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Call for Abstracts - Death and Sociology

Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group Event 2nd December

About the British Sociological Association Event

The academic study of death, dying and bereavement has become typically associated with disciplines beyond sociology, such as medicine, psychology and psychiatry.

Consequently, knowledge about death, dying and bereavement has often focused more on individuals, symptoms or treatments, and less on a holistic lived experience, the social contexts in which life is lived, and the context(s) in which loss occurs.

Yet there is much to be gained from developing a more contextual understanding of DDB. For example, the prevailing assumption that grief is a negative emotion to be addressed can overlook the potential value of this emotion and how death can also mean liberation, economic change and (possibly welcomed) relational shifts.

What is more, over the past year with Covid-19 we have been reminded of the limitations of individualistic discourses on death and witnessed the value and meaning of shared experiences of funeral rites and bereavement.

Call for Papers

In celebration of the study group entering its third decade, in this year’s annual symposium we aim to revisit the group’s origins with a focus on what sociology can uniquely offer the study of death, dying and bereavement. In this one-day online symposium, we invite researchers and practitioners to submit abstracts on this theme.

We are particularly interested in exploring how the application of a sociological way of thinking about death, dying and bereavement can allow for a broader and much richer awareness of the way in which the end of life, and what happens afterwards, is experienced.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Application of sociological theory to contemporary and historical death, dying and bereavement
  • Use of sociological research methods
  • Sociology in professional practice


Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words by Midnight (GMT) on Monday, 20 September 2021 to Presentations will be 20 minutes long with additional time for questions.

The symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, 2 December 2021. An online access link will be sent via email to all registered attendees.


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