Coping Strategies of the Turkish Socialist Left with the Idea of Death

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Cizreli B. , Üstün A.

BSA Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group Virtual Symposium: Death and Sociology, London, United Kingdom, 02 December 2021

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: London
  • Country: United Kingdom


According to the social construction theory of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, there are

various concepts that can shock to the meaning systems that respond to the ontological search

for meaning. According to Luckmann and Berger, these challenges and threats are as follows;

dreams, fantasies, deviant tendencies, diseases, death, natural disasters, war, turmoil, and

cultural encounters. The most terrifying of these is "death". Therefore, all traditional religions

have strategies that somehow "tame the concept of death".

The socialist meaning system that emerged with modernity, just like traditional religions, has

produced a response to human's search for a holistic meaning with its narrative that connects

the past, present and future. In this research, five socialist organizations representing five

different currents of the Socialist Left of Turkey were chosen as a sample. The strategies of

these organizations to cope with the idea of death were analysed by participatory observation,

interview, and literature review techniques.

In the example of the Socialist Left of Turkey, it can be seen that the socialist meaning system

is functional like traditional religions in coping with the idea of death through funeral rites,

commemorations and martyrdom concepts.