Neoliberalism, individual responsibilization and the death positivity movement

Koksvik, G. (2020) Neoliberalism, individual responsibilization and the death positivity movement. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 23(6), pp. 951-967. (doi: 10.1177/1367877920924426)

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In this article I offer a critical analysis of the loosely defined death positivity movement. Death positivity presents itself as oppositional and liberating, gaining legitimacy by reference to the narratives of death taboo and death denial. I show how the movement encourages extending continuous, self-reflexive engagement in identity and lifestyle to dying and death, arguing that death positivity employs and advocates a particular enterprising culture and furthers a neoliberal discourse of individual responsibilization. To make my argument, I look more closely at the death-positive discourse as it is furthered by two North American initiatives in particular; Death Over Dinner as presented by its founder Michael Hebb in the 2018 book about the initiative, and selected videos published by Order of the Good Death, spearheaded by mortician, author and YouTube personality Caitlin Doughty.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Koksvik, Dr Gitte
Authors: Koksvik, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:International Journal of Cultural Studies
ISSN (Online):1460-356X
Published Online:01 June 2020

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