2nd Quarter- SOCIOLOGY Exam 2 Flashcards Preview

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knowing a family’s __________ and ___________ is helpful in guiding funeral directors toward the relationship they might have with a family.

structure and government


responsibilities of the family unit

 Obligation to care for other members;
 Obligation to teach and maintain discipline;
 Obligation to give direction;
 Obligation to motivate.


an organized, flexible, purposeful, group centered, time-limited response to the death of an individual conducted with reverence, dignity and respect

funeral rite


Some purposes of funeral rites include the following:

 The opportunity to receive and express love.
 To show respect for the family, friends and the deceased.
 A chance to express grief.
 To gain emotional support through sharing.
 To get a face to face confrontation with death which confirms reality that death has occurred.
 Gives one the opportunity for farewell through ritual.
 Shows a dramatic presentation of the facts that a life has been lived by reflecting upon memories of the deceased.
 Helps establish an emotional stability through a social support network.
 Establishes a socially accepted climate for mourning.
 Meets the needs theologically, psychologically and socially of those who mourn.


a funeral rite that follows a prescribed ritual or ceremony which may be dictated either by religious belief or social customs

traditional funeral rite


a funeral rite that is adjusted to the needs and wants of those directly involved; one which has been altered to suit the trends of the time

adaptive funeral rite


a funeral rite that deviates from the normal or prescribed circumstances of established customs

non-traditional funeral rite


a funeral rite that is in essence devoid of religious connotation

humanistic funeral rite


any disposition of a human remains which is completely devoid of any form of funeral rite at the time of disposition

immediate disposition


a funeral rite which may be construed as being identifiable with a pre-literate (before the written word) society (American Indians).
Some ancient ceremonies like those of the American Indian tribes. Many of these are personal and secret to be viewed only by the tribal members

primitive funeral rite


the individual crafting of products is replaced by manufacturing of goods utilizing mass production techniques



factors influencing industrialization

 Families were forced to look for work outside family unit
 Family dependent on outside resources to meet needs
 Loss of craftsmanship and alienation of worker from basic skills
 Factories produce same goods faster, cheaper and more volume


the change from rural (country) to urban (city) in character



the creation of a system which governs through departments and subdivisions, managed by sets of officials following and inflexible routine



current changes affecting funeral service

Extended Life expectancy (LONGEVITY)
Death in institutions


Social factors affecting the funeral rite. Three areas that may affect funeral selections

o Freedom of choice - mobility
o Class or Social Level – more elaborate
o Economic Position - ……………


The categorization of individuals by money, prestige and power. It includes a ranking of social status (social class/ position) in groups such as upper, middle, and lower class

Social Stratification


key points about social stratification

 Funeral rite may represent a status symbol.

 The lower social stratification of Americans tend to experience the highest frequency of death.

 Statistically poor people spend the most on funerals


an individual’s economic assets (income).



a person’s reputation or influence arising from success, achievement or other favorable attributes



the ability of an individual or group to implement wishes or policies with or without the cooperation of others



a social grouping in which members possess roughly equivalent, culturally valued attributes.

social class


the movement (up or down) of an individual from one social class to another.

Social mobility


Sociologists believe that the following factors affects social mobility:

 Parental encouragement
 An effective education
 Ambition
 Hard work


The area in which a family lives will affect the type of funeral rite selected.

For example, communities based in areas where logging is extremely common one might find that a wooden casket will be more desired

geographic location


the tendency of off-spring to move away from the area in which they were born. This will have an effect on the funeral rite. When parents pass on, the children might bring trends of the area in which they currently live in



There is a tendency that the higher the educational level an individual has, the less likely to have a traditional funeral.

They are more likely to choose cremation instead of earth burial



According to sociologist religion serves several functions.


1. Providing social cohesion.
2. Supporting and maintaining social control.
3. Promoting social change.


This has changed the funeral rite by placing more regulations on the funeral process.

For example, laws requiring transportation permits, death certificates, etc.




1. Location of the funeral rite and preparation of the body. Increase presence and utilization of funeral home. Years past many of the activities involved in funeralization was conducted in the private home.

2. Change in direct involvement of family and friends. More reliance and responsibility on the funeral director and staff.

3. Cost of funeral is no longer focused on the price of the casket. The casket now represents a smaller portion of the total expense of the funeral. Affected by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule required itemization. Charges for professional service rendered.

4. Influence of the automobile Selection of the funeral home is no longer influenced as much by the proximity to the family home. Families are able to travel further for better service. Burial could occur at a greater distance from home (instead of burial in family or local cemeteries).

5. Influence of the airplane Provides transportation of human remains over long distances in a short period of time. Facilitates the neo-local (the tendency of off-springs to move away from the area in which they were born) family members during time of death.

6. Influence of disposition Transition from “Church yard” cemeteries to “memorial park” cemeteries.

Increase in: Cremation / Body donation / Entombment - placing a casketed human remains in a mausoleum. / Immediate disposition

7. Influence of organized religion
(a) Some churches are opening and operating funeral homes
(b) Some clergy are becoming more active in the arrangement conference with the family.

8. Influence of immigration - Cultural diversity represented by the presence of a growing variety of ethnic and cultural groups in the United States.