Death and Dying: Chapters 1-4 (Unit1)

American society and dealing with Death and dying
Typically institution and removed from social interaction. Little has been done to socialize members to deal with death and dying on the personal and emotional level.
There has been an increased interested in death reflected in?
definition of death
difficult in America there is not one unifying meaning regarding death and dying in america.
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Harvard definition of death?
Total brain death and heart has stopped. EEG used most decisive tool today
Today Death has changed due to..
Less likely to die of acute disease, two chronic diseases responsible for half of deaths in U.S. Life expectancy has increased. This has changed peoples understand and ability to cope with death and dying
Death and dying can be approached from the perspective of…
Sociology, psychology, anthropology, biology, philosophy
Meaning is created by…
the use of symbols that are socially created and socially used.
Symbols can be.. 2 types
refer to something else or have an empirical referent. Some do not.
Major function of both types of symbols is?
to permit humans to relate to each other an thus create shared behavior and meaning.
4 theories that can be used to study d and d?
structural functionalist, conflict, social exchange, and symbolic interactionist
structural functionalists view society as…
a social system of interacting parts. societal maintenance is there focus. equilibrium is important
Conflict theory
social exchange and unequal distribution of goods and wealth. competition and dissension that results when individuals and groups compete for scarce resources
social exchange theory
contends that human behavior involves a subjective and interpretative interaction with others and attempts to exchange symbolic or non symbolic rewards. Need reciprocity so each individual receives something that is perceived to be equivalent for relationship to work.
Symbolic interactionist perspective
humans are autonomous agents whose actions are based on subjective understanding of society as socially constructed reality.
self-fulfilling prophecy
a situations defined as real that becomes real in its consequences when an individuals act to make it so.
sex ratio
the number of males per 100 females
the social process by which individuals are integrated into a social group by learning its values, norms, goals, and roles. This is a lifelong process that is never complete.
anything to which socially created meaning is given
The study of death related behavior including actions and emotions concerned with dying and death and bereavement. OR THE STUDY OF DEATH
Death definition
varies from culture to culture and across history.
centralist theory
life force in a single organ. today using this one becuase of brain death theory of death.
decentralist theory
places the life force in every cell of the body
the dying those close to them behavior is in response to..
meaning relative to the audience and situation. socially created not bilogical
Role holes
many role holes are created even though only one person dies because that person occupies many different social groups. social relationships and networks die with the body
Evaluation of death; whats included
may include values believed to be absolute, abstract or situational.
dying is a
social process. the person dying is also living and interacting with others
3 periods in american experience of death?
living death 16-1830- constant preperation for death and fear of death
Dying death 1830-1945- death was removed and denied and regulated by funeral homes. emphasis on postponing death.
resurrection of death 1945-present- prompted by 2 automic bombs dropping everyone thinking about death to large numbers quickly. today we see evidence of the denial of death from the Victorian era as well as the fear of death from the Puritans
Evidence that U.S. is a death-denying society?
euphemisms, taboos on death conversation, cryonics, caskets built for comfort, corpses made up to look alive, lowering of casket after family leave. Yet argument exists if we are in death denial or acceptance.
Death is feared in U.S. because…
we have been taught to fear it
Brain death
the brain is totally and irreversibly dead. AKA Harvard definition of death.
freezing a corpse quickly after death in dry ice and liquid nitrogen to later bring back to life
referring to a type of nonlinear relationship between two variables where at a certain point, associated with the increasing values in the independent variable, the relationship with the dependent variable changes. A scattergram graph of this relationship will look like either a letter U or an inverted U.
death anxiety
a learned emotional response to death related phenomena characterized by extreme apprehension. Same as death fear.
two units regarded as a pair. Parents
word or phrase that is considered less distasteful than other words or phrases.
