Death, Society, And Human Experience Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

" (Willmott 2000) in other words, the reality of death is removed to the edges of culture and society; which means that the significance and reality of death is in effect 'anesthetized' by institutions such as the medicine and science. As Giddens states, death is avoided or excluded from common social life and from "…fundamental existential issues which raise central moral dilemmas for human beings." (Giddens 156)

This suggests that the taboo about death and its avoidance in the cultural discourse is linked to the structure and the composition of modern society and culture. There is a sense that death is seen as the pornography of the modern age. "Helmut Thielicke observed that death is coming to have the same position in modern life and literature that sex had in Victorian times." (the avoidance of death in our modern world)

If we analyze the sociological structure of modern society we can argue that this desire to avoid or sequestrate death in ordinary social discourse is linked to the rise of secularization in modern western society. This is also linked to other cultural phenomenon in the West such as science, materialism and the dominance of the medical profession with regard to death. Death has moved for from its direct experience...
...This makes it easier to avoid but more difficult to come to terms with.

A number of critics point out that the decline of the religious and spiritual foundations of modern society during the last century that is mainly responsible for the different ways that modern man thinks about death.

The decline of religion at the turn of the century, and the replacement of God and the religious attitude with the doctor and the almighty medical machine, resulted in the death and dying being taken out of the community and placed in the hands of 'professionals. ( Mullin 2)

This in turn has led to a distancing from the experience of death.

In terms of the future of our understanding of death, the present secular and materialistic path that is central to Western society is one that will tend to increase the sense of anxiety about death and will make the acceptance of death more difficult for the individual. A number of critics have proposed a 'reevaluation of death', which means a different approach to the understanding and coping with death in our society. They are critics of the present attitude towards death in Western society, as it tends to leave the individual without any formal and existential mechanisms for dealing with and confronting death.

Works Cited

"Death and Society." Web. 19 November

2010.

http://www.mortology.org/Articles/deathandsociety.html

Giddens, a. Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age.

Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991. Print.

Mullin G. Death and Dying. London: Arkana, 1986.

"Sequestration." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sequestration. Web. 19 November

2010.

"The avoidance of death in our modern world."

http://www.christianity.co.nz/life_death3.htm.Web. 19 November

2010.

Willmott H. ( 2000) Death: "So What? Sociology and Sequestration." Web.

http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/research/associates/pdfs/willmott_death.pdf

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"Death and Society." Web. 19 November

2010.

http://www.mortology.org/Articles/deathandsociety.html

Giddens, a. Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age.

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