Talking Through Death examines communication at the end-of-life from several different communication perspectives: interpersonal (patient, provider, family), mediated, and cultural. By studying interpersonal and family communication, cultural media, funeral related rituals, religious and cultural practices, medical settings, and legal issues surrounding advance directives, readers gain insight into the ways symbolic communication constructs the experience of death and dying, and the way meaning is infused into the process of death and dying. The book looks at the communication-related health and social issues facing people and their loved ones as they transition through the end of life experience. It reports on research recently conducted by the authors and others to create a conversational, narrative text that helps students, patients, and medical providers understand the symbolism and construction of meaning inherent in end-of-life communication.
Table of Contents
Preface: Genesis: Communicating about Death
Chapter 1: Trick or Treat: Communicating about Death in Culture and Play
Chapter 2: Show and Tell: Communicating About Death in Fictional Narratives
Chapter 3: Haunts and Hunts: Communicating about Death in Ghostly Lore
Chapter 4: Fit to Print: Communicating about Death in the News
Chapter 5: Angels of Death: Communicating about Death in Medical Settings
Chapter 6: Talk to Me: Communicating about Death in Family Settings
Chapter 7: Between the Lines: Communicating about Death in Obituaries
Chapter 8: Performing Lives: Communicating about Death in Funerals and Eulogies
Chapter 9: Rhetoric of Decay: Communicating about Death in Cemeteries and Burials
Chapter 10: The Final Word: Communicating about Death in Epitaphs
Chapter 11: Worth Dying For: Communicating about Death in Monuments and Memorials
Epilogue: Revelation: Communicating to Transcend Death
Dr. Christine Davis is a Professor in the Communication Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her BA degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; her MA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and her PhD from the University of South Florida, all in the field of Communication Studies. She publishes regularly on topics such as children’s health, end of life communication, disability, and qualitative research methods.
Dr. Deborah C. Breede, a Professor of Communication, teaches communication, women’s and gender studies, and graduate courses at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in Conway, South Carolina. Her primary research, teaching, and service interests focus on the formation, development, maintenance, and challenges of community within a variety of contexts – including interpersonal and familial relationships; educational, cultural, and community collaborations; and during end of life experiences.