Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience

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9781412951784: Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience

Death and dying and death-related behavior involve the causes of death and the nature of the actions and emotions surrounding death among the living. Interest in the varied dimensions of death and dying has led to the development of death studies that move beyond medical research to include behavioral science disciplines and practitioner-oriented fields. As a result of this interdisciplinary interest, the literature in the field has proliferated.

This two-volume resource addresses the traditional death and dying–related topics but also presents a unique focus on the human experience to create a new dimension to the study of death and dying. With more than 300 entries, the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience includes the complex cultural beliefs and traditions and the institutionalized social rituals that surround dying and death, as well as the array of emotional responses relating to bereavement, grieving, and mourning. The Encyclopedia is enriched through important multidisciplinary contributions and perspectives as it arranges, organizes, defines, and clarifies a comprehensive list of death-related perspectives, concepts, and theories.

Key Features

  • Imparts significant insight into the process of dying and the phenomenon of death
  • Includes contributors from Asia,; Africa; Australia; Canada; China; eastern, southern, and western Europe; Iceland; Scandinavia; South America; and the United States who offer important interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives
  • Provides a special focus on the cultural artifacts and social institutions and practices that constitute the human experience
  • Addresses death-related terms and concepts such as angel makers, equivocal death, end-of-life decision making, near-death experiences, cemeteries, ghost photography, halo nurses, caregiver stress, cyberfunerals, global religious beliefs and traditions, and death denial
  • Presents a selective use of figures, tables, and images

Key Themes

  • Arts, Media, and Popular Culture Perspectives
  • Causes of Death
  • Conceptualization of Death, Dying, and the Human Experience
  • Coping With Loss and Grief: The Human Experience
  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • Cultural-Determined, Social-Oriented, and Violent Forms of Death
  • Developmental and Demographic Perspectives
  • Funerals and Death-Related Activities
  • Legal Matters
  • Process of DyingSymbolic Rituals, Ceremonies, and Celebrations of Life
  • Theories and Concepts
  • Unworldly Entities and Events

With an array of topics that include traditional subjects and important emerging ideas, the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience is the ultimate resource for students, researchers, academics, and others interested in this intriguing area of study.

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About the Author:

Clifton D. Bryant is Professor of Sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia. He has been a faculty member there since 1972 and served as Department Chair from 1972 to 1982. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, he held full-time faculty teaching appointments at Western Kentucky University (Department Head 1967–1972), Millsaps College (Department Head 1963–1967), and the University of Georgia (1960–1963). He was Visiting Professor at Mississippi State University (Summer 1985) and at the Pennsylvania State University (Summer 1958). His  research appointments include Visiting Scientist at the U.S. Army Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Summer 1993), Visiting Research Scholar with the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education  Program Mississippi State University; Summer 1985), and Visiting Research Scholar with Training and  Technology Project operated by the Resource Development Office of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc. (Summer 1987). His foreign teaching appointments include Visiting Fulbright Professor, Department and Graduate Institute of Sociology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (1987–1988), and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Xavier University, The  Ateneo, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines (1984–1985). He was a participant in the U.S.  Department of Education’s 1998 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program in the People’s Republic of China (Summer 1998) and was also a participant in the U.S. Department of Education’s 1993 Fulbright- Hays Seminars Abroad Program in Hungary (Summer, 1993). Dr. Bryant served as President of the Southern Sociological Society (1978–1979) and as President of the Mid-South Sociological Association (1981–1982). He was the recipient of the Mid-South Sociological Association’s Distinguished Career Award in 1991 and the Distinguished Book Award in 2001. He is also the recipient of the Southern Sociological Society’s 2003 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award.  He has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1984 and in Who’s Who in the World since 1991. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Delta, Alpha Kappa Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Alpha Phi Omega. Dr. Bryant was founder and Chairman of the Editorial Board of Sociological Symposium (1968–1980). He was also the founder of Deviant Behavior and served as Editor-in-Chief of that journal from 1978 to 1991.  He continues to serve as Chair of the Editorial Policy Board for the journal. He was editor of the Southern Sociologist (1970–1974). He has served as a member of the editorial board of Criminology (1978–1981),  Associate Editor of Sociological Forum (1979–1980), Associate Editor of Sociological Spectrum (1981– 1985), member of the Board of Advisory Editors of Sociological Inquiry (1981–1985) and also Associate  Editor of that journal (1997–2000). He was a member of the Board of Editors of Society and Animals (1997–1999) and was Associate Editor for a special issue of Marriage and Family Relations (Fall 1982). He is the author of Sexual Deviancy and Social Proscription; Khaki-Collar Crime: Deviant Behavior in Military Context; and Deviant Behavior: Occupational and Organizational Bases; editor of The  Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior (four volumes); Deviant Behavior: Readings in the Sociology of Norm Violations; The Rural Work Force: Nonagricultural Occupations in America; Sexual Deviance in Sexual Context; The Social Dimensions of Work; and coeditor of Social Problems Today:  Dilemmas and Dimensions; Deviance and the Family; and Introductory Sociology: Selected Readings for the College Scene. He has published articles in a number of professional journals, including Social Forces, Society, Sociological Inquiry, Sociology and Social Research, Rural Sociology, Sociological Forum, American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Sex Research, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, Journal of Leisure Sciences, Sociological Spectrum, The Rural Sociologist, Psychological Reports, Free  Inquiry in Creative Sociology, World Leisure and Recreation, Hort Technology, Anthrozoos, Applied  Behavioral Science Review, Man and Environmental Systems, The Southern Sociologist, and Deviant  Behavior. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Mississippi, did advanced graduate work at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and received his Ph.D. degree from Louisiana State University.

