This book examines research on death, dying and bereavement, and how our approaches, perceptions and expectations shapes what we can know about the end of life. The contributions include personal and professional reflections, and practical suggestions for conducting research in this field.
The volume stems from the resurgence of the international and interdisciplinary study of death in the last 20 years. Within this, empirical research is often viewed as sensitive, but little has been written about the experience of conducting research in this area. There has thus been little reflection on the opportunities and challenges faced in undertaking research as the field of death studies grows, including the accommodation and recognition of cultural differences. This volume seeks to in part address this gap. The chapters in this book were originally published in the Mortality journal and the Death Studies journal.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction: researching death, dying and bereavement 1. Reflecting on death: The emotionality of the research encounter 2. "Doing death": Reflecting on the researcher’s subjectivity and emotions 3. Trans-Atlantic death methods: disciplinarity shared and challenged by a common language 4. Interpreting ‘grief ’ in Senegal: language, emotions and cross-cultural translation in a francophone African context 5. Images of fatal violence: negotiating the dark heart of death research 6. Auto/biographical approaches to researching death and bereavement: connections, continuums, contrasts 7. Negotiating post-research encounters: reflections on learning of participant deaths following a qualitative study
Erica Borgstrom is a medical anthropologist currently based at the Open University, UK. Her teaching and research focuses on death and dying, with a particular emphasis on end-of-life care. For the past six years she has researched how end-of-life care policy in England is shaping healthcare practice and how this relates (or not) to people's experiences of care and everyday life.
Julie Ellis is a Research Associate in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK. Her primary research interests are in the areas of identity, material culture and personal relationships at the end of life. She is currently working on a research project which explores the impact of visual technology on traditional foetal and neonatal autopsy practices.
Kate Woodthorpe is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bath, UK. She is the editor of Death and Social Policy in Challenging Times (with Foster, 2016), and The Matter of Death: Space, place and materiality (with Hockey and Komaromy, 2010). Her research interests include funeral practices and the question of familial obligation. She is the editor of the Mortality journal.