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The Productivity of Death: Post-human Perspectives on Death as a rupture in the everyday life
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (pedagogiskt arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5296-6275
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

According to many sociologist (cf. Baumann 1992, Berger 1969, Davies 1997, 2005), death reveals the precariousness of not only the individual human subject, but of all social worlds. Thus, the point of departure for sociological and cultural studies on death is often the notion of death as obliteration and the end of life as we know it. This notion serves as point of departure for studies on how individuals and collectives develop cultural practices in order to negotiate the irrevocability and finality of life that death implies. In this way, death serves as the target for the development of religion, of funeral practices, of memorials and memorialisation, of a plethora of artefacts, and of formations of societies and nations.

In this presentation I want to turn things around. Instead of seeing death as the object and target for social and cultural practices, my point of departure is the agency and productivity of death. Drawing on post-humanist theory (Deleuze and Guattari (1988, Latour 2005), I want make trouble with the common dichotomous notion of death and life. Moving away from a conception of death and life as each other’s opposites, I want to explore death as an assemblage, produced by multiple elements and phenomena, as well as producing multiple elements and phenomena. Specifically, I want to shed light on the productivity of death. Using examples from my different studies on death, bereavement, and memorialisation (Reimers 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2012), my argument is that assemblages of death produces new relations, new becomings, and therefore should not be seen as neither the end or the opposite of life. Death is becoming.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
death, death practices, posthumanism
Keyword [sv]
död, dödspraktiker, posthumanism
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131055OAI: diva2:958306
Death and Culture Conference, University of York, York, UK, September 1-3, 2016
Cemetery Architecture - Meaning making Intentions, Needs and Experiences (Camine)
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-09-06 Created: 2016-09-06 Last updated: 2016-09-13Bibliographically approved

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Reimers, Eva
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Department of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Educational Sciences
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