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Introduction to Funeral Service
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  1. Introduction to Funeral Service

  2. Thanatology • “the study of death and death-related phenomena” (Corr, Nabe, & Corr 1996) • Thanatos: Greek God of Death • Ology: the study/science of

  3. Sociology • “the science of social groups; the processes that tend to maintain or change these forms of organizations and the relations between groups and individuals”

  4. Mores and Folkways • Mores: “must-behavior; the basic and important patterns of ideas and acts of a people as related to treatment of the dead, which calls for a strong reaction from the society if violated” • Folkways: “behaviors which are construed as somewhat less compulsive than mores of the same society, and do not call for a strong reaction from the society if violated

  5. Customs • “social behavior as dictated by the tradition of the people”

  6. Common Beliefs in American Society • “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” • equality before the law • freedom of selection • common school education • decent burial

  7. Why should funeral service students study Thanatology and Sociology?

  8. The American National Character • Family Structure • Religion • Government • Economics • Age • Educational Level • Mobility

  9. Basic American Customs in Funeral Service Today • Funeral Home • Embalming • Viewing • Funeral Director • Credit • Disposition • Rites and Ceremonies

  10. Cultural Universal • “like abstract patterns of and for living and dying, which are identifiable in all cultures” • announcement of the death • care of the deceased • method of disposition • ceremony or ritual • memorialization