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Making sense of family deaths in urban Senegal: diversities, contexts and comparisons

Ribbens McCarthy, J., Evans, R. ORCID:, Bowlby, S. and Wouango, J. (2020) Making sense of family deaths in urban Senegal: diversities, contexts and comparisons. Omega - Journal of Death and Dying, 82 (2). pp. 230-260. ISSN 0030-2228

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0030222818805351


Despite calls for cross-cultural research, Minority world perspectives still dominate death and bereavement studies, emphasising individualised emotions and neglecting contextual diversities. In research concerned with contemporary African societies, on the other hand, death and loss are generally subsumed within concerns about AIDS or poverty, with little attention paid to the emotional and personal significance of a death. Here we draw on interactionist sociology to present major themes from a qualitative study of family deaths in urban Senegal, theoretically framed through the duality of meanings-in-context. Such themes included: family and community as support and motivation; religious beliefs and practices as frameworks for solace and (regulatory) meaning; material circumstances as these are intrinsically bound up with emotions. While we identify the experience of (embodied, emotional) pain as a common response across Minority and Majority worlds, we also explore significant divergencies, varying according to localised contexts and broader power dynamics.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Human Environments
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:79519
Uncontrolled Keywords:family deaths; Africa; materiality; emotions; Islam
Publisher:Baywood Publishing Company


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