Death and Community
This chapter explores the relationship between death and community in the context of late modernity. It begins with a discussion of Alphonso Lingis's philosophical understanding of death as the foundation for the very possibility of community. Lingis's work on community forms a basis for opening up a sociological discussion of community as both an ideal and lived reality. This chapter argues that while community is still a relevant concept in contemporary society, its formations are complex and are by no means necessarily transparent or rooted in specific places and spaces of shared dwelling. Modern media technologies and the Internet have ushered in new forms of community that are mobile, transitional, de-spatialized, and non-tactile. The positive and negative aspects of community, whether it exists, how it functions, and whose needs take priority or are served in relation to death, is an ongoing focus of health and end-of-life care research, particularly community-based practice, and policy assessment on end-of-life care (Maddox and Parker 2001; Conway; Crawshaw and Bunton 2007; Kellehear 2007; Conway 2009). This chapter acknowledges this important area of policy oriented, empirical research on death and community. However, its main focus is sociological and it concerns the relationship between death and community in the context of modernity and late-modernity, with a central empirical focus on new community forms of death and mourning made possible by the World Wide Web.
Governing Death and Loss: empowerment, involvement and participation
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Sociology not elsewhere classified