Death, Society, and Human Experience

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2011-09-18
  • Publisher: Routledge

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $5.25
    Check/Direct Deposit: $5.00
    PayPal: $5.00
List Price: $160.00 Save up to $86.20
  • Rent Book $80.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Providing an understanding of the relationship with death, both as an individual and as a member of society.    This book is intended to contribute to your understanding of your relationship with death, both as an individual and as a member of society. Kastenbaum shows how individual and societal attitudes influence both how and when we die and how we live and deal with the knowledge of death and loss.     Robert Kastenbaum is a renowned scholar who developed one of the world's first death education courses and introduced the first text for this market.    This landmark text draws on contributions from the social and behavioral sciences as well as the humanities, such as history, religion, philosophy, literature, and the arts, to provide thorough coverage of understanding death and the dying process.   Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers should be able to: Understand the relationship with death, both as an individual and as a member of society See how social forces and events affect the length of our lives, how we grieve, and how we die Learn how dying people are perceived and treated in our society and what can be done to provide the best possible care  Master an understanding of continuing developments and challenges to hospice (palliative care). Understand what is becoming of faith and doubt about an afterlife Note:MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySearchLab, please visit:www.mysearchlab.comor you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MySearchLab (at no additional cost). ValuePack ISBN-10: TBA / ValuePack ISBN-13: TBA

Author Biography

Bob Kastenbaum’s exploits as skating messenger apparently qualified him to become editor of two community newspapers, an eccentric career trajectory that somehow led to a graduate scholarship in philosophy and a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Southern California (1959). He was most interested in fields of psychological study that barely existed at the time: lifespan development and aging, time perspective, creativity, and death and dying. Kastenbaum became part of an emerging cadre that overcame the prevailing neglect and resistance to these issues. He worked in varied settings as clinician, researcher, activist, hospital administrator, educator, and author. The innovative programs he introduced into a geriatric hospital and his article, “The Reluctant Therapist” have been credited with preparing the way for increased attention to the needs and potentials of vulnerable elders and terminally ill people.  With Dick Kalish, he founded Omega, the first peer-reviewed journal focused on death-related issues.  Kastenbaum taught the first regularly-scheduled university course on death and dying and came up with the first textbook (Death, Society, & Human Experience, 1977). He also established the first university-based educational and research center on death and dying (Wayne State University, 1966).  His other books include The Psychology of Death  (1972, 1990, 2000); Dorian, Graying: Is Youth the Only Thing Worth Having?  (1995), and On Our Way. The Final Passage Through Life and Death (2004).  He has also served as editor of the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying,  (2003) and two previous encyclopedias.  In the public sphere he has served as a co-founder  of The National Caucus on Black Aging, consultant to the United States Senate Special Subcommittee on Aging, and participant in developing the Veterans Administration’s geriatric research and educational centers, and the landmark National Hospice Demonstration Project.  Kastenbaum lives in Tempe, Arizona with Bunny (wife), Angel (The Incredible Leaping Dog), enhanced by Pumpkin and Snowflake  in the cat department.  Along with his continuing research interests, Kastenbaum has been writing book and verse for musicals and operas. He notes that nobody has died in the two most recently premiered operas (Closing Time; American Gothic, music by Kenneth LaFave), but cannot make any such promises about the next opera.

Table of Contents







Chapter 1: As We Think About Death

Chapter 2: What is Death? 

Chapter 3: The Death System

Chapter 4: Chapter Dying 

Chapter 5: Hospice and Palliative Care

Chapter 6: End-of-Life Issues and Decisions

Chapter 7: Suicide

Chapter 8: Violent Death: Murder, Terrorism, Genocide, Disaster, and Accident

Chapter 9: Euthanasia, Assisted Death, Abortion, and the Right to Die         




Chapter 1: As We Think About Death

A History of Death?

Not Thinking About Death: A Failed Experiment

Your Self-Inventory of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Feelings

Some Answers — And The Questions They Raise

Man is Mortal: But What Does That Have To DO With Me? 

Anxiety, Denial, and Acceptance: Three Core Concepts 

Studies and Theories of Death Anxiety 

Major Findings From Self-Reports of Death Anxiety 

Theoretical Perspectives on Death Anxiety

Accepting and Denying Death


Chapter 2: What is Death?              

Ideas About The Nature And Meaning Of Death 

Death As Observed, Proclaimed, And Imagined 

Biomedical Approaches To The Definition Of Death 

Event Versus State 

What Does Death Mean? 

Interpretations Of The Death State 

Conditions That Resemble Death 

Death As A Person 

Conditions That Death Resembles 

The Undead 

Death As An Agent Of Personal, Political, And Social


Chapter 3: The Death System            

A World Without Death                

Basic Characteristics Of The Death System 

Components Of The Death System 

Functions Of The Death System 

Disasters And The Death System 

How Our Death System Has Been Changing–And The “Deathniks” Who Are Making A Difference 

Causes Of Death: Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow 

Basic Terms And Concepts 


Chapter 4: Chapter Dying 

The Moment Of Death: Is It Vanishing? 

What Is Dying, And When Does It Begin? 

Trajectories Of Dying: From Beginning To End 

Guarded Feelings, Subtle Communications 

Individuality And Universality In The Experience Of Dying 

Theoretical Models Of The Dying Process 


Chapter 5: Hospice and Palliative Care

Hospice: A New Flowering From Ancient Roots 

Standards Of Care For The Terminally Ill 

Hospice In Action 

Relief Of Pain And Suffering 

Hospice Access, Decision Making, And Challenges 

Dame Cicely Saunder’s Reflections On Hospice 


Chapter 6: End-of-Life Issues and Decisions

From Description To Decision Making 

Who Should Participate In End-Of-Life Decisions? 

The Living Will And Its Impact 

Right-To-Die Decisions That We Can Make 

A Right Not To Die? The Cryonics Alternative 

Organ Donation 

Funeral-Related Decisions 


Chapter 7: Suicide

What Do The Statistics Tell Us? 

Four Problem Areas 

Some Cultural Meanings Of Suicide 

A Powerful Sociological Theory Of Suicide 

Some Individual Meanings Of Suicide 

Facts And Myths About Suicide 

Suicide Prevention 

Emerging Issues And Challenges 


Chapter 8: Violent Death: Murder, Terrorism, Genocide, Disaster, and Accident



9/11/01 And Its Consequences 

Accident And Disaster 


Chapter 9: Euthanasia, Assisted Death, Abortion, and the Right to Die                

“I Swear By Appollo The Physician”: What Happened To The Hippocratic Oath? 

Key Terms And Concepts 

Our Changing Attitudes Toward A Right To Die 

The Right-To-Die Dilemma: Case Examples 

Rewards Program

Write a Review