Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

Fallen Soldiers: Death and the U.S. Military
Fallen soldiers: Death and the U.S. military

This chapter examines how the U.S. Army responds to death and dying from multiple perspectives. We consider the U.S. Army as an organization with long experience with death and its programs and policies aimed at preparing for casualties and assisting survivors to adjust to death. We review demographics of death in the military; the social history of death in the U.S. Army and other services; military subcultural responses to death, including military protocol, rituals, and memorials in Army units; and community responses to death.

Most 20th-century war films ...

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