Sociology of Death and the American Indian examines dying, death, disposal, and bereavement practices and applies those concepts to selectAmerican Indian tribes historically and currently, supplemented with oral histories. The focus is that learning about other cultures can enhance the understanding of one’s own culture by comparing traditional and modern societies. Gerry R. Cox addresses the centuries of injustices committed against American Indians that led to a neglect of learning about American Indian cultures and attempts to fill the gaps in knowledge of American Indian practices.
Gerry R. Cox is professor emeritus of sociology at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Foreword by Neil Thompson
Part I. Sociology of Dying, Death, and the American Indian
Chapter 1: Sociology of Dying and Death
Chapter 2. Why a Sociology of Dying and Death?
Chapter 3.Sociology of the American Indian
Chapter 4. Burial and Mortuary Customs of American Indians
Chapter 5. Culture of American Indians
Chapter 6 American Indian Cultural Denigration
Chapter 7. Problems in Understanding Other Cultures
Part II. Sociology of the American Indian Spirituality, Dying, and Death
Chapter 8. Sociology of American Indian Religion
Chapter 9. American Indian Religion and Death
Chapter 10. The Sacred Way and Loss: American Indian Spirituality
Chapter 11. Death and Intimacy Impairment in Later Life
Chapter 12. American Indian Grief: The Healing Path
Part III. Tribal Practices in Dying, Death, Disposal and Bereavement
Chapter 13. Anasazi Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 14. Aztec Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 15. Maya Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 16. Mounds Builders Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 17. The Dine (Navajo) Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 18. The Inde (Apache) and Tohono O’odham Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 19. Hopi Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 20. Lakota and Blackfeet Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 21. Cheyenne, Shawnee, and the Potawatomi Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Chapter 22. Ojibwe/Anishinabe/Chippewa, Shoshone, and Stockbridge-Munsee Disposal and Bereavement Practices
Part IV. Understanding the Sociology of Dying, Death, and the American Indian
Chapter 23. Dying: What We Can Learn from American Indians
About the Author
"Sociology of Death and the American Indian is Gerry R. Cox's magnum opus—a book of both great depth and breadth. Cox is deeply sensitive and respectful to Native American cultures. This book will be of great value to counselors, death educators, those interested in or focused on Native American life, sociologists, and the general public. It is destined to be the 'go-to' book for anyone interested in the ways that the diverse Native American communities handle death, dying, grief, and loss."
“In this amazing book, Gerry Cox tells a story worthy of the American Indians whom he loves. Written in clear, concise prose it is a treasure trove for all who care about this ancient heritage. This book will be of special interest to those professionals and volunteers providing palliative care and bereavement services. And it is, of course, valuable to the rest of us, who are all dying.”
“Sociology of Death and the American Indian’s most prominent strengths come from applications of the author’s professional background in sociology, his abiding interest in Native American cultural groups, and his expertise as a long-time educator in the field of dying, death, and bereavement. Special features of this book include its sensitivity to distinctions among American Indian groups, individuality among their members, and changes over time. Particularly impressive is this book’s detailed exploration of disposal and bereavement practices of sixteen distinct American Indian tribal groups. The overall lesson that emerges from this book is that studying cultural diversity provides opportunities for all to grow.”
“Gerry Cox has been one of the leading scholars of death, dying, and bereavement for over fifty years. In this book, Cox is at the height of his analytic powers. Impressive in scope and theoretical ambition, this book is destined to be the definitive text on American Indian death and bereavement practices. Based on extensive historical scholarship and oral histories collected from over forty American Indian reservations, Cox reveals the complexity and power of American Indian death rituals. As he notes, ‘death occurs to all people,’ making this text an essential contribution to understanding a universal experience.”
This is an essential, authoritative resource that provides a comprehensive, state-of-the-art account of loss, grief, and mourning of American Indians. A renowned expert in the field, Gerry Cox brings a professional lifetime of expertise and a unique sociological lens to this subject. This is a crucial work that tells a story of adversity and survival and moves us away from a simplistic rendering of American Indian life and death."