The A–Z of Death and Dying
Social, Medical, and Cultural Aspects
by Michael Brennan, Editor
February 2014, 442pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0343-7
$98, £73, 82€, A140
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0344-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The use of Facebook as a means for memorialization, commemoration, and grieving is one recent trend in cultural expression regarding death and dying.

This engaging and informative resource provides readers with an understanding of the social, cultural, and historical influences that shape our encounters with death, dying, and bereavement—a universal experience across humanity.

Written in an engaging and accessible style by leading international scholars and practitioners from within the field of death and bereavement studies, this book will have broad appeal, providing in a single volume insights from some of the key thinkers within the interdisciplinary field of death, dying, and bereavement. Its approximately 200 entries will serve as useful starting points for those new to the topic and will be informative to those already acquainted with some of the core concepts and ideas within this burgeoning field of inquiry.

This encyclopedia will serve as an essential resource for high school and undergraduate students, those engaged in independent research, and professionals whose work involves caring for the dead, dying, and bereaved. It will also be of great interest to general readers intrigued by the social, medical, and cultural dimensions to human mortality. Underscored by the inescapable biological certainties that affect us all, The A–Z of Death and Dying offers a highly relevant examination of the social and historical variation in the rituals, practices, and beliefs surrounding the end of life.


  • Provides comprehensive yet easily accessible and concise entries that offer insight into the expanding study of death, dying, and bereavement
  • Contains more than 200 engaging entries from key thinkers and practitioners within the interdisciplinary field of death studies
  • Addresses a wide range of topics of both contemporary and historical interest, including memorial tattoos, Facebook grieving, and so-called "dark tourism," which reflect shifting attitudes and practices surrounding end-of-life issues
Michael Brennan, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Death Education and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. He has written on memory and meaning, language and loss, and mourning and identity, including in his book Mourning and Disaster: Finding Meaning in the Mourning for Hillsborough and Diana.


"[T]he new and updated information and reasonable price of this work make it a worthwhile purchase for academic, public, and workplace libraries."—ARBA, April 1, 2014

"This valuable publication could serve as an update to the comparable Encyclopedia of Death and Dying . . . easy to read and understand. . . . Professionals in the health care field may want to recommend this publication to patients who are looking for topical overviews. It will be a good purchase for academic and public libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers."—Choice, November 6, 2014
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