Usually conceived in opposition to each other – birth as a hopeful beginning, death as an ending – this book brings them into dialogue with each other to argue that both are central to our experiences of being in the world and part of living.

Written by two authors, this book takes an intergenerational approach to highlight the connections and disconnections between birth and death; adopting a relational approach allows the book to explore birth and death through the key relationships that constitute them: personal and social, private and public, the affective and social norms, the actual and the virtual and the ordinary and profound.

Of interest to academics and students in the fields of feminism, phenomenology and the life course, the book will also be of relevance to policy makers in the areas of birth activism and end of life care. Drawing from personal stories, everyday life and publicly contested examples, the book will also be of interest to a more general readership as it engages with questions we all at some point will grapple with.

chapter 1|14 pages

Birth and death

chapter 2|19 pages

Sheila Kitzinger

A life in birth and a good death

chapter 3|19 pages

Personal and social

chapter 4|17 pages

Visibility and visualisation

chapter 5|17 pages

Public and private

Rituals and routines

chapter 6|18 pages

The medical and the natural

Embodied selves

chapter 7|17 pages

Crossing boundaries

Ethics and experience

chapter 8|11 pages


Giving birth, dying and mostly, living