The more culture develops, the more people conceal the reality of death. In pre-modern societies, funerals were held with the assistance of people in the local community and relatives who helped transport and bury, cremate or otherwise dispose of the body, in a process that converted the physical relationship with the deceased into a psychological one.
Holding a funeral was a form of mutual help—a social exchange of duty and responsibility essential to individuals and families left behind—performed to promote survival within the group. However, compared to funerals in pre-modern societies, holding a funeral in a modern society is a very complicated process that requires the intervention of professionals with specialist knowledge and skills. As it is no longer possible to simply use uncompensated labour from the community, funerary services must be purchased.
While local, religious and workplace communities have continued to play a role, systems have also appeared to help with the purchase of services. With the development of social security, if people feel they can face mortality without the support of their local communities or relatives, they may begin to disengage from local community-based social relationships, given the many constraints and obligations from which they cannot necessarily expect a future return. The clearest changes in collective behaviour resulting from modernization include a decrease in funeral attendance and the outsourcing of services related to the treatment of the body.
Thus, in the relatively short period of modernization, the ways humans dispose of dead bodies have changed from simply abandoning the body outside of the group, to disposal via ritualized practices, to the current complex processes involved in cremation. To this trend can be added the development of cryogenics and the recent appearance of space burials involving the launching of ashes into space. While it may be difficult to say what burial method will prove to be the best survival strategy for humans, what began as necrophoresis—the disposal of deceased members of the same animal colony—is undergoing rapid modernization in human societies.
As part of that evolution, social bonds with the dead are also undergoing significant change. I would also like to thank Editage www. All study participants provided informed consent, and the study design was approved by the appropriate ethics review board. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Published online Jul Katsumi Shimane.
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Accepted Jun 8. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Evolutionary thanatology includes the study of necrophoresis—the removal of dead individuals by the living among social insects. Keywords: funeral ceremony, evolutionary thanatology, funeralogy, sociology of death, modernization, outsourcing of funerary services.
Introduction In the world of living things, only humans hold funeral ceremonies. Increasing complexity in the treatment of the dead When did humans first begin holding funerals? Provision of funerary services by the local community As in Mongolia, funeral practices in Uganda have undergone significant changes. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Funerals in Uganda and in Japan Online version in colour. Transformation of the Japanese funeral The author has previously written about the cultural evolution of the funeral in Japanese urban society [ 10 ].
Figure 2. Rates of interment and cremation in Japan. Community disengagement from funerals As Japanese society modernized, an important factor in funerals becoming more elaborate and growing in scale was the commoditization of funerary services and the ability to collect large amounts of condolence money to pay for those services. Economic development and changes in funerals in Asian societies To support what has been argued so far regarding the modernization of societies and changes in funeral customs, some statistical research is presented here, based on opinion polls conducted by the Center for Social Well-Being Studies of Senshu University and the Social Well-Being Research Consortium in Asia.
Funeral Topics A – Z
Burial practices and the food chain Burial, in the sense of disposing of the remains of the dead in a way that separates them from the community of the living, is ultimately a process by which the body's organic matter is returned to nature. Figure 4. Burial practices and the cycle of nature.
Conclusion In pre-modern societies, funerals were held with the assistance of people in the local community and relatives who helped transport and bury, cremate or otherwise dispose of the body, in a process that converted the physical relationship with the deceased into a psychological one.
Ethics All study participants provided informed consent, and the study design was approved by the appropriate ethics review board. Competing interests I declare I have no competing interests. References 1. Anderson JR. Comparative thanatology. Soeda Y.
Tokyo, Japan: Toshindo. Essais sur l'histoire de la mort en occident. Paris, France: Seuil. Mitford J.
The American way of death revisited. Pettitt P. The Palaeolithic origins of human burial. New York, NY: Routledge. Habenstein W, Laners R. Funeral customs the world over , 4th edn. Milwaukee, WI: Bulfin Printers. Dang TVP. The collective life: the sociology of voluntary association in north Vietnamese rural areas. Shimane K. Funeral ceremony as an embedded social capital.
The experience of death in Japan's urban societies. In Invisible population: the place of the dead in East Asian megacities ed. Aveline-Dubach N, editor. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books. Tokyo, Japan: Daiichi hoki.
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High-quality papers. So let us improve your grades by taking care of your homework! Custom homework help. Your custom homework help is one click away! Read More. This report covers activities such as funeral, service, funeral, cremation, burial and includes a wealth of information on the financial trends over the past This report covers activities such as funeral directors, funeral, cremation, burial, death and includes a wealth of information on the This report covers activities such as funeral, service, funeral, cremation, burial and includes a wealth of information on the financial trends over the past four The Funeral Homes and Funeral Services industry includes companies primarily engaged in preparing the dead for burial or interment and conducting funerals i.
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This report aggregately covers: Cemetery The Death Care Services industry group includes companies primarily engaged in preparing the dead for burial or interment, conducting funerals, operating sites or structures reserved for the interment of human or animal remains, It provides the latest retail sales data, allowing you to identify the sectors driving growth.
It identifies the leading companies, the leading brands and It identifies the leading companies, the leading brands and offers It mainly involves the use of resources, experience, skill, ingenuity, and intelligence. Examples include equipment and machinery Estimates on equipment or material sales product shipments value are published historically for to , projections for to and forecasts for to