Death Positivity and Death Justice in the Anthropocene

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  • The Death Positivity Movement is a relatively new group of advocates who argue for greater death acceptance in Western society. This thesis explores how the Death Positivity Movement might help humans respond justly to mass death in the Anthropocene, when gross ecological change threatens human extinction and the extinction of other species. Using a number of sociological texts to contextualize the movement’s claims —in turn gathered from a swath of popular news articles and the movement’s online material — this thesis concludes that the Death Positivity Movement might practically apply to death denial in the Anthropocene, described by the author as the refusal to acknowledge those deaths associated with environmental change and reliance on techno-scientific geoengineering solutions. However, this thesis also draws significantly from Donna Haraway’s use of the “compost” to expand the Death Positivity Movement’s understanding of social justice and a “good death for all” for a non-human context as well.

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