• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

The Evolution of Mourning and the Bereavement Role in the United States: Middle- and Upper-Class European Americans
The evolution of mourning and the bereavement role in the United States: Middle- and upper-class European Americans

Mourning typically is considered to be the social expression of grief, whereas grief is considered to denote multiple responses, mainly internal, to being bereaved (see, e.g., Marrone 1997; Rando 1993). As Kauffman (2001) and Walter (1999) have noted, however, not only do people often use the termsgrief andmourning interchangeably, but agreement is lacking “on how to distinguish the concepts of grief and mourning” (Kauffman 2001:311).

The starting point of this chapter is the notion that mourning is social expression of grief shaped by cultural prescriptions, expectations, and norms. Mourning practices shape our understandings ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles