Shared Flashcard Set


mort sociology

Additional Advertising Flashcards




Effects of Socioeconomics on the Funeral Rite
When selecting a funeral rite, families may base their decision on three areas of socioeconomics:
1. Freedom of Choice
2. Class or Social Level
3. Economic Position
Freedom of Choice
As funeral service has advanced, so have
choices of the individual or family.
Those choices include location of the
funeral, burial, entombment, cremation,
immediate disposition, body donation, etc.
These choices enable families to control the economic factors related to the final disposition of the deceased.
Class or Social Level
Although social mobility can result in a
change of one’s social level, an individual
rarely moves more that one social level in
a lifetime.
Even though a family’s social class may
change, they usually bring with them the
funeral values and traditions of their previous
class due to enculturation.
Economic status of the family
Enculturation and cultural pressure may
cause some families to make poor
decisions that do not suit their financial
Careful counseling is required in these
situations; overselling is a well-known
criticism of the funeral profession.
While families with higher income and social
status may be able to afford more services, they
usually do not.
Families in lower social classes usually perceive greater value in
the services the funeral director can offer.
Effect of Geographic Location on the Funeral Rite
The area of the country as well as urban or rural location often affects the type of funeral rite selected.
Traditional funerals strong in the South and Midwest.
Areas with high mobility rates such as the east and west coast have high direct cremation rates.
Ethnic concentrations and economic levels within urban areas cause great variation in the type of funeral rite.
Merchandise selected may be determined by the region in which a family lives or originated from.
Floral preferences may be determined by the geographic area.
The movement of families away from where they were born.
Effects of Neo-localism:
More than one funeral home may be
Family is probably unfamiliar with the
funeral director in their new home area.
Requires effective public relations programs
to familiarize these families with the funeral
director in their new location.
Ways to promote public relations:
Billboard, radio, television, and newspaper advertising.
Use of facilities to the public for meetings, aftercare programs,
and tours of the funeral home to various groups.
Family Structure
While the majority of Americans are living
in the nuclear family structure, there is an
increasing breakdown in this type of living
A significant percentage of “families” is
increasingly made up of two individuals
living outside the boundaries of marriage.
Religion of the United States is basically
Religions have both a theological purpose
and value for the traditional funeral rite.
The overall purpose of religion in the
funeral service is the Doctrine of
Atonement. The religious funeral rite permits the
bereaved family to call into use their faith
and belief concerning life and death.
Allows the family to move through the grief
process supported by these beliefs as they
pertain to hope, reassurance and faith in a
life after death.
The actual funeral rite allows a ritual guided by
one’s religious beliefs to meet the theological
purposes and values of their faith.
Doctrine of Atonement
The belief that the
created is reunited with the creator at death.
This reflects Christian and Jewish belief that a person who has
lived according to the standards of the faith will receive an eternal
reward readied by God in heaven.
Since we are a democratic nation with
freedom of choice in many decisions,
Americans may select the funeral rite of
their choice. This is in contrast to some
countries where government provides a
standard funeral for everyone
American funeral directors supply a service
to the public that is not funded directly by
the government in any way.
Social Security, Veteran’s Administration,
Medicaid, and Township Trustee may have
certain benefits payable toward funeral
However, these allowances are not considered
direct federal funding.
In cases where families cannot afford the services of a
funeral director, oftentimes financial support may come from the
extended family of the deceased, friends, church, or community.
American society is very youth oriented.
Tendency to “warehouse” the elderly and
remove them from society.
There has been a recent trend in our society
to learn more about grief, death and dying.
The study of death, dying and
Funeral directors must be very active in sponsoring
educational programs on the value and purpose of the
funeral to the American public.
Educational Level
Most states require funeral directors to
maintain an updated education through
continuing education programs.
Many states require a minimum of an
Associates Degree for licensure while some
states require a Bachelor’s Degree.
Basic American Customs in Funeral Service Today
Use of the Funeral Home
Viewing the Remains
The Funeral Director
The Use of Credit
Disposition of Remains
The Format of American Religious and Organizational Funeral Rites and Ceremonies
Basic American Funeral Customs: Use of the Funeral Home
Most funerals are conducted in the funeral home chapel or in a church.
Many churches prefer that the funeral be held in the church. Examples would be:
* Catholic
* Lutheran
* Greek Orthodox
* Episcopal
Funeral homes are normally the location for visitation, rosaries, and fraternal services.
Embalming and preparation of the remains is generally done in the funeral home.
Arrangements and selection of merchandise is usually done in the funeral home facility or in the family home.
Some funeral directors allow multiple uses for their facilities which supports their community and positive business image.
Examples include:
* New churches or churches that have lost
their facilities.
* Civil Defense Centers.
* CPR and Red Cross classes.
* Counseling and Grief Therapy groups.
* Civic groups and service clubs in the community.
Basic American Funeral Customs: Embalming
Embalming first developed on a large scale level in the United States during the Civil War.
Gradually accepted by the general public, especially since World War II.
Reasons for embalming:
1. Disinfection as a public health function.
2. Preservation for a traditional funeral with an
open casket and to allow travel time for distant
friends and relatives.
3. Restoration for a comforting “memory picture”.
Funeral service critics claim embalming is not necessary
as a public health function and only enables funeral directors to
sell a more expensive service.
Basic American Funeral Customs: Viewing the Remains
