The global spread of death café: a cultural intervention relevant to policy?

Richards, N. , Koksvik, G. H., Gerson, S. M. and Clark, D. (2020) The global spread of death café: a cultural intervention relevant to policy? Social Policy and Society, 19(4), pp. 553-572. (doi: 10.1017/S1474746420000081)

207778.pdf - Accepted Version



New demographic and epidemiological trends mean people are dying at older ages and over long periods of time, from multiple, chronic illnesses. There is a perception that these growing and changing needs will require novel community responses. One starting point is having ‘conversations’ about dying and death, and in this the phenomenon of ‘Death Café’ merits attention. In the first study of its kind, we report on interviews with forty-nine Death Café organisers in thirty-four countries, exploring how this ‘cultural intervention’, first developed in the UK, has transferred elsewhere. Using thematic analysis, we identify competing tensions between: local translation of Death Café and a desire for international alignment alongside instrumental use of the Death Café form and its incidental effects. The passion and commitment of Death Café organisers is compelling but may not lead to the behavioural change required to support a new public face of dying.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David and Gerson, Dr Sheri Mila and Koksvik, Dr Gitte and Richards, Dr Naomi
Authors: Richards, N., Koksvik, G. H., Gerson, S. M., and Clark, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Social Policy and Society
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1475-3073
Published Online:17 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Social Policy and Society 19(4): 553-572
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170345Interventions at the end of life: social, historical and comparative analysis to promote global improvement.David ClarkWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)103319/Z/13/ZIS - Interdisciplinary Studies