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Upton I 163
Grief/grieving/Cultural psychology/Upton: Sometimes a distinction is made between grief and mourning; grief is seen as a subjective state — a set of feelings that arise spontaneously after a significant death, whereas mourning describes the way in which grief is displayed. Mourning is often constrained by the rituals or behaviours prescribed by a culture. The Western approach to bereavement is not universal and displays of grief and mourning take different forms across the world.
These rituals are often heavily influenced by religion (Chachkes and Jennings. 1994)(1); for example, funerals may be an occasion for avoiding people or for holding a party (Metcalf and Huntington. 1991)(2).
Most societies have some concept of spiritual immortality, yet even here there are cultural differences, ranging from the idea of reincarnation to the concept of ancestral ghosts who meddle in the lives of the living (Rosenblatt. 1993)(3).
Some cultures, especially those in Latin America, believe that mourning involves the display of intense hysterical emotions that should be shared with the community (Cook and Dworkin, 1992)(4), while others, such as the British, restrain their grief so as not to burden others.



1. Chachkes, E and Jennings, R (1994) Latino communities: coping with death, in Dane, B and Levine, C (eds) AIDS and the New Orphans: Coping with death. Westport, CT: The Greenwood Press.
2. Metcalf, P and Huntington, R (1991) Celebrations of Death: The anthropology of mortuary ritual. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
3. Rosenblatt, PC (1993) The social context of private feelings, in Stroebe, MS Stroebe W and Hansson RO (eds) Handbook of Bereavement: Theory, research and intervention. New York: Cambridge University Press.
4. Cook, AS and Dworkin, DS (1992) Helping the Bereaved: Therapeutic interventions for children, adolescents and adults. New York: Basic Books.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Cultural Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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