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Markus Schafer

Sociology of Aging Class Notes Fall 2011, Class 12 I. Introduction 2 different quotes that shows different aspects of death and dying first quote⇒ What is successful aging⇒Tom Glass one And Dylan poem⇒different world view shows the nature of Express death as a blunt tragical biological The reading today (Endings by Michael Kearl) gives an account of two approaches to death and dying that are prevalent in modern times: (1)One that is subjective, humanistic, and philosophical -- what is the meaning of life and death? (2)Another that is scientific and seeks an objective description of life and death II. Modernity and death Religion⇒Hebrew the idea of when people die go a dark place (SHEOL) Those who go to sheol (below the earth) wont come back⇒some rabbies disagree about such thing christian⇒elaborate view of death passage to this other world, journey of 9 cycle of hells, repend, the after life islam⇒idea of paradise, rest and relaxation The understanding in death was base on the idea of religion⇒material soul leaving the body, going form physical to non physical in the religious view IIIMany people experience death⇒common experience IV. Painting showing human progress—passage way to death bed to punishment to after life Whats change in the modern world? According to the eminent British sociologist Anthony Giddens, the hallmark of modernity is “its purchasing of ontological security through institutions and routines that protect us from direct contact with madness, criminality, 1 sexuality, nature, and death.” Modernity represents “the exclusion of social life from fundamental existential issues which raise moral dilemmas for human 2 beings.” Modernity create a distance reality Need to confront the reality of death—out of mind modernity has Applies to death also—shift the location of where people passed away..before used to die at home and people experience someone death  Shift in location ( location of death in Canada) Location of death has move beyond our view • 49% in hospital half of it happened in hospital and it is very different from 100 years ago • 31% LTC • 20% at home 1920—death was common among kids so more expose to it (Statistics Canada 2006) 1Anthony Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pg. 156 2Ibid  Description via euphemism “sleep,” “pass away,” “rest”  Medical and scientific aspects over mystical or magical notions Modern world is a dischantement of the world • With better understanding of neuroscience, definitions of death came to emphasize brain functioning: e.g., “human death is the 3 irreversible cessation of functioning of the entire brain” • Harvard Medical School criteria for death ( how to evaluate if someone is alive or death)  (1) no response  (2) no breathing or moving  (3) no reflexes  (4) no sign of brain activity on two EE
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