Palliative Care Nursing: Principles and Evidence for Practice

By Sheila Payne; Jane Seymour et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

20
The impact of socialization on the
dying process

Kay Mitchell

There are many aspects that are common across cultures (culture-common) rather than specific to one culture only (culture-specific) and there are certain values related to the dying experience that appear to be universally shared. This includes the hope that death will be achieved peacefully with minimal suffering and in the way preferred by the dying person (Kashiwagi 1991). However, the way this goal is achieved may differ between cultures and these differences may render some aspects of the death and dying experience 'culture-specific'. We are born, live and die within a social context and this chapter is an attempt to explore how socialization within such a context may impact on the dying experience. Here, I take culture to refer to the social context within which the person lives and works the macroculture of country of domicile, but also the institutions that form microcultures within each country, such as professional discipline, religion and ethnicity. The term 'society' is taken to refer to the wider social context, which may contain many micro-cultures.

Cultural relativism, a theory about the nature of morality, reminds us that many of our own beliefs probably owe more to cultural teaching than absolute truth (Rachels 1993). The social institutions that inform end-of-life care may be comparable on a macro level across many countries (e.g. the law, health, medicine and social values). However, the interpretation and application of philosophical values within these institutions may differ and it is here that the value of comparison becomes evident in exposing the culturally relevant perspective. Viewing seemingly different perspectives of two cultures through an ethnocentric lens, we may sometimes overestimate these differences.

Rachels (1993) uses the example of a very poor culture who believe that it is wrong to eat cows. Although people may starve, the cows remain untouched. The values in this culture appear very different from the values of a culture that puts the life of humans before the life of animals. However, the difference is in the significance of the cow. While one culture believes it is an animal less than human and to be used by humans, the other believes the

-402-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Palliative Care Nursing: Principles and Evidence for Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 792

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?