National University

BER602 Culture and Bereavement

Course Description

Examines the expression of bereavement within diverse cultures. Explores acceptable and abnormal bereavement responses within the cultural context, identification of culturally informed bereavement interventions, and psychosocial aspects of bereavement. Learners will explore personal cultural beliefs related to loss and an experiential component via exposure to culturally diverse bereavement rituals.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the protective factors of culture.
  • Compare and contrast different cultural beliefs from around the world in relation to death, loss, dying and bereavement.
  • Compare and contrast the norms, customs, rituals, expectations, and expression of bereavement across several major cultures including African American, Latino American, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and Hmong.
  • Examine and describe how prejudice and assumptions about pathology can marginalize people from cultures different from your own.
  • Identify how the research stemming from the majority culture in the United States pathologizes sub-cultures' death systems and bereavement expressions.
  • Describe how disenfranchisement is related to inaccurate and inappropriate pathologized bereavement processes in different cultures.
  • Discuss and explain how awareness of ethnic variation in death, dying, loss, and bereavement is essential to appropriate and sensitive responses to other people's bereavement processes.
  • Examine, define, and explore how your own cultural beliefs have influenced how you think, understanding, and express feelings about death, loss, dying and bereavement.
  • Be able to describe in detail cultural practices different than your own based on an experiential exploration of its death related rituals and practices.
  • Develop sensitivity to different belief systems, and minimizing the effects of stereotyping and prejudice.