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Title: 'Feel the pain' : death, grief and bereavement counselling in the North East of England
Author: Árnason, Arnar
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 732X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis is about death, grief and bereavement counselling in the North East of England. It is based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out over a period of three years. I have three main objectives in this thesis. Arguing that the anthropology of death has neglected grief, I seek to describe and explain how people in the North East of England experience grief; how they make sense of the death of their loved ones, and their own reactions to those deaths. Working with interviews with bereaved people and drawing upon work in narrative analysis about the importance of stories in how we think, interact and relate to other people, I focus especially on the stories that bereaved people tell in their grief. I seek to illuminate, too, how grief is managed in the North East. In particular, I focus on bereavement counselling which has, I suggest, assumed something of an authority over how people should grieve. Seeking inspiration from the anthropolo gy of emotion and the Foucauldian notions of discourse and 'technologies of the self', I examine how grief is constituted in bereavement counselling both in training and practice. Finally, I compare how bereaved people experience grief with the construction of grief in bereavement counselling. In bereavement counselling the focus is upon the emotions the bereaved is experiencing in the present; grief is understood as an emotion that has its origin and location inside the individual mourner now. For bereaved people, grief is a part of their ongoing relationships and interactions with their loved ones, and other people around them, and as such it is a feature of the history of those relationships and interactions. The difference between the experiences of the bereaved and the workings of bereavement counselling IS explained by placing the latter in the context of modem govemmentality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology of death; Emotions; narratives