Skip navigation

What is social death?

What is social death?

Králová, Jana ORCID: 0000-0002-7377-4723 (2015) What is social death? Contemporary Social Science, 10 (3). pp. 235-248. ISSN 2158-2041 (Print), 2158-205X (Online) (doi:

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Social death is on many occasions used too broadly by academics in several different disciplines, creating ambiguity around its application. Conceptual clarification is needed, not least because of the importance of the empirical topics to which the concept has been applied, such as genocide, slavery and dementia. Analysis of repeatedly occurring structural similarities in diverse studies of social death reveals three underlying notions: a loss of social identity, a loss of social connectedness and losses associated with disintegration of the body. The article concludes firstly, that social death is a multifaceted phenomenon with a single conceptual framework; secondly, that in order to preserve the concept’s theoretical potential it should only be used for the most extreme circumstances whereby most or all of the key facets are severely compromised and/or lost; thirdly, that social death might be usefully seen as the opposite of well-being, so that well-being and social death each clarify the meaning of the other.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social death, social identity, body, social connectedness, well-being, social exclusion, human rights, genocide
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2020 15:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item