The Medicalized Body and Anesthetic Culture
In comparison with indigenous cultures, the modern culture of white colonialists of European origin differs in their practices and rituals surrounding death. Over the past two centuries, funeral and burial traditions in North America and Europe have shifted to create a greater distance between families and their dead relatives, and this has created a psychological distance from mortality among the living. The pattern of psychological distancing is a symptom of anesthetic consciousness, a form of psychic numbing which avoids experience as a coping mechanism for managing death anxiety and other aversive experiences. Anesthetic consciousness is examined as a maladaptive cultural pattern, which is linked to various cultural–historical phenomena, including mistreatment of the land and indigenous people.
- Arguinzoni, O. (2016). Bolivia’s Fiesta de la Ñatitas. Americas Quarterly, 19(4), 8.Google Scholar
- Aries, P. (1975). Western attitudes toward death: From the Middle Ages to the present (6th ed.). Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Brandes, S. (2009). Skulls to the living, bread to the dead: The Day of the Dead in Mexico and beyond. Malder, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Brooks, J. (2017). Why are there so many dead people in Colma? And so few in San Francisco. KQED News. Online: https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/10/26/why-are-so-many-dead-people-in-colma-and-so-few-in-san-francisco/.
- DeSpelder, L. A., & Strickland, A. L. (1992). The last dance: Encountering death and dying (3rd ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishers Inc.Google Scholar
- Enzinna, W. (2017, January/Feburary). “I didn’t come here to lose”: How a movement was born at Standing Rock. Mother Jones. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-oil-water-protest/.
- Gordon, B., & Marshall, P. (2000). The place of the dead: Death and remembrance in Late Medieval and early modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Itkowitz, C. (2017, January 26). Here’s why the American Psychological Association weighed in on Trump’s Standing Rock decision. The Washington Post. Online: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/01/26/heres-why-the-american-psychological-association-weighed-in-on-trumps-standing-rock-decision/?utm_term=.c98070569c01.
- Johnson, J. A. (2018). Denial: The American way of death. OrthodoxyToday.org. Online: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/JohnsonDeath.php.
- Kingston, T. (1997, October 8). History of the dead: A photographer’s view of the unwanted graveyard under the palace of the Legion of Honor. San Francisco Weekly. Online: https://archives.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/history-of-the-dead/Content?oid=2134634.
- McKenna, P. (2017, April 4). Standing Rock’s pipeline fight brought hope, then more misery. Inside Climate News. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/30032017/dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-protests-oil-obama-donald-trump.
- O’Connor, N. (1986). Letting go with love: The grieving process. Apache Junction, AZ: La Mariposa Press.Google Scholar
- Ravitz, J. (2016, November 1). The sacred land at the center of the Dakota pipeline dispute. CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/01/us/standing-rock-sioux-sacred-land-dakota-pipeline/index.html.
- Trufelman, A. (Prod., 2017, May 9). The modern necropolis. Episode 258 of 9% invisible. Online: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-modern-necropolis/.