Different areas of the country have individual customs about viewing the remains in an open casket.
Many psychologists and grief therapists feel viewing the remains is a positive step in the acceptance of death.
Viewing may be done privately by family only, during visitation periods and/or before and after the funeral service.
Basic American Funeral Customs: Visitation
In some areas of the country it is customary to have set visitation hours.
Other areas have open visitation hours where friends and family call as they wish.
Visitation may be the only time for friends and relatives to visit informally during the funeral period.
The visitation may greatly help the family and friends in the resolution of grief.
Basic American Funeral Customs: The Funeral Director
Demands on the professional services of the funeral director have greatly increased over time.
Knowledge of the type of family being
Customs and traditions of the family’s
Rules and regulations that funeral directors
must comply with.
Basic American Funeral Customs: The Use of Credit
American society has become very credit oriented and expect some form of credit when purchasing a funeral.
Benefits from offering some form of credit:
Enable families to select a more desirable
May give the funeral director an alternative
to a Medicaid or Trustee funeral.
Demonstrates the funeral director’s interest in
serving all families.
Types of credit offered by funeral homes:
No cash down, balance due in ______.
Partial payment at time of service with
balance due over a period of time. (usually
with interest on unpaid balance)
Credit card
Family Assistance Plans with loan from a
third party.
Insurance policy assignments.
Because of the nature of funeral service, there is no collateral that can be reclaimed in the event of non-payment.
Options for non-payment:
Claim against the signers of your contract.
Claim against the estate of the deceased.
Alternative to prevent non-payment:
Pre-paid funeral trusts or funeral insurance.
Basic American Funeral Customs: Disposition of Remains
Earth burial or entombment is still the preferred choice for final disposition in most areas of the country.
Cremation is quickly becoming a popular alternative.
According to the Cremation Association of North America, the number of cremations increases about one percent each year.
Reasons for the increase in cremation:
* Ongoing consumer movement by memorial
* Concern about ecology and use of land for burials.
* Cost
* Influence of neo-localism on the family.
* New religious interpretations of Biblical verses. (especially
the writings of St. Paul and Isaiah)
2004 cremation statistics:
* Japan – 80%
* Great Britain – 70%
* United States – 26% and rising by 1% each
* More rapid increase in metropolitan areas
and the east and west coasts of the United
Immigration to the United States from other countries brings customs and traditions that include cremation
Basic American Funeral Customs: Format of Religious and Organizational Funeral Rites
Funeral directors must have a good understanding of the various religious and organizational funeral rites.
Funeral directors should check regularly with local church and organizational officials to keep current.
In churches with more than one clergyperson, the funeral director should consult each one about their specific “likes and dislikes”.
Having this information before meeting with families is essential to eliminate stressful situations.
Changes During the Last Half-Century
The shift from the deceased’s home to the modern funeral home as the center of funeral activities.
A decrease in the direct involvement by the family and friends in the preparation and final disposition of the deceased.
An increase in the professional expertise of the funeral director in handling all aspects of the removal from the place of death, obtaining necessary permits, and preparing the remains for funeralization.
Increased responsibilities of the funeral director include:
An ongoing knowledge of the latest
mortuary science practices and laws as
relate to funeral service.
An increased awareness of the social
sciences. (sociology and psychology)
Counseling skills as they relate to death,
dying, grief, and planning the funeral rite.
Increased knowledge of pricing for services, facilities, motor equipment, and merchandise.
Changes in funeral service customs including:
Use of the automobile and its impact on
the choice of a funeral director.
Air travel and its influence on transporting
the deceased and distant family members.
The transition from family and churchyard
cemeteries to the modern memorial park
cemeteries and perpetual care.
The transition from small, family-owned and operated funeral homes to larger business enterprises.
Churches offering funeral facilities and services to members and the general public.
Ministers becoming more involved in helping families arrange funeral services.
Population growth and the “Baby-Boomers”.
Effect of medical advancements and socialized medicine on the death rate.
Funeral Service in the Future
An older society.
A decline and eventual leveling off of the birth rate.
A slight increase in the death rate.
A shift in the population to the “sunbelt”.
A shift from ethnic communities to more diverse heterogenous communities.
A move from the inner-city to suburbs and small towns.
2000 U.S. Census statistics:
* 52% of households maintained by married
* 26% of households maintained by
individuals living alone.
* 5.5 million unmarried partner households.
* 600,000 unmarried same-sex partnerships.
* 4 million multi-generational family households
2000 N.F.D.A. “Tradition in Transition” study statistics:
* U.S. death rate declined to 8.41% which
represents a slight decline from the death
rate in 1980 but an increase in total
number of deaths due to population
* 59% of all funeral firms handled over 200
cases per year.
* An increase in Political Action Groups by state and
national funeral service organizations.
* Increased educational requirements in most states for licensure.
* New curriculum and course offerings in mortuary science programs.
* Increase in the cremation rate. (9.72% in 1980 to 25.48% in 2000)
Challenges for the future funeral director:
* A more positive attitude toward cremation
from a “direct disposition” to a “final
process”, often following traditional viewing
and funeral services with the body present.
* Outreach to families through community
education, aftercare programs, and
resources related to grief and pre-need.
Quote from N.F.D.A.’s “Tradition in Transition”
“These keys [for the future of funeral service]
are in the hands of the individual funeral
service practitioners. Their personal
commitment to service, their adaptation
and acceptance to change and their belief in
themselves are the successful ways to face the
Supporting users have an ad free experience!