The macabre style: Coping with death in old age

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The article proposes the "Macabre" style as a theoretical perspective on human coping with death. A comparison of the behavior of residents in a residential care home to certain "dance macabre" motifs provides the basis for the discussion of the proposed style. The article presents a case study that describes elderly people in terms of their experiences of imminent death. It also highlights various verbal strategies, used by a special informant, that are supported by the residents' discourse. The article analyzes the unique features of the "Macabre" style in light of the subjects' discourse on death and in comparison with the already recognized "denial" and "acceptance" coping styles. The discussion reveals the virtues of the Macabre style, describing the mental and social factors involved in the direct confrontation with death in old age and other stages of life.
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)240-262
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

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