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BARNEY G. GLASER and ANSELM L. STRAUSS. Awareness of Dying. Pp. xi, 305. Chicago: Aldine, 1965. $6.95

BARNEY G. GLASER and ANSELM L. STRAUSS. Awareness of Dying. Pp. xi, 305. Chicago: Aldine, 1965. $6.95


Book DepartmentBARNEY G. GLASER and ANSELM L. STRAUSS. Awareness of Dying. Pp. xi, 305. Chicago: Aldine, 1965. $6.95 SAGE Publications, Inc.1966DOI: 10.1177/000271626636600183 Leonard Reissman Tulane University In the Preface, the authors report: "A group of eminent physicians hearing of our analysis before its actual publication ... remarked flatly that sociologists have nothing useful to offer physicians." After reading this book, I must agree with the physicians. The authors have not offered any new insights into the rather macabre situation of the social interaction of dying, to either medical professionals or to sociologists. Illustrations of various facets of hospital- social organizations are loosely threaded together by a typology of "awareness con- texts," determined by how much the patient knows about his impending death and by how open he and the hospital personnel are about it. About one-third of the book is given to descriptions of the four types-closed, suspicion, mutual pretense, and open-but the style seems wooden and contrived. Glaser and Strauss apparently believe that labeling an action is really a means to achieve conceptual clarification. For example: "Suspected awareness" is described under such headings as "The Contest For Crucial Informa- tion"-the patient wants to confirm his suspicions; "The
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