Saturday, 20 October 2018

Slipping Away. Grief: Universal + Culturally Defined

"It seems reasonable to expect that the cross-cultural study of grief would have been a good subject for the emerging field of cross-cultural psychology because it is a shared experience among peoples. It also seems reasonable to expect that it would be a subject in the very old field of psychology of religion, because a part of the rituals and beliefs of the major religious traditions concern transcending death (see Chidester, 1990). Neither expectation turns out to be realized."

"Grief is understood to be universal, but grief has “variations” in different cultures just as, it seems, in a musical score there can be variations on a melody. “Death and grief, though they are universal, . . . occur within a social milieu, and deeply embedded within each person’s reality” (Irish, Lundquist, & Nelsen, p. 187), that is, the universal is only experienced within culturally defined reality."

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Klass, D. (1999). Developing a Cross-Cultural Model of Grief: The State of the Field. OMEGA, 39(3), 153-178.