83 research outputs found

    The marginalisation of religion in End of Life Care: signs of microaggression?

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    Service users very often interpret and respond to their experiences of death, dying and bereavement through a religious or spiritual lens. However, recent trends in religion and belief have influenced how professionals respond to indicators such as faith. Since the post-war years in Britain, and due to the transfer of services from church to state, as well as the change in the religious landscape, language has largely secularized. When people start addressing religion and belief again, they lack the appropriate literacy to do so; this is termed religious literacy by Dinham (2015). This paper explores how professionals in end of life care respond to service users’ religious and spiritual indicators, through the lens of religious literacy. The paper draws from an ethnographic study undertaken across hospices in England, UK. In this study healthcare professionals were observed for one calendar year. Results show that lack of religious literacy on the part of healthcare professionals may lead to subtle and unintentional microaggression. Three types of indications of microinvalidation have been noted: verbal, non-verbal and environmental

    Ageing and loss attitudes of social work students: a cross-sectional study

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    The world’s population is radically shifting; with the help of medicine and technology, people live longer and increasingly healthier lives. As a result, professions like social work are faced with the need for new and expert skills and knowledge when working with people of older age and those experiencing loss. To identify such needs, the exploration of current views is paramount as it will shed light to gaps in skills and knowledge altogether. This is a cross-sectional study that examines social work students’ attitudes and perceptions of old age and losses associated with it. A self-administered Qualtrics-based survey was completed by 128 social work students in graduate and postgraduate programmes in England. The study found that social work students generally view old age as a time of increased knowledge or wisdom but associate it highly with nine undesirable domains: loneliness, illness, frailty, lack of respect, losses (mental and physical), identified as ‘grumpy and miserable’, dependency, social disengagement, and the fear of saying goodbye to people (death). The study also identifies ethnic and religious divides in these views, while it concludes with the need for advanced training and education in social work with older people and associated losses experienced

    A constructive analysis of the formation of LGBTQ families: Where Utopia and Reality meet

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    The issue of social and legal recognition of LGBTQ families is of high importance when exploring the possibility of a family. Of equal importance is the fact that both society and the individual contribute to the overall recognition of LGBTQ families. This paper is a conceptual discussion, by methodology, of both sides; it uses a method of constructive analysis to expound on this issue. This method?s aim is to broaden conceptual theory, and introduce a new relationship between concepts that were previously not associated by evidence. This exploration has found that LGBTQ realities from an international perspective may differ and both legal and social rights are critical toward self-consciousness and the formation of a family. This paper asserts that internalised and historic oppression of LGBTQ individuals, places them, not always and not in all places, in a disadvantageous position as far as engaging with the potential of forming a family goes. The paper concludes that lack of social recognition and internalised oppression are key barriers regarding LGBTQ families

    El impacto del COVID-19 en la muerte y el duelo

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    The world recently faced a new virus called Covid-19. This airborne virus emerged rapidly and spread across the world, causing a state of crisis for all nations, and forcing governments to impose restrictions with the aim of safeguarding public health. These restrictions primarily stipulated the need for physical distancing (often referred to as social distancing in the Covid regulations), so that individuals and groups were not allowed to come together under any circumstances. Naturally, and as numerous publications and reports have shown to date, this measure had a drastic impact on social, political, religious, and economic life, leaving societies exposed to its potential effects. One area that saw tremendous changes is the area of caring for the dying and the bereaved. Death re-emerged in societies more publicly, and mass media coverage compelled political action on the subject. While dying was being re-institutionalized during the pandemic, the care of the deceased, traditions, customs, and funeral services were all undergoing transformations, and the use of technology became necessary for these to occur

