IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Post-mortem social death - exploring the absence of the deceased


  • Annika Jonsson


The concept of social death is commonly used to describe how individuals or groups are condemned to existential homelessness at the outskirts of ordinary, human society. This article, however, explores social death as post-mortem phenomenon in contemporary Sweden. It is well known that lives may be extended beyond the grave through the practices and beliefs of the living, but not all the dead gain a social existence. For various reasons the living may not wish or be able to construe continuing bonds with their deceased, and as a consequence the deceased disappear from social life. Depending on the circumstances, this could be painful to or a relief for the living. It may also go unnoticed. Based on both individual and group interviews, this article investigates why some face post-mortem social death and others do not, and what shades of post-mortem social death there might be.

Suggested Citation

  • Annika Jonsson, 2015. "Post-mortem social death - exploring the absence of the deceased," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 284-295, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:10:y:2015:i:3:p:284-295
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2015.1078117

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:10:y:2015:i:3:p:284-295. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.