set up shop wherever labour is cheapest; containerization makes sea transport around the globe unprecedentedly cheap and efficient; communication and information technology enable ideas, news, and music to be disseminated globally in an instant; ...

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