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.

Gracing God's Acres: Some Notes on a Typology of Cemetery Visitation in Western Cultures
Gracing God's acres: Some notes on a typology of cemetery visitation in Western cultures

Any book on thanatology must include a discussion of how societies handle death and the mourning process. Especially in Western societies, the visits the living have with the dead usually occur within the context of the cemetery (Aries 1991). The reasons people venture into what many see as hallowed ground are varied and not necessarily grief related. The present reasons people foray onto “God's Acres” are distinctly tied ...

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