Written by a leading sociologist of Scotland, this ground-breaking new introduction is a comprehensive account of the social, political, economic and cultural processes at work in contemporary Scottish society. At a time of major uncertainty and transformation The New Sociology of Scotland explores every aspect of Scottish life. Placed firmly in the context of globalisation, the text: • examines a broad range of topics including race and ethnicity, social inequality, national identity, health, class, education, sport, media and culture, among many others. • looks at the ramifications of recent political events such as British General Election of 2015, the Scottish parliament election of May 2016, and the Brexit referendum of June 2016. • uses learning features such as further reading and discussion questions to stimulate students to engage critically with issues raised. Written in a lucid and accessible style, The New Sociology of Scotland is an indispensable guide for students of sociology and politics.
Chapter 5: The Scottish way of Death
The Scottish way of Death
Why devote a chapter to dying in Scotland? The short answer is that over the last few decades a view has emerged that health, morbidity and mortality1 have figured far too prominently in Scotland’s story. Plainly put, Scotland is deemed to be ‘the sick man of Europe’ (Whyte and Ajetunmobi, 2012) with rates of mortality and morbidity (Figure 5.1) far above the European average. Indeed, it is commonplace to find Scotland so described.
Figure 5.1 Memento Mori: Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
Source: Author’s photograph
[Page 105]In 1974 the Glasgow Herald used the headline ‘Scotland – Sick Man of Europe’, commenting that ‘Scotland’s health record compares unfavourably with other Western countries, with child health and morbidity an area of particular ...