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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 330C • Death and Dying: Socological Perspective

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46415 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
UTC 4.134

Course Description

This course provides a sociological overview of death and dying. Course topics include definitions of death, the demographics of death, social epidemiology, social meanings of death and dying, treatment of the dying and the dead, the process of dying, and grief and bereavement.

The course is divided into 4 general units:
1. Who dies and why (e.g., mortality patterns, epidemiology) 2. Social aspects of death and dying (funerals, religion and death, media and death)
3. The process of dying (terminal diagnosis, stage theories of death and dying)
4. Grief and bereavement (special focus on widowhood and death of a parent)

Grading Policy

Three in-class multiple choice exams 25%
Course project 25%

There will be one course project. Students are required to compile a collection of images of death in the media. This exercise is designed to increase students' awareness of the social definition of death experiences and the attitudes and behaviors that the media fosters toward death.


Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie Doubleday, 1997, (Available in paperback) Debra Umberson, Death of a Parent: Transition to a New Adult Identity Cambridge University Press, 2003--2006, available in paperback
Additional readings to be posted on Blackboard.


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