From Booklist:

In approximately 330 entries, the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience presents “a range of insightful interdisciplinary topics” related to the human response to death and dying and the attendant rituals and practices. The alphabetically arranged entries discuss matters from Abortion to Zombies, revenants, vampires, and reanimated corpses. The entries for Brain death and Defining and conceptualizing death offer definitions of death. The details provided in the descriptions of Cremation and Embalming may well make one consider Green burials as an alternative. The psychological aspects of death are explored in entries such as Death anxiety, Memorials, and Survivor guilt. Because religions have often informed our views on death, the beliefs and traditions of many religions, such as Christianity and Hinduism, and those of Mesoamerican/pre-Columbian cultures, among others, are presented. Social questions such as Palliative care and Quality of life are discussed. A range of legal issues, including Estate planning and Forensic science, are treated. Finally, an encyclopedia on death would not be complete without entries on such topics as Cannibalism, Necrophilia, and Neonaticide. Each entry contains cross-references and a list of further reading, and a “Reader’s Guide” that arranges entries under broad topics aids navigation. Lists of death-related Web sites and organizations are appended. Although thinking about death and dying may well be something many of us would prefer not to do, the entries in the encyclopedia provide helpful introductions—as seen from the perspectives of such academic disciplines as art, economics, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, social work, and sociology—to the multifaceted issues surrounding an event everyone will encounter. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Also available as an e-book. --Christopher McConnell

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Book Description SAGE Publications Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Scholarly interest in the varied dimensions of death and dying has led to the development of death studies that move beyond medical research to include behavioral science disciplines and practitioner-oriented fields such as psychology, gerontology, sociology, thanatology, anthropology, social work, counseling, law and family studies. As a result of this interdisciplinary interest, the literature in the field of death and the human experience studies has proliferated. Death-related terms and concepts such as appropriate death, body farms, contemporary and historical causes of death, caregiving and the death-care industry, dance of death (danse macabre), equivocal death, end-of-life decision making, life insurance, the history of hospice, near-death experiences, cemeteries, memorials, viatical settlements, suicide, medical mistakes, advance directives, family and caregiver stress, SIDS, cryonics, cyber-funerals, global beliefs and traditions, death denial, and social movements as well as interdisciplinary and practitioner-oriented perspectives on death now hold important family, economic, medical, legal and global social psychological consequences. As a result, many terms and phrases are now part of common everyday social discourse and media reporting. The lexicon relating to dying, death and the human experience is expansive, thus lending itself to the need to establish consistency in vocabulary of death meanings. The Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience does so, and this two-volume library reference is enriched through multidisciplinary contributions and perspective as it arranges, organizes, defines and clarifies an impressive list of more than 300 death-related concepts for the use of students and scholars, while facilitating a more refined and sensitive understanding of the field for an increasingly interested public. Bookseller Inventory # AAX9781412951784

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Book Description SAGE Publications Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Scholarly interest in the varied dimensions of death and dying has led to the development of death studies that move beyond medical research to include behavioral science disciplines and practitioner-oriented fields such as psychology, gerontology, sociology, thanatology, anthropology, social work, counseling, law and family studies. As a result of this interdisciplinary interest, the literature in the field of death and the human experience studies has proliferated. Death-related terms and concepts such as appropriate death, body farms, contemporary and historical causes of death, caregiving and the death-care industry, dance of death (danse macabre), equivocal death, end-of-life decision making, life insurance, the history of hospice, near-death experiences, cemeteries, memorials, viatical settlements, suicide, medical mistakes, advance directives, family and caregiver stress, SIDS, cryonics, cyber-funerals, global beliefs and traditions, death denial, and social movements as well as interdisciplinary and practitioner-oriented perspectives on death now hold important family, economic, medical, legal and global social psychological consequences. As a result, many terms and phrases are now part of common everyday social discourse and media reporting. The lexicon relating to dying, death and the human experience is expansive, thus lending itself to the need to establish consistency in vocabulary of death meanings. The Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience does so, and this two-volume library reference is enriched through multidisciplinary contributions and perspective as it arranges, organizes, defines and clarifies an impressive list of more than 300 death-related concepts for the use of students and scholars, while facilitating a more refined and sensitive understanding of the field for an increasingly interested public. Bookseller Inventory # AAX9781412951784

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