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factual
THINKING ALLOWED
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Thinking Allowed
Wednesday 16:00-16:30
Laurie Taylor discusses the latest social science research.
18 July 2007
Repeat 22 July 2007
Listen to this programme in full
A SOCIAL HISTORY OF DYING
Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.” (W. Somerset Maugham)

According to Allan Kellehear, Stone Age people had an idea of death, but not of dying.  Death came so suddenly and violently there was not a passage of time in which people slipped from one world to the next.  Dying, he claims, became a facet of human culture when the first cities began to be formed.   With the cities came disease, and with disease came dying.  His new book A Social History of Dying examines the process before death and how it has changed over 10,000 years. 

How does the contemporary experience of dying and its place in our culture compare with the past? 

Laurie Taylor and Allan Kellehear, Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath, are joined by Kate Berridge, author of Vigor Mortis; the end of the Death Taboo to discuss the nature of dying in the modern world and how the arrival of ‘slow deaths’ has transformed the ways in which people prepare for death.

OBITUARIES
Bridget Fowler
Professor of Sociology, Glasgow University talks about her recent paper The Obituary as Collective Memory: a Bourdieusian Approach which she will be presenting at the Cultural Studies Conference, East London University on Saturday.

Professor Fowler argues that, despite the pretence of a democratic revolution in obituaries, they still perform the function of enshrining the dominant sections of society that they had in 1900. She says that her detailed analysis shows that prejudices against the working class, minor universities, racial minorities and women are still very present in the selection of who gets an obituary, and whose life is publicly forgotten.
Additional information: 

Professor Allan Kellehear
Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath

A Social History of Dying

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN-10: 0521694299
ISBN-13: 978-0521694292

Kate Berridge, author

Vigor Mortis: a cultural commentary on death
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd; New Ed edition
ISBN-10: 1861974116
ISBN-13: 978-1861974112

Professor Bridget Fowler
Professor of Sociology at the University of Glasgow

Paper: The Obituary as Collective Memory: a Bourdieusian Approach
Cultural Studies– International Conference
Saturday 21 July 2007
Panel Session 7: 9.30 – 11.00am
University of East London, Docklands Campus
University Way, London E16 2RD

The Obituary as Collective Memory
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN-10: 0415364930
ISBN-13: 978-0415364935
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