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General Reflections on Privatization of Death in Late Modernity: when does loneliness come into picture and why? (2008-2009)

Author: TOPLEAN, Adela
Institutional affiliation / ORCID: 0000-0001-8878-1830
Field of study: Sociology of Death and Dying, Thanatology, Death Studies

The aim of this study is simultaneously modest and implausibly adventurous. We will make an attempt to bring to your attention a few underrated theoretical obstacles in late modern sociological research of death and dying. For doing so, we are obliged to put up with an uncomfortable procedure: that of discerning between correctly rated, underrated and overrated “truths” in a multi-determined yet accurately up-dated academic field. First, let us explain the “self-accusation” of implausibility: approaching different kinds of loneliness and/or solitude, as a collateral, but decisive concern meant to further explain late modern approach of death and dying, led to a seeming taking over of the secondary “problem” over the primary “problem”. In our yet-to-come book we have taken our time and space to explain the overlapping of “loneliness” and “death” in late modernity; however the present study, aiming to capture major aspects of both “problems” without always displaying thoroughly enough the reasoning behind, may suggest, at times, a certain modesty of researching tools and a certain uncertainty of researching questions. We hope we will succeed to honestly deal with both disadvantages. Among the honest (research) questions one may raise could be the following: how should sociology and thanatology deal with death without overlooking its fundamentally existential nature? What should we take into account? What should we leave aside? Could one actually claim firm theoretical standpoints? What would we call “legitimate” methodological procedures when it comes to studying death and dying? And eventually, would they be relevant for leading to minimally decent (and entirely honest) conclusions?

Keywords: death, dying,

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