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Death and Governmentality in Iceland: Neo-liberalism, Grief and the Nation-form

Death and Governmentality in Iceland: Neo-liberalism, Grief and the Nation-form


Titill: Death and Governmentality in Iceland: Neo-liberalism, Grief and the Nation-form
Höfundur: Árnason, Arnar
Hafsteinsson, Sigurjon   orcid.org/0000-0002-2705-0169
Útgáfa: 2018
Tungumál: Enska
Háskóli/Stofnun: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
Svið: Félagsvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Social Sciences (UI)
Deild: Félags- og mannvísindadeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UI)
ISBN: 9789935231710
Efnisorð: Dauði; Sorg; Nýfrjálshyggja; Þjóðernisvitund; Þjóðfræði
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/683

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Tilvitnun:

Arnar Árnason, Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson. (2018). Death and Governmentality in Iceland: Neo-liberalism, Grief and the Nation-form. Reykjavík: Háskólaútgáfan

Útdráttur:

This book is a contribution to debates concerning the state of death in the contemporary Western world. Taking up the argument that death there has recently undergone a revival, the book problematizes the idea that this revival is caused by general trends in society for example rising individualism. The book describes a link between the revival of death in Iceland and neo-liberal governmentality, in particular the machinery by means of which modern citizens are enjoined to govern themselves. The book draws on extensive ethnographic fieldwork on the changing regimes of dying and grieving in Iceland since the year 2000. The ethnography reflects how the old Icelandic solution of ‘locking death away in a drawer’ is being replaced by an allegedly healthier option of ‘dealing openly’ with death and grief. The changes in the management of death and grief in Iceland have taken place in the context of a neo-liberal governmentality. The rise of neo-liberalism has been accompanied by a rhetoric that emphasises self-reliance, personal responsibility and individual initiative, private enterprise and personal improvement The authors suggest that the changing regimes of death and grief should be placed in this context. The book reflects on linkages between death and grief, the fluctuating fortunes of the ‘nation form’ in Iceland and the different ways in which political power can be legitimised through the changing relations between ‘nation’, ‘state’ and ‘individual’.

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