A Social History of Dying

by Allan Kellehear

Our experiences of dying have been shaped by ancient ideas about death and social responsibility at the end of life. From Stone Age ideas about dying as otherworld journey to the contemporary Cosmopolitan Age of dying in nursing homes, Allan Kellehear takes the reader on a 2 million year journey of discovery that covers the major challenges we will all eventually face: anticipating, preparing, taming and timing for our eventual deaths. This book, first published in 2007, is a major review of the human and clinical sciences literature about human dying conduct. The historical approach of this book places our recent images of cancer dying and medical care in broader historical, epidemiological and global context. Professor Kellehear argues that we are witnessing a rise in shameful forms of dying. It is not cancer, heart disease or medical science that presents modern dying conduct with its greatest moral tests, but rather poverty, ageing and social exclusion.

  • Cambridge University Press; January 2007
  • ISBN: 9780511292293
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: A Social History of Dying
  • Author: Allan Kellehear
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

'This is no ordinary book. The next generation of death scholars will have to come to terms with it. And it is superb in showing how sociology can illuminate the findings of archaeology and history.' The Times Higher Education Supplement