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A sociological account of pain, suffering and death: individual and social experience

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Sociology, Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 7, Issue (2), Pages 4-13, February,14 (2018)


The social aspect of pain can be comprehended from the way society interprets and responds to the phenomenon of pain. Hence, pain can be examined in relation to death, which is inclusive of the social nature of death and consequent response of the living to the loss of the individual. The notion of death can also be examined in the context of symbolic death, as illustrated in the analysis of initiation rituals. The conversion of the initiand, as represented in terms of the symbolic death and rebirth, by the society reflects the subservience of the individual to the power of the collective. The ethnographic studies address the issue of the nature of authority exercised by the society and its relation to the individual experience of pain and suffering.


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