Social Construction Of Death In American Culture

734 Words3 Pages
Death and Dying is viewed differently across all aspects of our American society. The western side of our country has historically viewed death from the perspective that you can defy death. Whereas, the eastern side has viewed death from the perspective that one needs to accept death, and that it is sacred. The disparity surrounding death is a result of the different types of cultures we have in the United States. All people have a “right to die”. The “right to die” is dependent upon what one’s cultural beliefs are, and is dependent on what state one resides in.
The social construction of death in the United States is cross-cultural. Death is truly a socially constructed idea. The orientations people have towards death are learned from the beliefs, language, religious and funerary rituals of their culture. Cultures create their own theories of morality and teach their members to believe in it. Cultures can be death accepting, hedonistic, pessimistic,
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At the age of twenty-nine, Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Mulitiforme, the most aggressive and lethal form of brain cancer (Griffin, 2014). She was given only six months to live and did not want to die in pain, but rather to die with dignity. She made the decision to exercise her “right to die” and chose to move to one of the five states that allows terminally ill patients the right to die with dignity. She moved from California to Oregon as Oregon is a state that has the “right to die” legislation (Griffin, 2014). She and her family had made it clear that during all this madness, it was reassuring to know that she would not have to suffer. The fact that only five of the fifty states in America has this legislation clearly proves that the social construction of death is not
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