Integrating Dark Humor and Compassion by Cindy Cain – Article Example

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  The paper "Integrating Dark Humor and Compassion by Cindy Cain" is a brilliant example of an article on anthropology. The article entitled “ Integrating dark humor and compassion: ” is an article written by Cindy Cain. It is a critical discussion on how various individuals express themselves at workplaces, displaying various emotions and unique personalities. The article is a discussion about the study of different ethnic groups and the effects that ethnography has on personality traits. The author divides people’ s behaviors into two major categories, back end behaviors and front end behaviors. Cain (2012) presents human behaviors as expressions of their knowledge about life, and their understanding of the relationship of failures to death.

In the article, the author emphasizes on the way hospice workers divide their time and space into strategies of presenting the traits of hospice workers as being compassionate and caring. It is based on secondary information from the classic writings of Goffman, about the two regions of social life; the front end and the back end. The title of the article itself suggests that the article is about the changing behavioral traits of workers. Identification and discussion The discussion begins with the definition and description of the back region and the front region.

The author describes the front region as the visible behavioral attributes of an individual. It is related to the outward appearance and compliance to the laid down rules and procedures. The front region does not enable an individual to express the inner feelings and emotions but the outward image and related attributes such as age, ethnicity and the gender of the individual. The author proceeds to discuss the ways of identifying care workers using the predefined procedure.

She argues that people present themselves in ways in which they would like others to view them. The article uses an analogy of a nurse interacting with patients and argues that a caring nurse is identified by the gentleness with which she serves the patients. The author majorly discusses the personality of hospice workers especially nurses and community health workers. The author then describes the methods she used to present the do the research and eventually present the analyzed information. She reveals that she used both structured and semi-structured interviews for data collection.

Apart from interviews, the author used observation of human behaviors among the hospice workers. Aims and Argument The main aim and objectives of this article are to describe the behaviors of workers at workplaces and their implications in society. The author is interested in encouraging the development of professionalism through the improvement of human characters. She emphasizes on how workers can be good caretakers and while at the same time applying professionalism.  


Bulkin, W., 1992. The Physician and Hospice Care: Roles, Attitudes, and Issues. London: Routledge.

Cain, C. L., 2012. Integrating dark humor and compassion: identities and presentation of self in the front and back regions of hospice. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 41 (6), pp. 668-694.

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