Death wears a T-Shirt: listening to young people talk about death

Coombs, Sarah (2014) Death wears a T-Shirt: listening to young people talk about death. Mortality: promoting the interdisciplinary study of death and dying, 19 (3). pp. 284-302. ISSN 1357-6275

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This article, drawing on data from a wider study, concentrates on young people’s use of contemporary media sources to reflect upon the presence of death within their everyday lives. It examines the conversations of 29 participants, aged between 10 and 17 years, who came together in small friendship groups to explore this topic. The young people chose household objects that evoked death for them, which they placed in shoeboxes and brought along for discussion. The artefacts were many and varied; a significant number were connected to cultural sources, for example, literature, cinema and television and contained an assortment of cultural representations of death as conversely romantic, heroic, violent and glamorous. Young people drew upon these ‘cultural scripts’ to uncover a multiplicity of deathways and examine their own unique interpretations of these. It has been argued that adults assume young people do not, cannot and should not think about death. This research challenges those assumptions by highlighting the enthusiasm of young people to engage with this topic against a contemporary backdrop of media sources, stories and scripts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: death, young people, media, stories, cultural scripts
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Young People & Education
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2018 13:26
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2018 13:26

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