Journal Article

The Understanding of Death in Social Work in the Czech Republic during the Socialist Era and in the Era of Consumerism through Heidegger's Authenticity

Ivo Jirásek and Pavel Veselský

in The British Journal of Social Work

Volume 43, issue 2, pages 394-410
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2013 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:

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The theme of death in social work is never the issue of routine everydayness; it has always been concerned with transcendence. The relation between different modes of social work thus merges with the theme of spirituality and authenticity, as the development in the Czech Republic indicates. More profound understanding cannot be provided in mere chronological terms, since a certain parallel can be drawn between the socialist era (the collective and the society were considered more significant than an individual human being) and the contemporary manifestations of consumerism (where the tendency to maximise output is even stronger and where money can be perceived as more significant than human beings). Both approaches do not fully appreciate the authenticity of human existence (being-toward-death). Since Heidegger's understanding of death in the horizon of human life in relation to social work has not yet been sufficiently explored, our contribution will partly focus on the application of this philosophical system in palliative care.

Keywords: Authenticity; death; Martin Heidegger; palliative care; phenomenology; social work

Journal Article.  6886 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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