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November 2021

Death and dying: confluences of emotion and awareness

Journal/Book: Sociol Health Ill. 1999; 21: 108 Cowley Rd, Oxford Ox4 1Jf, Oxon, England. Blackwell Publ Ltd. 13-36.

Abstract: Using data from an introspective ethnography, this paper proposes a modified theory of awareness among dying patients, their families and medical personnel. By incorporating the sociology of emotions, this modified theory provides a richer understanding of the complexity of relationships in death and dying than the previous literature which focuses on knowledge and the management of knowledge in social interactions in the context of dying. It is suggested that awareness based on knowledge and the cognitive processing of information not only obscures the emotional content of terminal illness, but also moves to the background the emotional work performed by dying patients and their families. The modified version of awareness theory recognises that emotion and cognition are intertwined and pays close attention to emotions within the social context.

Note: Article Mamo L, Univ Calif San Francisco, Dept Social & Behav Sci, Box 0612, San Francisco,CA 94143 USA

Keyword(s): death and dying; awareness contexts; emotions; introspective ethnography; grounded theory; HEALTH

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