An extraordinary world where the dead are examined, certified, registered, embalmed, viewed and finally cremated or buried is revealed in this ethnographic account of contemporary British mortuary practices. Going behind the scenes, the author explores the interplay between rituals and representations and, in the process, critiques traditional models of grief.
Representations of Death makes use of the social psychological theory of social representations and draws upon fascinating and often poignant data. Illuminating the perspectives of both the grieving relatives and the deathwork professionals. Bradbury shows how talk about a person’s death focuses upon its perceived ‘goodness’ or ‘naturalness’.
Arguing that these social representations are an expression of our need to make death familiar, she demonstrates how they are anchored and objectified in current mortuary practices.
Illustrated with stunning photographs. Representations of Death will be essential reading for anyone interested in death, grief and bereavement.
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Free download Representations of Death : A Social Psychological Perspective by Mary Bradbury