Medicalization of death
Modern medicine defines illness and health procedures needed and determines procedures for the dying which may prolong or shorten life. Not unlike childbirth via c-section for doctor convenience modern medicine somewhat controls when we die and can control premature deaths. For examples tonsil removal was fairly routine with kids in the 1940s and 50s because the medical science deemed it so.
ways of society that are felt to be for the good of society. These are “must” behaviors that have stronger sanctions than a folkway. (Eating three meals per day) but that are not as severe as laws.
notice of a death usually with a brief biography
the extent of interest, commitment, or participation in religious values, beliefs, and activities
significant other
a person to whom special significance is given in the process of reaching decisions.
Kids are removed from death becuase
industrialized society instead of urban. Now see it through artificial media
young kids
permanency of death is not understood.
children are like
small cars and can handle it so tell them
when relating to kids about death be…
honest and open but dont’ give to much detail. and avoid euphemisms that may be confusing. express emotions and cry and tell them it is ok to do the same. They may mimic you. they may want to talk about it or they may not but both are okay. Should be back to normal in 2 months.
sense of personal identity is most vulnerable and concepts and feelings of death are influenced by that vulnerability.
young-adult stage
novice phase- because a strong sense of need to train ones self in the art of reaching ones fullest potential is contradictory to the thought of death. Just starting life and don’t think about death
panic phase
middle years when one realizes that the idealized self that one longed to develop may not have occured
Erik Erikson says the task of the final stage of life is to achieve?
integrity or sensate
elderly do not fear death but rather…
where they will die and how they will die
jean Piaget and Erik Erikson present stages of
development that help to explain perception on death and dying at different ages
stage of life commonly defined as the onset of puberty when sexual maturity or the ability to reproduce is attained
baby boomers
people born 1946-1964
a school of psychology that focuses chiefly on overt behavior rather than on inner psychological dynamics that cannot clearly be identified or measured
cognitive development
developing processes of knowing, including imaging, perceiving, reasoning, and problem solving
Content analysis
methodology used in the social sciences to systematically study the makeup of something such as the theme of d and d in movies or the role of women as caregivers in early 20th century novels
developmental approach
branch of social sciences concerned with interaction between physical psychological and social processes and with stages of growth from birth to old age.
Ego psychologists
theorists and therapists who moved away from Freud toward putting more emphasis in their therapy upon the coping strategies and strengths of the person than upon the more elusive dynamics of the libido an the unconscious.
the study of the biological psychological and social aspects of aging
psychological model that emphasizes an individuals phenomenal world and inherent capacity for making rational choices and developing to maximum potential
life review
Robert butlers term suggesting a reverence for what once was and for a time of judgement. It includes looking back over ones life and perhaps retracing early years. As death draws near and is also a therapeutic technique used to help elderly people.
a school of theory and therapy that concentrates upon the unconscious forces behind overt behavior, dealing principally with instinctual drives and their dynamics in a persons inner psyche. Its principal focus is the interplay of transference and resistance between psychoanalyst and client
the symbolic affirmation of values by means of culturally standardized utterances and actions
sandwich Generation
middle-aged children and parents. caught in-between
religion is
a system of beliefs and practices related to the sacred. religious practices continue because they meet basic social needs of people in a society. m
major religious function
explain unexplainable. religion takes over where science and rationality leave off.
Religion help people when
the order of life is challenged it provides answers to uncertain issues and problems.
religion restablishes..
the social order created by death
the anxiety one feels about death is..
socially ascribed
Jewish rituals emphasize
God does not save us, as individuals, from death, but saves Israel for history, regardless of death
Christians have two perspectives on death
1. faith in Christ. Get eternal life with god
2. death employed by Christians emphasizes the experience of true human loss (mother of her motherhood)
Islamic concern is for
justice and accountability. belief that strength of faith in God and the moral qualities of their earthly lives are how they will be assigned to paradise or damnation
Hindus believe in
immortality of the soul and hope for an afterlife. Want soul to be absorbed when die. no life after death but be united with the Oversoul. punishment: everlasting spiritual rebirth.
buddhism encourages people to
detach from striving for living, holding onto relationships, and attempting to avoid pain and sadness. accept the impermanence of life, relationships, and disirable things and let go of them and you will find enlightenment
temporal interpretations of death provide the means for protecting the social order by
emphasizing the emperical, natural, and “this-wordly” view of death
Symbolic immortality is evidenced by
off-spring carrying on name, by donating body organs, and by having accomplishments or achievements (positive and negative) remembered by others.
