Familiarity with death

Pentaris, Panagiotis and Woodthorpe, Kate. 2021. Familiarity with death. In: Panagiotis Pentaris, ed. Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of COVID-19. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 15-28. ISBN 9780367647322 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In this chapter, we consider the pre-Covid-19 visibility of death in the public sphere and what the virus has done to raise the social and political profile of death in the public domain. We explore what Covid-19 has thrown up, challenged, or changed in terms of how people in the UK and beyond know and understand death, dying and bereavement, and how these vary between different groups of people. We argue that such a stark reminder about mortality and inequality within the population is much welcome and needed, for socio-economic improvements to be made.

Key points
• Pre-Covid-19, death has been concealed from public view, with recent efforts to (re)integrate death into everyday life.
• Covid-19 has triggered a (new) public visibility of death.
• News media has provided wide ranging coverage of Covid-19 deaths, including inequalities, to the extent that death has entered people’s homes as an everyday subject for discussion.
• These factors have necessitated a political response, and a long overdue politicisation of death.

Item Type:

Book Section

Identification Number (DOI):



death, dying, social inequality, loss, COVID19

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work


5 August 2021Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Oct 2022 10:10

Last Modified:

07 Oct 2022 10:10



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