An Ethnographic study of Grief and Coping Mechanisms

I found the article by Doran and Downing Hansen (2006) “Constructions of Mexican American Family Grief After the Death of a Child: An Exploratory Study” to be very interesting as it a more relevant ethnographic overview of grieving practices than I had read anywhere else.  Although the people in the study were Mexican-American and not the population I intend to study they do belong to the same religious group and therefore follow some of the same or similar religious customs when it comes to grieving.  The article mostly covered how the families dealt with their grief including incorporating their faith, Catholicism, into the process.  For many Mexican Americans this includes the novenario, a nine day period of mourning and prayer, similar to what I would like to study with the rosary service but not the same.  The entire article reminded me the grieving process differs depending on religious and cultural context.  The individual’s grieving experience may differ depending on how important they believe those things are in the grieving process.

One thought on “An Ethnographic study of Grief and Coping Mechanisms”

  1. Interesting. This made me think of my own grieving process when I lost my dog a couple of years ago to an illness. My friend who is Jewish told me that they have a tradition in which after a death the person will mourn in private for a period of time. After a certain number of days, I don’t remember how many, the person is then expected to leave their house and walk around the neighborhood to show people that they were back among the social group. I remember how much this made sense to me at the time, and followed the procedure in my own way as part of my mourning process.

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