- Series: Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement (Book 10)
- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (April 8, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415995728
- ISBN-13: 978-0415995726
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Grieving Beyond Gender: Understanding the Ways Men and Women Mourn, Revised Edition (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement) 2nd Edition
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"This book reminds us of the unique nature of the end of life and that one size does not fit all. It reminds us also of the highly complex, individual nature of grief." - Cruse Bereavement Care
"This new book offers a revised and expanded look at instrumental and intuitive grieving, and it makes for engaging, thought-provoking reading. Doka and Martin’s book represents a significant advance in thinking about bereavement, grief, and mourning. It offers that rare gift: a powerful conceptual framework for organizing one’s whole thinking about doing bereavement research and counseling the bereaved. The ideas of intuitive and instrumental grieving offer conceptual scaffolding both researchers and practitioners can understand and use to communicate with one another. This book contains possibilities for collaboration between researchers and practitioners to bridge the gap that separates them; even more important, it offers possibilities of working together as equals on projects of interest to both." - Death Studies, , 2011
"Grieving Beyond Gender is an important book that challenges widely accepted assumptions about grief... valuable reading not only for clinicians, grief counselors, hospice workers, and other professionals working with the bereaved, but also for graudate students in courses on death, dying, and aging." - Deborah Carr, Psychology of Women Quarterly
About the Author
Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., is a Professor of Gerontology at the Graduate School of The College of New Rochelle and Senior Consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America.
Terry L. Martin, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology and Thanatology at Hood College, and maintains a private practice in Maryland.
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Top Customer Reviews
Terry L. Martin is associate professor of Psychology and Thanatology at Hood College, Frederick, Maryland, and the director for that school's Thanatology program. He is a Certified Grief Therapist, is also widely published, and consults with local hospices and nursing homes. In addition to teaching, he maintains a private practice focusing on dying and grief-related issues.
Grieving Beyond Gender: Understanding the Ways Men and Women Grieve is a revision of Doka and Martin's (2010) previous work, Men Don't Cry, Women Do: Transcending Gender Stereotypes of Grief, first published in 1999. Revised to provide more clarity and insight into the ways people grieve, the authors define grieving as an on-going internal process shaped by culture, personality, and gender during which the griever will experience their loss in very personal and unique ways, contending there is no one correct way to grieve. In fact, they cite numerous examples pointing to strong biases within the helping professions, primarily that unless one is expressing loss through expression of feelings, one is either in denial or at best, poorly coping. Early work in grief and bereavement focused on an assumption that there is a normal way to grieve, that getting through it involved an outward expression of feeling, and those whose expressions were otherwise must be in some kind of trouble--an approach highly disenfranchising to people termed instrumental grievers (those who have learned to function in a more cognitive and less affective way). Considered a "must-read" for those who work with men and adolescent boys, on-going research suggests patterns of grieving are strongly influenced by gender, but not determined by it--so it is equally disenfranchising to assume that all women or all men grieve in specific patterns. Written primarily for helping professionals who find themselves in contact with grief and bereavement in some form, the authors expand on their thought-provoking model, clearly pointing readers to the most critical component for developing a broader understanding of the grieving process: "Not only must we recognize what the mourner's needs are, we must be aware that not meeting them not only doesn't help, but actually hurts" (Doka & Martin, 2010, Kindle edition, Loc 210).
The book is neatly organized in building-block fashion, with the first section (five chapters) setting forth clear definitions of loss ("being deprived of or ceasing to have something that one formerly possessed or was attached to" (Loc 547)), bereavement (`a state in which something has been violently taken away" (Loc 604)), and grief:
Grief arises as a reaction to loss. Specifically, grief can be defined as the psychic energy that results from tension created by an individual's strong desire to
1. Maintain his or her assumptive world as it was before the loss
2. Accommodate to a newly emerging reality resulting from his or her loss
3. Incorporate this new reality into an emerging assumptive world (Loc 627)
Several illustrations help by highlighting feedback mechanisms involved in grieving and adapting within a looped system (thus debunking the myth that one must somehow get over or complete their grieving at some point and go on with life and matters of the living). Doka and Martin (2010) clarify that we continually adjust for the remainder of our lives to life events that impact us as loss. Discussion turns to the affect vs. intellect continuum, assigning the terms intuitive (those who tend to adapt through going with their emotions and generally have a greater need for social support) and instrumental (those who tend to adapt primarily through thinking and kinetic activity, generally not expressing or experiencing emotions other than anger), respectively, to flesh out ways people grieve in variations of these patterns. The final chapter in this section discusses dissonant patterns of grief--a "persistent way of expressing grief that is at odds with the griever's primary internal experience' (Loc 2012). A lack of harmony or congruence between the inner state and outer expression, if carried on long enough, can result in dissonance, or ineffective grieving, often resulting in complications.
Section two (three chapters) discusses the various ways personality (grounded in Jungian theory), gender role socialization, and cultural influences may shape patterns of grieving, and the final section of the book (three chapters) focuses on implications for helping professionals, strategies for intervention and self-help, and wraps up with a final chapter to summarize this important work. A grief pattern inventory tool is provided in the appendices and includes item analysis and scoring material.
This work is insightful, thought-provoking, and often prompted reflection on my own grief work (the life-long process of integrating and adapting to loss). Written in an easy style and peppered throughout with examples demonstrating the theory and model set forth, it has value for anyone in the helping professions involved in grief and bereavement work (clergy, social work, counselors, physicians, nurses, volunteers, even emergency services personnel). One reviewer found the authors tended to strongly identify intuitive with the feminine and instrumental with the masculine, and some discussions in the text are connected to references of men and women, all of which may suggest they have yet to get completely beyond gender (von Kellenbach, 2010). This review underscores the value of the work, but argues that maintaining a stance of separation or separate-but-equal styles of grieving pinned to gender identification does little to break down gender barriers and stereotypes, citing an overly simplistic approach to gender analysis in grieving.
In the final analysis, Doka and Martin (2010) do emphasize up front these concepts are particularly necessary for those working with men and adolescent boys and although they refer often to their position that gender influences but does not determine grieving style, it may be that scrapping gender references while discussing patterns and the model as they argue it will clear any confusion. The message more simply stated is not unclear: "...instrumental grievers have thinking as their superior function, whereas intuitive grievers have feeling as their superior function" (Loc 2500). That we grieve in patterns likely influenced by personality, gender role socialization, and culture along a continuum between feeling and thinking and that we may experience a variety of reactions impacting affect, cognition, behavior, and spiritual understanding can hardly be argued. Most importantly, the crux of the authors' message seems to be this: if we continue to hold to the obviously existing bias toward affect and so-called normal grief work, we certainly risk perpetuating gender and other death-and-dying-related myths, in the end unwittingly disenfranchising those we seek to assist.
Doka, K. J., & Martin, T. L. (2010). Grieving beyond gender: Understanding the ways men and women mourn (Kindle edition). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Von Kellenbach, K. (2010). Review of Kenneth J. Doka, Terry L. Martin, grieving beyond gender: Understanding the ways men and women mourn. Journal of Men, Masculinities, & Spirituality, (4)2, 97-99.