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Social Death

Borgstrom, Erica (2017). Social Death. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 110(1) pp. 5–7.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcw183
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Abstract

This review will outline various ways in which the notion of 'social death’ can be understood, and how they can be related to clinical practice. The idea of social death is used to analytically represent how someone can be identified and treated as if they are ontologically deficient – meaning that they are not seen as being 'fully human.' This impacts on their position within society and how they are interacted with. This review will consider three examples of social death - often distinguished from physical or biological death - that are important for clinical practice: loss of agency and identity; treating people as if they are already dead; and, rituals and bereavement. Recognising that a distinction between social and biological death may not always be helpful, this review will suggest ways in which healthcare practitioners can minimise the likelihood of inadvertently treating someone as 'socially dead'.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Author
ISSN: 1460-2393
Keywords: social death; death; social theory; care
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 47657
Depositing User: Erica Borgstrom
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 10:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 00:00
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/47657
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