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Week 1&2 - Sociological Approach, Mortality, Defining Death

by: Rebecca Stewart

Week 1&2 - Sociological Approach, Mortality, Defining Death 3267

Marketplace > University of North Carolina - Charlotte > Sociology > 3267 > Week 1 2 Sociological Approach Mortality Defining Death
Rebecca Stewart

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These notes cover everything discussed the first two weeks of class that will be on the first exam. (1/3)
Death, Dying, and Bereavement
Dr. Diane Zablotsky
Class Notes
Sociological Approach, defining death, sociology, Death, Dying, bereavement, mortality
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Stewart on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 3267 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by Dr. Diane Zablotsky in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 63 views. For similar materials see Death, Dying, and Bereavement in Sociology at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.


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Date Created: 02/01/16
1/9/16 – 1/21/16 Death, Dying and Bereavement Class Notes (leming Ch.1) Week 1&2 – Why study death, dying, and bereavement? Sociological Imagination • 1958 • C. Wright Mills • We can understand what individual processes are by the greater social environment • Sociology seeks to explains how macro and micro influence each other o Macro- society o Micro – you (experiences, behaviors, processes) • Dynamic process • Why do people act/do the things they do? Roles - the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation Status – position in society and other people, which comes with responsibilities and obligations (expectations to each other) • Example: students, professors, woman, employee, daughter • Difference in power (levels) You occupy a Status, but you play a role Norms- patterns of behavior (expected behaviors) • Mores – moral, “what kind of person does that?” • Folkways – based on tradition or what is typical (example: eating with fork) • Laws – don’t provide or meet law, you can get a legal consequence (jail) • How to tell the difference of types is the consequence you face when you break it Social Institutions- society has to carry out, arrange us to do things that have to be done • Education – passing on our culture (material and nonmaterial culture)/school • Economy – find a way to share resources o Collaboration of resources • Political legal system- find a way to share resources o Arrange ourselves • Family - biological mother, father, offspring step fathers, families, adoption • Religion – every society humans have universal questions: o Where did I come from, What am I suppose to do, where do I go next o Humans have a soul, death rituals are designed to move souls to next place § Rules of behavior you need to follow to go to a pleasurable destination Classical Theories – • Conflict – o Both micro and macro levels o How status affects what we get (should we get what we need or get equal amount?) 1/9/16 – 1/21/16 Death, Dying and Bereavement Class Notes (leming Ch.1) o Assumes that no matter what resource, there is a fixed amount o Assumes that strategies and activities to access resources o Not in human nature to share resources • Structural functionalism – how institutional arrangement fits together and how they change o Macro level o Assumes that institutions work in a way that is best for society and that social change occurs slowly. When social change occurs in institutions it impacts others negatively/positively (not changed universally) § Negative outcome – dysfunction § Positive outcome - § Example: nuclear family and one child policy o Applied at macro level, • Symbolic interaction – sharing of symbols, which represent status o Micro level o Language – name, could use the same word in different ways and it has different meanings § Most powerful o Flags – how to treat a flag o Uniforms – authority o Cars o Size and amount of the things we own • Exchange – human beings are fairly rational. Behaviors are used to reduce risk and increase rewards o Obligation vs. guilt o “Be nice to your children, they choose your nursing home” o Examples: § Dating § Shoplifting § Lottery (but not rational) Inheritance tax & death tax • Inheritance tax – look at death and money received is income, so you pay taxes • Death tax- political route *For exam be able to take phenomenon and behavior and explain why it exists and what category it belongs to Methods • Qualitative – observation, open ended interviews • Quantitative – measures that can be manipulated o Deeper understanding o Numerical o Examples: surveys and questionnaires (usually close or open ended) • Close ended – numbers. From 1-10, how comfortable do you feel discussing x? 1/9/16 – 1/21/16 Death, Dying and Bereavement Class Notes (leming Ch.1) • Open-ended – tell me how you feel about x? Triangulation- employs more then 1 method when investigating phenomenon • Example: observe and conduct survey Content analysis – Homework: read obituaries in paper and look for cause of death, length, and pictures/what they look like OR card store John Riley – Structural Functionalism • Describe approaches • Death is universal (social) o In any society when someone dies, four things have to occur o These are learned behaviors, symbolic interaction 1. Corpse must be disposed (cremation, exposure, bury, consumption) 2. Vacated roles must be filled (example: teacher -> sub) 3. Property has to be redistributed 4. Re-establish solidarity of the deceased group (social group) • Family law is state law (Example: marriage age) • Topics: 1. Death as taboo o Example: suicide rates 2. Social organization of death o Where we die and who is there when we die o Hospice o Funeral rights 3. Bereavement 4. Widowhood 5. Social stressors of death o Poverty (example: flint Michigan) o AIDS (conflict theory) 6. Suicide What’s left to explore? • No comprehensive theories • Process of dying • Technological imperative technology • Right and responsibilities o Should we have norms for dying? Callihan – “setting limits” book • Don’t give me any more medical care • Change social consciousness 1/9/16 – 1/21/16 Death, Dying and Bereavement Class Notes (leming Ch.1) • “Should we start saying to people, enough is enough” There is a difference between sociology in death, dying and bereavement and sociology of death, dying and bereavement • Of- second hand way employ the scientific method of death, dying and bereavement • In- Demography – study of population dynamics • Understand how the composition of a population changes and what is the impact of the change • We are at the end of a demographic transition (low mortality and fertility, high migration) o Two low and one high • Morbidity – illness o Incidents – number of newly diagnosed with a illness o Prevalence - accumulation of people with illness? • Acute condition – short term • Chronic condition – long term, age related, non curable • There are three ways a population changes 1. Fertility (adding) 2. Mortality (subtracting) • Infant mortality- death of infant, who doesn’t live to their first birthday 3. Migration (movement) Mortality rates (death) • 78.8 is the average life expectancy (because there was a decrease in infant mortality) • White females have the longest life expectancy • Men of color have the lowest life expectancy • Longer you live, the longer you will live o Age 65 – you will live another 19.3 years o Women 65 – you will live another 20.5 years In textbook: death of gender, race identification, and economic status Maximum life span: 125 years (longest recording 122) What infants die of (0-1 years) 1. Congenital birth anomalies (birth defects) 2. Accidents (SID) 3. Complications of heart What children die of (1-14 years) 1. Accidents 2. Cancer 1/9/16 – 1/21/16 Death, Dying and Bereavement Class Notes (leming Ch.1) 3. Congenital anomalies 4. Child abuse What adolescence die of (15-24 years) 1. Accidents 2. Homicide 3. Suicide What mid-adulthood die of (25-64 years) 1. Cancer 2. Heart disease 3. Accidents 4. Pulmonary disease What elders die of (65+) 1. Heart disease 2. Cancer 3. Stroke 4. Accident


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