How We Die Now: Intimacy and the Work of Dying

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Temple University Press, Sep 27, 2013 - Social Science - 212 pages
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As we live longer and die slower and differently than our ancestors, we have come to rely more and more on end-of-life caregivers. These workers navigate a changing landscape of old age and death that many of us have little preparation to encounter. How We Die Now is an absorbing and sensitive investigation of end-of-life issues from the perspectives of patients, relatives, medical professionals, and support staff. Karla Erickson immersed herself in the daily life of workers and elders in a Midwestern community for over two years to explore important questions around the theme of “how we die now.” She moves readers through and beyond the many fears that attend the social condition of old age and reveals the pleasures of living longer and the costs of slower, sometimes senseless ways of dying. For all of us who are grappling with the “elder boom,” How We Die Now offers new ways of thinking about our longer lives.

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About the author (2013)

Karla A. Erickson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Grinnell College. She is the author of The Hungry Cowboy: Service and Community in a Neighborhood Restaurant and co-editor (with Jennifer Pierce and Hokulani Aikau) of Feminist Waves, Feminist Generations, Life Stories from the Academy, 1964-2000.

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