Gustavsson, Anders: Cultural studies on death and dying in Scandinavia

Gustavsson, Anders: Cultural studies on death and dying in Scandinavia

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Death has comprised a major theme in my cultural science research during the first decade of the present century. I have presented a variety of different partial ­results at international conferences and symposia arranged by ISFNR.

(The International Society for Folk Narrative ­Research), SIEF (The Society Inter­national of Ethnology and Folklore) and NNT (Nordic Network of Thanatology). Acting upon the advice of foreign colleagues, I have now assembled these partial results for publication in English. This is done in order to give an international circle of readers an opportunity to ­acquaint themselves, in a single volume, with the research I have conducted in Scandinavia in the past decade. One field of study concerns the symbols found on gravestones in Norway and Sweden in the 1990s. Memorial sites on the Internet are a new form for expressing grief and for remembering deceased relatives and friends. Such memorial sites are also set up for dead pets.

Anders Gustavsson, (b. 1940), professor of cultural history at the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, 1997-2010 and senior professor since 2011. PhD from the University of Lund, 1972, then reader in ethnology at Lund, part time also in Gothenburg and Bergen; professor of ethnology, University of Uppsala, 1987-1997. His research has concerned popular religion, popular movements with emphasis on temperance and revivalistic movements, coastal culture, cultural meetings, tourism, border cultures, rites of passage, gravestone symbolism, memorial internet websites, popular paintings, fieldwork methodology, etc.


Introduction 7

1 Death in a nineteenth-century agrarian society 11
2 Gravestone symbols used during 1990s in Norway and Sweden 39
3 The effect of revival movements on choice of present-day gravestone symbols 78
4 Death and the use of the senses in religious revival movements 87
5 Ethics and death 93
6 Symbols on feline graves in a comparative perspective: Sweden, France and Portugal 106
7 Rituals around sudden death in recent years 123
8 Conceptions of faith as expressed on memorial Internet websites in Norway and Sweden. An existence after death? 142
9 Messages on memorial Internet websites relating to suicide in Norway and Sweden 162
10 Expressions of faith and narratives about deceased pets on the Internet in Sweden compared with Norway and Germany 181
11 Reviews of studies on death and dying 197

ISBN 978-82-7099-639-1, 215 pp., hardcover
Format: 17x24 cm, weight 0,7 kg, year of publication: 2011, language: English

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