Coming out of the coffin: Life-self and death-self in six feet under

Avi Shoshana, Elly Teman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses how the dominant approach to life and death as binary structures in American society influences the social construction of the self. Through the analysis of the television series Six Feet Under, we identify two types of selves: a "life-self" and a "death-self." Questioning this binary, we offer the concept of "transitory movements" to suggest instead that a "waltzing" movement between life and death endows the self with meaning and stands at the core of the self-work of agents. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for scholarship on the self and on the sociology of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-575
Number of pages19
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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