The Public and Private Management of Grief: Recovering Normal

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Through a critical analysis of theory, policy and practice, The Public and Private Management of Grief looks at how 'recovery' is the prevailing discourse that measures and frames how people grieve, and considers what happens when people 'fail' to recover.

Pearce draws on in-depth interviews with bereaved people and a range of bereavement professionals, to contemplate how ‘failures’ to recover are socially perceived and acted upon. Grounded in Foucauldian theory, this book problematises the notion of recovery, and instead argues for the acknowledgment of the experience of ‘non-recovery,’ highlighting how recovery is a socially and historically constructed notion linked to the individualised vision of health and happiness promoted by neo-liberal governmentality.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars across sociology, anthropology, social work and psychology with a focus on death, dying and bereavement, grief studies, health and social care, as well as counsellors, clinical psychologists and social workers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages244
ISBN (Electronic)9783030176624
ISBN (Print)9783030176617
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2019


  • bereavement
  • loss
  • neo-liberalism
  • abnormal grief
  • recovery


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