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.

Death’s Futures

Death’s Futures

Part I of this book identified how responses to death and dying change as countries modernize. At the same time, Parts II, III, and IV identify how and why these responses differ between nations, social classes, and ethnic groups within the modern world. This fits what we know about health care systems in general, namely that shared demographic challenges and copying lead to convergence between modern nations, while institutional path dependence creates separate lines of development (Beckfield, Olafsdottir and Sosnaud, 2013). This concluding chapter asks whether this mix of similarity and difference points toward an overall convergence over time in how different nations and cultures manage death, loss, and grief (Ritzer and Dean, 2015)? Or does each culture and nation create ...

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