- Scientifice study of the human mind
- Begins at the time of death or anticipation of death and ends with the acceptance of death
Study and treatment of mental disease
Study of social groups and thier functions
Sociology of Funeral Service
- study of group functions while dealing with death and dying
- the basics of looking at the effects of death on the family of the deseaced and family's response to that death
- begins with the arrangement conference and ends with final disposition: cremation, final destination, green, kriogenics (final disposal of body)
To be scientific in observing the influences of social structures, interrelationships and interactions on human thinking, feeling and behavior while in the confines of funeral service
Psychology vs. Sociology
in psychology, the study focuses on the individual behavior patterns while in sociology the focus is on group behavior patterns. The response of death is reflected in the family's attitudes, reactions and emotions.
To be a successful, consiterate funeral service practitioner, one must understand the cultural requirements of each family he or she encounters.
You must also undertand your role within the social structure and customs of your specific geographic area and understand you as a professional can provide the individual services that complete your role as a professional caregiver.
recite over and over
Tangible vs. Intangible request
- Tangible means: something you can touch
- like flowers, religious items, casket, programs
- (something you can touch)
- Intagible means: something you can't touch
- like music, location, poems, time
- individual wants
- individual needs
- has own established opionion of what would be an appropriate fairwell for there loved one
- meet there wants and needs
- be responsive (notice) there tangiable & intangiable request
- you must notice and be alert to details
families base their needs and wants on cultural preference.
- (their way of life)
Cultural preference gives families:
- Mores: must be-haviores- generally tied to religious beliefs
- Example 1: catholic rosary
- Example 2: disallowing the use of instruments in a Church of Christ service
- Folkways: informal practices or "should" ways
- Example 1: Dressing up to attend church services
- Example 2: Attending the graveside ceremony after the funeral
- Customs: Social behaviors considered to be the norm that are usually based on traditions
- Example 1: Caucasian families burying their dead 3 days after death
- Example 2: African American families bury their dead on Saturdays
- Example 3: Traditionally Hispanic families will watch the casket being lowered into the ground and even watch the soil being replaced in the grave before they leave.
Are any of these examples still relevant today?
some, but all culturals all watch the body being lowered now
Families of all religions will expect you to be well informed of their particular religious practices no matter which religion you personally practice.
(related to death) but one which is enforced by those governing; a rule of action prescribed by an authority able to enforce its will
These are general things learned in childhood as well as customs instilled in you by those closest to you
culture can be divided into subcultures....
Subcultures are a
Acculturation is the process in which
what is important when looking at a subculture?
factors that influence subcultures:
- 1. Location-geographic
- 2. Religion-families in more recent years tend to have more than one religious affiliatio
- 3. Ethnic- self explanatory
- 4. language- some families may have people speak more than one language and this may affect how a service is conducted
It is important to understand these factors because, many times, you as the funeral director may be helping to assist in blending several different cultures together. You will help the family bring their individual traditions and beliefs into the funeral service and having broad, multi-cultural knowledge will benefit you greatly.
Subcultures have increased more in recent years because of urbanization.
Urbanization has lead to decrease in the importance of an individual. Most people do not know their neighbors' names, or anything important about their lives. This is why funerals have become more important and more personilized. Funerals are a way for people to recognize the individual who has died and pay tribute to them and what they've meant to those still living.
Though there may be many subcultures in one particular area, there are many common traits found in every culture.
cultural universals include:
- 1. Goverment: the establishment of rules and regulations for orderly living
- 2. marriage: the establishment of family
- 3. funeral rites: the response to the death of another member of the culture
- because cultural universals are so personal to the members of each culture, generally they will cause ethnocentrism.
- is the feeling that one's culture is superior to others
- because of ethnocentrism, each culture deems their response to death as best and they may not understand or appreciate the response to death from members of another culture.
Basic terms to know for cultural universals
funeral rite (rite)-
5 types of funeral services:
- 1. Traditional Funeral Rite: A well defined ritual or ceremony which is based on either religious beliefs or social customs
- 2. Adaptive Funeral Rite (nontraditional Funeral Rite): Altered to suit the needs of the family or trends of the time
- 3. Humanistic Funeral Rite: Devoid of any religious connotation
- 4. Immediate Disposition: No ceremony held
- 5. Primitive Funeral Rite: Preliterate Society/Tribal services
4 Sociological Responses to Death
- 1. The funeral is a social functions
- 2. The funeral rite is a cultural universal
- 3. The funeral rite expresses the relations between the type of family you will serve and how they operate
- 4. The funeral rite reflects both modern and contemporary tendencies
- Modern-present or recent times
- Contemporary-of the same time or occurring at the same time
Forms of Disposition
- Burial-interment or earth burial
- body donation to science
- burial at sea
- is the process by which a person learns the social values of a society.
- the process begins at birth. from childhood you learn what your family's expectations are of you through direct learning. This conributes to your culturals traits.
- is a social behavior considered to be normal and are generally based on tradition of people involved. They outline the individual procedures a family will follow when making funeral arrangements.
- Through the family determins which customs to follow when making arrangements, society does have an impact. Society indicates what behaviors they consider to be moral obligations of the family. These are called mores.
are the basic and important patterns, ideas and acts of people. Society expects/requires us to be respectful and to care for the dead. Mores indicated what we are and allowed to do in regard to the dead. Actions that are considered forbidden by society when dealing with the dead are called taboos. Actions that are considered forbidden by govermental agencies when dealing with the dead are called laws.
Taboos and laws are considered mores.
rules are specific steps and regulations to carry out laws
rituals and ceremonies
are actions performed during a rite which may or may not have symbolic meaning tothe participants or observers of the actions
is a formal, religious or public occasion celebrating a particular event
is the prescribed order of perfoming rites; procedures regularly followed
the family unit
is the basic focus in funeral service. your main concern of all services offered as a funeral director is how the family is impacted by the death of one of it's members. Meeting the family's needs should be your goal.