The Politics of Mourning: Grief Management in Cross-cultural Fiction

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 239 pages
This study is an interdisciplinary inquiry that combines an examination of multi-ethnic literature from a vast variety of cultural environments together with contemporary psychotherapy. We live in an age in which mass grief - both the direct experience of it through natural and man-made disasters and the vicarious viewing of it through the media - has become a major cultural phenomenon. Posttraumatic loss resulting from terrorism, a relatively new site for the shared activity of mourning, makes it pertinent to examine the lessons that fiction can teach us about bereavement therapy and loss resolution. Does one's gender, race, skin color, nationality, cultural upbringing, or religious background have any impact upon the manner in which people from varying cultural environments choose to mourn their loss and resolve grief?
By using the comparative literary approach, the author has been able to throw light on the manner in which mainstream Western mourning practices and behavior have been influenced and altered by exposure to those of minorities. Similarly, the author has argued that an examination of multi-ethnic literature teaches us that there is a need for counselors to apply sensitivity and understanding to the dictates of the socio-cultural background of their minority patients as they recommend methods of therapeutic healing. Finally, the book recommends the employment of international short fiction in the bereavement clinic as a means by which patients might resolve loss and achieve healing.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Introduction
13
Moving from Monocultural to CrossCultural Psychotherapy Through an Examination of Grief Pathographies
21
Grief and Grief Management Definitions and History from Freud to Abraham and Torok
40
The Stages of Grieving and the Tasks of Mourning in Multicultural Grief Pathographies
66
Grief Therapy Across CulturesPart 1 Gender Differences in Mourning
99
Grief Therapy Across CulturesPart 2 ReligioCultural Expectations Regarding Loss and Grief
139
Measuring Loss Space Time Format and Closure in Grief Pathographies
188
Conclusion
220
Notes
225
Bibliography
227
Index
234
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