Constructing Death: The Sociology of Dying and Bereavement

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Oct 8, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 236 pages
0 Reviews
A basic motivation for social and cultural life is the problem of death. By analysing the experiences of dying and bereaved people, as well as institutional responses to death, Clive Seale shows its importance for understanding the place of embodiment in social life. He draws on a comprehensive review of sociological, anthropological and historical studies, including his own research, to demonstrate the great variability that exists in human social constructions for managing mortality. Far from living in a 'death denying' society, dying and bereaved people in contemporary culture are often able to assert membership of an imagined community, through the narrative reconstruction of personal biography, drawing on a variety of cultural scripts emanating from medicine, psychology, the media and other sources. These insights are used to argue that the maintenance of the human social bond in the face of death is a continual resurrective practice, permeating everyday life.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Experiencing and representing the body
Death embodiment and social structure
The social aspect of death
Representing death
Medicine modernity and the risks of life
The revival of death awareness
Reporting death
Experiencing death
Falling from culture
Awareness and control of dying
Grief and resurrective practices

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

I was re-appointed to Brunel in 2012, having previously worked there as a professor of sociology between 2003 - 2008. Between 2008 - 2012 I worked in the medical school at Queen Mary, University of London. Before all that I was in the sociology department at Goldsmiths, having had a career of researching and teaching in institutions of higher education around London, including several spells in the University of East London. I started out in educational research, having originally trained as a primary school teacher, but switched to health research in the 1980s. This varied career has given me the chance to use a wide variety of research methods on many different research projects, so that is something that I like to teach.

Bibliographic information