The contemporary framing of death in St. John's, Newfoundland: "brighter rather than black"

Dechief, Taylor (2018) The contemporary framing of death in St. John's, Newfoundland: "brighter rather than black". Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In St. John’s the decades old narratives of religion, family, and tradition are being replaced by the contemporary funeral industry’s choice-based and celebratory framing of death. I focus on the emotional impact of this transition, which can be seen through; the physical transformation of the funeral homes, the consumption of personalized products, the presence of personal objects, the negative interactions between the funeral home and its customers, the high burnout rate of funeral home staff, and the expressed emotional danger of direct cremation and the presence of urns at home. Funeral directors positively described the contemporary framing of death as happier and more focused on the individual, allowing the bereaved to deal with death better. Despite this, they also described their customers as demanding, angry, confused, and scared. I argue that the contemporary framing of death is making death a happier and a more individually focused experience, but in doing so it is also making death a more fragile experience.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13540
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 118-131).
Keywords: funeral, funeral industry, ritual, emotions
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: October 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Funeral homes--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Death--Symbolic aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Death--Religious aspects; Death--Psychological aspects.

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