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SOCI424 - Sociology of Death and Dying

Course Details

Course Code: SOCI424 Course ID: 4779 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course is an exploration of the social, psychological, cultural, and individual experiences of death, grief, and loss. The study of the structure of the human response to death, dying, and bereavement in a socio-cultural, interpersonal, and personal context will be examined. Topics to be discussed will include development of perceptions of death, bereavement and grief over the life course; functions of the funeral; euthanasia and death-related ethical debates; and, suicide. Current sociological theories and empirical research regarding the study of death and dying will also be introduced and discussed. Attention will be given to appropriate coping strategies for dealing with death and for aiding others in the coping process.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Students successfully completing this course will demonstrate knowledge and skills related to:

CO1: Compare and contrast how individuals and groups deal with the social-psychological aspects of death, dying, and bereavement and how death, dying, and bereavement differs for persons at various ages of life.
CO2: Describe changing demographics, attitudes, and practices surrounding death.
CO3: Examine current trends, attitudes, and dynamics regarding end-of-life issues such as suicide, grief, widowhood, and the social organization of death and dying in modern society.
CO4: Deconstruct the differences between societies in how they deal with dying, death, and bereavement, to include cultural and religious practices, media influence, and socialization.
CO5: Analyze the effect of bureaucratic settings (hospitals, old age homes, etc.) on the behavior of the dying individual, his or her family, and the service workers in the organization.
CO6: Evaluate legal and ethical issues associated with death and dying.


Participation in classroom dialogue on threaded Forums is required in some weeks. Forums are found in the Forums tab in the classroom. Initial posts must demonstrate comprehension of the course materials, the ability to apply that knowledge in the real world. Learners will engage with the instructor and peers throughout the learning week. Initial Forum posts are due Thursdays, peer responses are due Sundays. To motivate engaged discussion, posts are expected to be on time with regular interaction throughout the week. All posts should demonstrate college level writing skills. To promote vibrant discussion as we would in a face to face classroom, formatted citations and references are not required. Quotes should not be used at all, or used sparingly. If you quote a source quotation marks should be used and an APA formatted citation and reference provided. Specific instructions and the grading rubric are located on each Forum.

This course includes Assignments. Instructions and specific grading rubrics are found under the Assignments tab in our classroom.

Extra Credit:

Extra credit is not offered in this course.

The textbook is available via an APUS library link at:

APA reference:

Stillion, J. P., & Attig, T. P. (Eds.). (2014). Death, dying, and bereavement: Contemporary perspectives, institutions, and practices. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Book Title:Death, Dying, and Bereavement: Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices - e-book available online, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:Springer
Author:Stillion, Judith
Unit Cost:$79.26
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.