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Personal profile

Research interests

I was a freelance scholar from 1975 - 1994, writing books on the treatment of young offenders, religion and society, landscape, unemployment, social security, basic income, and the concept of need.

On re-entering academia in 1994, I worked as Lecturer, then Reader, in Sociology at the University of Reading. Since 2006, I have been Professor of Death Studies at the University of Bath, including four years (2011-15) as director of the Centre for Death & Society www.bath.ac.uk/cdas. At both universities I set up and directed a Masters course in Death & Society.

Since the early 1990s, my writing and lecturing have focussed on developing a sociological understanding of death in modern society. In this, I have collaborated with colleagues in religious studies, history, archaeology, linguistics, psychology, geography, computer science, medicine, social work, and gerontology. Research areas have included: 

  • funerals
  • pilgrimage
  • afterlife beliefs
  • personal bereavement and public mourning
  • the portrayal of death in the news media
  • collective memory
  • human remains in museums
  • end of life care and neo-liberalism
  • discourses of spirituality
  • social networks at the end of life
  • mediations between the living and the dead
  • how the internet shapes dying and grieving.
  • the role of angels in mourning
  • space and place

I am currently writing a book for Sage on death in the modern world, focusing on national and cultural differences, and another for Routledge on relationships between the living and the dead in the twenty first century.

I also help Civil Ceremonies Ltd http://www.civilceremonies.co.uk/  and the Church of England to provide funeral training.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Grief Medicine & Life Sciences
Bereavement Medicine & Life Sciences
death Social Sciences
grief Social Sciences
dying Social Sciences
funeral Social Sciences
Religion Medicine & Life Sciences
England Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2015

family member

Research Output 2000 2018


Arnold, J. C. & Walter, J., 2018, The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying. Christopher, M. (ed.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 352-361 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dealing with substance-related deaths

McKell, J., Valentine, C. & Walter, J., 2018, Families bereaved by alcohol or drugs. Valentine, C. (ed.). London: Routledge, p. 143-163 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

How continuing bonds have been framed across millennia

Walter, J., 2018, Continuing Bonds in Bereavement: New Directions for Research and Practice. Klass, D. & Steffen, E. M. (eds.). London, U. K.: Routledge, 4

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Continuing Bonds
Romantic Love

How Funerals Accomplish Family: Findings from a Mass Observation study

Walter, T. & Bailey, T., 6 Oct 2018, In : Omega: Journal of Death & Dying. 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Managing stigma

Walter, J. & Allison, F., 2018, Families bereaved by alcohol or drugs. Valentine, C. (ed.). London: Routledge, p. 67-89 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Grief of Nations: An analysis of how nations behave in the wake of loss: does it constitute grief?

Author: Malamah-Thomas, A., 1 Jul 2011

Supervisor: Walter, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD