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This course provides a comprehensive overview of the study of death and dying, covering key issues and questions in the field. We will examine historical influences and cross-cultural perspectives that impact our personal and social attitudes regarding death. Theoretical frameworks, explanatory models and developmental approaches to understanding death, dying and bereavement will be discussed. Significant attention will be placed on understanding the diversity of reactions to death, loss and grief. This course explores death, dying, and bereavement from multiple perspectives, using a variety of sources. Sociological, psychological, anthropological, historical, medical, and spiritual investigations and explanations will be considered. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the experiences of dying persons and their loved ones as well as the role and function of social organizations and systems in the experience of death, dying and bereavement. Implications for practice, policy and research will be discussed. Each student comes to the course with prior knowledge about and experience with death, dying, and bereavement. This course is both intellectual and affective, aiming to enhance success in learning, retaining, and integrating essential information while creating opportunities to apply this information to personal attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavior. Students are encouraged to examine their own feelings and beliefs about the topic and share their personal experiences and reactions regarding the issues raised in readings, class discussions, and assignments.
Kelly Melekis ()
Dates: June 15 - July 10, 2015
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