© 2019

Death Matters

Cultural Sociology of Mortal Life

  • Tora Holmberg
  • Annika Jonsson
  • Fredrik Palm
  • Provides a deeper understanding of how death comes to matter in contemporary social affairs

  • Applies a shared cultural sociological focus on a variety case studies, inspiring and stimulating further discussions in the field of death studies

  • Analyses how death emerges in processes of subjectivity and materiality in everyday life


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Tora Holmberg, Annika Jonsson, Fredrik Palm
    Pages 1-21
  3. Places of Absence-Presence

  4. Disease/Bodies

  5. Persons and Non-Persons

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 281-289

About this book


This book investigates death and mortality through a cultural sociological lens. The concept of death tends to remain constantly at the edge of our consciousness, intruding on our everyday experiences and practices. Death Matters is a significant contribution to death studies, going beyond traditional parameters of the field by addressing the cultural omnipresence of death. 

The contributions analyses several death-related meaning-making processes, arguing that meanings emerging from culturally shared narratives, social institutions, and material conditions, are just as important as ’death practices’ in understanding the role of death in society. Drawing on the related themes of places of absence and presence, disease and bodies, and persons and non-persons, the authors explore a variety of areas of social life, from haunting to celebrity deaths, to move the notion of death from the margins of social reality to ongoing everyday life.

This far-reaching socio-cultural collection will be of use to scholars and students across death studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, culture, media and communication studies.  


Cultural sociology Mortality Dying Materiality Death in society Death studies

Editors and affiliations

  • Tora Holmberg
    • 1
  • Annika Jonsson
    • 2
  • Fredrik Palm
    • 3
  1. 1.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden
  3. 3.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

About the editors

Tora Holmberg is Professor in Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Annika Jonsson is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social and Psychological Studies, University of Karlstad, Sweden.


Fredrik Palm is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Sweden. 

Bibliographic information