    Negotiating belief in health and social care

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    Religion and belief, either as identities or concepts, have been explored by several contemporary theorists and researchers (e.g. Davie, 2013, 2015; Casanova, 1994; Bruce, 2011; Berger, 1999; Hervieu-LĂ©ger, 2000; Day, 2011; Woodhead and Catto, 2012; Dinham, 2009). The desire to examine religion and belief in the public sphere stemmed from the ambiguity of secularisation theories, suggesting a massive religious decline in societies. By and large, researchers in the twenty-first century have agreed that religion never went away, as per Berger?s (1967) original argument, but rather changed; the way people believe and engage with their religious or nonreligious faith is different. Nevertheless, and as religion privatised, considering modernity and more secular ideas in the public sphere, health and social care professionals found themselves in a position in which they lack appropriate language and skills to engage with religion and belief (Dinham and Francis, 2015) and, therefore, unable to fully appreciate service users? lived experience (Pentaris, 2014). The latter has both short-term and long-term effects, but highlights some ethical issues, deeply rooted in the principles of human rights; predominantly, respect for the other and dignified care

    The cultural context of dying: Hawai’ian death conceptions and the gender divide

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    People ascribe a different meaning to dying and, therefore, approach their own death or grief for the other in various ways. Such approaches are the product of the intersection of people?s identities and experience; these go part and parcel with the way individuals view the world. Consequently, to be cared for when dying or grieving requires concrete knowledge and understanding of own identities from the professionals? perspectives. In this premise, by means of a survey (n=55) and interviewing (n=10), the present paper reports on empirical data from Hawai`i about death conceptions and the gender divide. The study concludes that men and women share many conceptions about death but differ based on what constitutes normative grief and how it is expressed. This information adds to the knowledge held by helping professions like social work, counselling and psychology, with the aim to advance evidence that informs practice with the dying and/or bereaved from this background

    Memorial video tribute and the enfranchised grief of a gay widower

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    Doka (2008) introduced the term ‘disenfranchised grief ’ to refer to the form of grief that lacks social recognition. This paper argues that disenfranchised grief can find recognition and support via online communities, and it introduces this as enfranchised grief. Media and communication technologies have been widely used to communicate death and dying, while a vast number of the population, globally, has access to the information. Numerous deaths of celebrities have been covered by the news and Internet sources with a global effect, as those have also initiated mass feelings of grief and remembrance (i.e. Princess Diana). Video platforms online have been widely used to upload and share memorial video tributes of loved ones. Yet it is important to remember that the video sharing online has multiple roles to play, besides the commemoration of the deceased. This article will focus on YouTube memorial video tributes, but not in large. It explores gay widowers and the sense of belonging that the bereaved gain from memorial videos. Gay widowers may adapt to the same social role as their counterparts, straight widowers, but with higher challenges. Using the case study of Bridegroom YouTube video, this article will expand on how YouTube memorial video tributes may serve as the mean for a sense of belonging and acceptance of the role of the griever. With this exemplar, the form of enfranchised grief in the online communities is suggested. This article draws from a content analysis of a ten-minute long YouTube video and concludes to the communal character of YouTube commemoration

    Dying in a transhumanist and posthuman society

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    Exploring both the intrapersonal (moral) and interpersonal (ethical) nature of death and dying in the context of their development (philosophical), Dying in a Transhumanist and Posthuman Society shows how death and dying have been and will continue to be governed in any given society. Drawing on transhumanism and discourses about posthumanity, life prolongation and digital life, the book analyses death, dying and grief via the governance of dying. It states that the bio-medical dimensions of our understanding of death and dying have predominated not only the discourses about death in society and the care of the dying, but their policy and practice as well. It seeks to provoke thinking beyond the benefits of technology and within the confinements of the world transhumanists describe. This book is written for all who have an interest in thanatology (i.e. death studies) but will be useful specifically to those investigating the experiences of dying and grieving in contemporary societies, wherein technology, biology and medicine continuously advance. Thus, the manuscript will be of interest to researchers in a broad range of areas including health and social care, social policy, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, cultural studies, and, of course, thanatology

    Religion and Belief in the Public Sphere of Eastern Europe

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    This special issue of the social research journal “Culture and Society” contributes to theoretical discussions about the role of religion in public sphere of contemporary societies and provides some new empirical insights. It particularly focuses on the region of Eastern Europe that has seen recent and most significant social, political and economic transformations
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