2021-2022 Pierce College Catalog 
    
    Jul 23, 2024  
2021-2022 Pierce College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOC 212 Death, Dying and Bereavement (5 credits)



Distribution Area Fulfilled Social Sciences; General Transfer Elective
Course Description
A sociological exploration of death, dying, and bereavement. Includes, but is not limited to, the study of our “death system;” practices of the funeral service industry; the role of the healthcare system; traumatic death; facing death; care of the dying; bereavement, grief, and mourning; legal & ethical issues; practical matters; and belief in life after life.

Student Outcomes
1. Identify and discuss the role of key personalities, theories, and approaches in describing, explaining, and/or predicting human behavior related to death, dying, and bereavement
2. Explain, give examples, and analyze how social theory and various research methods are used to study death, dying, and bereavement
3. Identify key elements of our contemporary “death system”
4. Use social theory to analyze the effect of diverse customs and practices related to death, dying, and bereavement from pre-modern to contemporary times in terms of beliefs, functions, and meaning
5. Describe the role of the funeral director in our death system, and how this role has evolved
6. Use social theory to analyze the rationales and effects of approaches to caring for the dead
7. Articulate several types of traumatic death and differentiate the complications associated with these in relation to expected and accepted forms
8. Describe one or more issues associated with living with a terminal illness
9. Apply social theory to hypothetical cases in which individuals are trying to cope with dying
10. Use social theory to compare the principles of hospice and palliative care with those which apply to more general forms of health care
11. Differentiate between the concepts of bereavement, grief, and mourning and be able to use these terms appropriately
12. Discuss differences and similarities between grief, complicated grief, and depression
13. Identify ways we can help and support those who have experienced a loss
14. Differentiate distinct definitions of death and discuss the social implications of using one or more of them
15. List several key ethical issues related to death, dying, and bereavement and discuss key social issues associated with them
16. Summarize at least some of the social issues that dying people and bereaved loved must deal with in order to prepare for or respond to death
17. Compare several diverse belief systems in relation to the questions, “Is there life after life?”
18. Use social theory to explore key issues associated with the claims of some people that they have had supernatural experiences during a near death experience



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