Cultural, Existential and Phenomenological Dimensions of Grief Experience  book cover
1st Edition

Cultural, Existential and Phenomenological Dimensions of Grief Experience

ISBN 9780367568115
Published December 29, 2021 by Routledge
268 Pages 2 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This innovative volume examines the phenomenological, existential and cultural dimensions of grief experiences. It draws on perspectives from philosophy, psychology and sociocultural studies to focus on the experiential dimension of grief, moving beyond understanding from a purely mental health and psychiatry perspective.

The book considers individual, shared and collective experiences of loss. Chapters explore the intersections between the profound existential experiences of bereavement and how this is mediated by sociocultural norms and practices. It points to new directions for the future conceptualization and study of grief, particularly in the experiential dimension.

Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, this important book will appeal to academics, researchers and students in the fields of death and bereavement studies, wellbeing and mental health, philosophy and phenomenological studies.

Table of Contents


List of figures

List of tables

Contributors bios


Ester Holte Kofod & Allan Køster

Part 1: Phenomenologies of grief

Part 1 introduction: Phenomenology and its application to grief and bereavement

Allan Køster

Chapter 1: Grief, Melancholy, and Depression: An existential phenomenology of reactions to transience

Thomas Fuchs

Chapter 2: What is longing? An existential-phenomenological investigation

Allan Køster

Chapter 3: Grief, Commitment and the Sense of Community

Line Ryberg Ingerslev

Chapter 4: Distorted Space, Unmoving Time – Aesthetic Practices in Bereavement

Kathleen Higgins

Chapter 5: Grief and the Photograph: A Phenomenology of Captured Time and Its Resonances with Death

Kirsten Jacobson

Chapter 6: The Interpersonal and Social Dimensions of Emotion Regulation in Grief

Matthew Ratcliffe

& Eleanor A. Byrne.

Part 2: Normativities: Frictions and mediations

Part 2 introduction: The normative mediation of experiences of loss

Ester Holte Kofod

Chapter 7: Continuing Bonds in the Cultural, Existential, and Phenomenological Study of Grief

Dennis Klass

Chapter 8: Poetic representations of parental grief

Ester Holte Kofod

Chapter 9: Grieving as Relearning the World is Inherently Social

Thomas Attig

Chapter 10: Grief Dynamics and Gendered Expectations on Expressions of Grief

Leeat Granek

Chapter 11: The oughtness of grief: Ontological, cultural and existential perspectives

Alfred Bordado Sköld & Svend Brinkmann

Chapter 12: From ineffability and cultural taboo to meaning: Making sense of sensory and quasi-sensory experiences of deceased loved ones

Edith Maria Steffen

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Allan Køster is Senior Researcher at the National Center for Grief, Denmark, and Research Fellow at Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

Ester Holte Kofod is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at the University of Aalborg, Denmark.