NDEs or after life experiences are
influenced by the individuals religious background, cultural beliefs, and prior social experiences.
condition characterized by the relative absence or confusion of values within a group or society
A recognition accorded by the Catholic church to a dead person accession to heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name
a process within the Catholic church that declares a deceased person to be a saint
Civil religion
form of non-church secular religion that is concerned with the transcendent meanings that support the state and provide it with a super empirical or supernatural identity
property of science whereby two or more scientists, studying the same thing can reach the same conclusion
levirate marriage
institution typified by the Hebrew that a relative of the deceased husband must now have sex with the widow to provide a male heir
marginal situations
unusual events or social circumstances that don’t occur in normal patterns of social interactions
a system of beliefs and practices related to the sacred, supernatural, and or a set of values to which the individual is very committed.
a set of culturally prescribed actions or behaviors
body of knowledge based upon sensory evidence or empirical observations
symbolic immortality
the ascription of immortality to the individual by perpetuating the meaning of the person (the self)
The denial of death
Ernest Becker
On death and dying
The american way of death
Jessica Mitford
Structural functionalist theory Macro
parts relate to each other. balance. all parts are working affecting one another. People need to die to make room. one system affects another. no death bad.
social facts are external mental and constraining (EMILE) interested in manifest and latent functions. funeral: family reunion
disengagement (subtype of structural functionalist theory
prominent idea in gerontology. as we age disengage retire and die.
conflict theory Macro
imbalance. goods not distributed equally. health insurance vs no health coverage and why. shortage for poor and grieving.
self-fulfilling prophecy goes with which theory?
symbolic interactionist (study individual)
Social exchange theory
reciprocity. Go to best friends dads funeral expect them to come to your dads. give as much as get
Symbolic interactionist theory (ISAS PARADIGM)
during social interactions you react to the situation according to the audience and situation. how we assign meaning determines how we respond. Situation is defined as real and becomes real in consequence. stimuli-interpret (can be wrong)- react.
INDIVIDUAL- SYMBOL (interact according to meaning of symbol like language or a chair. important!) AUDIENCE- who’s the audience
SITUATION- whats the situation
dramaturgical approach is a subtype of symbolic interactionist theory (etic aproach)
Drama- has to do with behavior of a person. Behavior is what people respond too. (body language). What you see more than think.
Other explanations for the meaning of D and D
existentialist philosphy
responsible for own behavior. No matter what happens when we are dying we are going to die alone. We can do it and do it alone.
Phenomenology (emic approach)
emic- point of view of the participant. Study suicide by talking to people who attempted it because the others are dead. Study the phenomenon itself. Studying near death experiences interview those who have had them.
psychoanalytic perspective
Freud. unconscious self. what we want to do and things that stop us (can be society)
Biological perspective
physiological reasons why we die or do not die. what contributes to death. body itself
anthropological approach
cultures and how they deal with death and dying cross-cultural perspectives
Death anxiety 4 concerns
death, death of significant other, process of dying, and state of being dead
Robert Neale
The art of dying: picture self as a corpse
Ernest Becker
The denial of death
Ego integrity AKa
life satisfaction was the Number 1 predictor of death anxiety in old age.
Durkhiem 4 things for religion
belief system, set of religious practices/rituals, sacred or supernatural objects of worship, and community or social base
situations that challenge order to social life? (Thomas O’dea)
uncertainty can not always know the outcome of something
powerlessness no control over things
scarcity inequality

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