Death and Culture Ch.1 The Last Dance

institutional denial
death avoidance

promtotes variety through the evolution of species, species survival

changes in size, shape, and distribution of the population

life expectancy
decreases the familiarity with death because people live longer

epidemiologic transition
shift in disease patterns, cause of death has changed from acute infection to chronic illness, now seen as something that happens in old age

geographic mobility
decreases liiklihood that families will be present for deaths, loss of shared death rituals

displacement of death
increase in use of institutional settings for illness and deaths, decreases familiarity with death

life extending technologies
increase institutional care and decrease familiarity with death

cultural lag
the phenomenon of societies falling behind in dealing with new social problems that result from technological advances and rapid social changes

language of death
reflects the attitude toward death, indirect terms such as internment, euphanisms which devalue and depersonalize death

vague wording that can be used to either depersonalize, such as “body count”, or to communicate a deeper meaning such as “passing”

defuses anxiety about death, communicates social norms and raises consciousness about taboo subjects

mass media
influences attitudes about death, provides information, creates shared experiences

when mass media coverage leads to “second trauma”

music used for funerals and burials

music used to commemorate a persons death, also elegies

mele kanikau
Hawaiian lament, messages of cherished memories

death education
formal and informal instruction about death, greif, and related topics

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