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Dismantling the Person?: Death and Personhood

  • Cathrine Degnen
Chapter

Abstract

Personhood does not always end with death. This chapter explores cross-cultural variations in the extent to which both the living and the dead are understood to be persons and the agency of the dead themselves in the lives of the living. Under consideration here are how cross-cultural practices of grieving, mourning, disposal of the corpse, and memorialising help to illuminate understandings of personhood. As well as examining how death is often perceived as a long process of transition from one form of personhood to another and not a sudden event, this chapter also contemplates how social relations in a number of cultural setting continue after death. In so doing, the certitude of Western linear models of development and of the life course is further problematised.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathrine Degnen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography, Politics & SociologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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