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Death and Sociology

A BSA Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group Event

2 December 2021

About the Event

The academic study of death, dying and bereavement has become typically associated with disciplines beyond sociology, such as medicine, psychology and psychiatry. Consequently, knowledge about death, dying and bereavement has often focused more on individuals, symptoms or treatments, and less on a holistic lived experience, the social contexts in which life is lived, and the context(s) in which loss occurs. Yet there is much to be gained from developing a more contextual understanding of DDB. For example, the prevailing assumption that grief is a negative emotion to be addressed can overlook the potential value of this emotion and how death can also mean liberation, economic change and (possibly welcomed) relational shifts. What is more, over the past year with Covid-19 we have been reminded of the limitations of individualistic discourses on death and witnessed the value and meaning of shared experiences of funeral rites and bereavement.

In celebration of the study group entering its third decade, in this year’s annual symposium we aim to revisit the group’s origins with a focus on what sociology can uniquely offer the study of death, dying and bereavement. We are particularly interested in exploring how the application of a sociological way of thinking about death, dying and bereavement can allow for a broader and much richer awareness of the way in which the end of life, and what happens afterwards, is experienced.

Topics will include, but will not be limited to:

  • Application of sociological theory to contemporary and historical death, dying and bereavement.
  • Use of sociological research methods.
  • Sociology in professional practice.

The symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, 2 December 2021. An online access link will be sent via email to all registered attendees.


Registration for this event is OPEN.

  • BSA members: £20
  • BSA Concessionary Members: £10
  • Non-members: £30
  • Non-member Students: £15

Funded Places

This year we have made the decision to charge a fee for participants to attend our seminar. This decision has made to enable us to support the overall running costs of the BSA who support us in the administration of the event. In order to reflect the challenging times in which many academics and researchers are operating, we have kept these costs to an absolute minimum. We have also have a small amount of funding from the study group budget that we would like to use to support attendees for whom the fee would be prohibitive, and who would not be otherwise able to attend.

These funds are limited and we may not be able to support all those who request a few space. Therefore in order to ensure we make the allocation of these spaces as fair as possible please contact us at BSADDB@gmail.com by Friday, 19 November 2021 providing a brief outline of why you require the subsidised place (maximum of 100 words).  These details will be kept confidential and shared only between the three convenors.

More details about the study group can be found here.

For more information or informal discussion about the theme of the symposium, contact BSADDB@gmail.com.