Social Palliation: Canadian Muslims’ Storied Lives on Living and Dying
Social Palliation is a pioneering study on living and dying as articulated by first-generation Iranian and Ismaili Muslim communities in Canada. Using ethnographic narratives, Parin Dossa makes a case for a paradigm shift from palliative care to social palliation.
Experiences of displacement and resettlement reveal that life and death must be understood as an integrated unit if we are to appreciate what it is like to be awakened to our human existence. In the wake of structural exclusion and systemic suffering, social palliation brings to light displaced persons’ endeavours to restore the integrity of life and death. Dossa highlights the point that death conjoined with life is embedded within the socio-cultural and spiritual experience. Here, a caring society is not perceived in fragments, as is the case with traditional institutional care or care offered during end-of-life. Rather, Dossa draws attention to an organic form of caring, illustrated through the trajectories of storied lives. In exemplifying more humane aspects of social palliation, this book foregrounds sacred traditions to illustrate their potential to evoke deep-level conversations across socio-political boundaries on what it is like to live and die in the contemporary world.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 232 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
"Social Palliation provides a groundbreaking approach to thinking about immigrant experience in Canada. It artfully weaves together a critical analysis of how neoliberal structures have diminished social interactions and created greater precarity, specifically for vulnerable immigrants. The text comes alive with Parin Dossa’s attention to the materiality of lived experience, punctuated by images of rotlis, flowers, and tea drinking, while highlighting the socio-political structures that largely constrain the possibilities of the lives of those portrayed."
Alexia Bloch, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
"A sensitive and urgent inquiry into the experience of dying and loss for the displaced but that speaks to us all. How to find and remake one's place in the world from the very edges of life? The answer for Dossa lies in 'social palliation'— creating new ways of relating that reverse isolation and loneliness. An enthralling book, full of profound insights. "
Yasmin Gunaratnam, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College
"Social Palliation is relevant, timely and significant, especially in the ways in which it raises crucial questions about caring, social suffering, aging, life and death."
Öncel Naldemirci, Department of Social Work, Umeå University
Author InformationParin Dossa is professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.
Table of contentsAcknowledgement
1. Research Context
2. Storied Lives
3. Precarity as a Resource for Life and Death
4. Re-Making a Home in the Diaspora
5. Negotiating Deep Divides: Foregrounding Social Palliation
Conclusion: Deep-level Conversations
Subjects and Courses