Centre for Death and Society Conference 2014 Social Death
7-8 June 2014 Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institute, Bath, United Kingdom
Social death can refer to the extinction of an individual’s social or legal identity/agency, either before or sometime after physical death, and may be self or other inflicted; it can also refer to the death of a social group or culture. Before physical death, it can mean being treated as a thing or commodity, disintegration of social networks, extreme isolation, or forced removal of individuals/groups from their group/land of origin/belonging. After physical death, the deceased’s social identity and even possibly agency can be kept alive in a number of ways. The term ‘social death’, often meaning rather different things, has been developed independently by researchers in a range of fields, including gerontology, dementia, psychology and death studies, but also mental health, the history of slavery, and genocide studies.
Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) annual conferences are not general death studies conferences, but focus varied disciplinary perspectives on a specific topic.
This conference will, we believe, be the first time that scholars and practitioners from diverse fields will meet together to discuss the concept of social death – its utility, conceptualisation, history, and politics. As in previous CDAS annual conferences, our aim is to bring together research and knowledge that has hitherto been somewhat fragmented.