Memento Mori: End of Life, Death and Imagined Afterlife in the Contemporary Latvian Lifeworld

Project Details


The project will provide fieldwork based and theoretically grounded in-depth examination of perception of human mortality and death in contemporary Latvian society approaching it as a socially constructed intrinsic part of individual’s lifeworld. The project is structured in three interlinked thematic Work Packages: (I) Approaching the end of life; (II) Good and bad death; (III) Imagined afterlife. It will take a phenomenological approach, employing document and literary research, focused ethnography and a nationally representative survey for data collection. We will inquire how do individuals reflect on their mortality and inevitable dying, and do they prepare for the end of life, how far their conception of death is from the way death is conceptualized in modern medicine, i.e., as whole brain death, are some ways of dying preferred over others and what is common imaginary concerning a continuation of existence after physical death i.e. the afterlife? Project major output will be a monograph or an edited volume. Project will promote the development of death and dying studies in Latvia, produce comparable data that enable broader empirical and theoretical conclusions, test the application of phenomenological methodology in death and dying studies, and facilitate scientifically grounded decisions of policy makers, for example, on the legalization of euthanasia in Latvia.
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/03/23


  • Latvian Council of Science: €299,922.00


  • mortality
  • euthanasia
  • afterlife
  • death and dying
  • suicide

Field of Science

  • 5.9 Other social sciences

Smart Specialization Area

  • Social sciences and humanities as fields with horizontal impact on RIS3


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