2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Scholarly interest in the varied dimensions of death and dying has led to the development of death studies that move beyond medical research to include behavioral science disciplines and practitioner-oriented fields such as psychology, gerontology, sociology, thanatology, anthropology, social work, counseling, law and family studies. As a result of this interdisciplinary interest, the literature in the field of death and the human experience studies has proliferated. Death-related terms and concepts such as appropriate death, body farms, contemporary and historical causes of death, caregiving and the death-care industry, dance of death (danse macabre), equivocal death, end-of-life decision making, life insurance, the history of hospice, near-death experiences, cemeteries, memorials, viatical settlements, suicide, medical mistakes, advance directives, family and caregiver stress, SIDS, cryonics, cyber-funerals, global beliefs and traditions, death denial, and social movements as well as interdisciplinary and practitioner-oriented perspectives on death now hold important family, economic, medical, legal and global social psychological consequences. As a result, many terms and phrases are now part of common everyday social discourse and media reporting. The lexicon relating to dying, death and the human experience is expansive, thus lending itself to the need to establish consistency in "vocabulary of death" meanings. The Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience does so, and this two-volume library reference is enriched through multidisciplinary contributions and perspective as it arranges, organizes, defines and clarifies an impressive list of more than 300 death-related concepts for the use of students and scholars, while facilitating a more refined and sensitive understanding of the field for an increasingly interested public.