The first serious academic study of obituaries, this book focuses on how societies remember. Bridget Fowler makes great use of the theories of Pierre Bordieu, arguing that obituaries are one important component in society's collective memory. This book, the first of its kind, will find a place on every serious sociology scholar's bookshelves.
Part I: Theoretical, Historical and Quantitative Studies of the Obituary Introduction. 1. Collective Memory 2. The Historical Sociology of Death 3. Bourdieu’s Social Theory and the Obituary 4. The Times’ Obituaries in 1900 and 1948 5. The Social Value of Death: The Microworld of the editors 6. The Lives we Choose to Remember: A Quantitative Analysis (with Esperanza Bielsa) Part II: Memories Burnished at the Shock of Death: Discourse Analysis of Newspaper Obituaries 7. The Politicians’ Obituaries, 1999-2006 8. The Writers’ Obituaries, 1999-2006 9. The Artists’ Obituaries, 1999-2006 10. The Sports Obituaries, 1999-2006 11. The Trade-Unionists’ Obituaries, 1999-2006. Conclusion