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1

Sociology

The science that deals with the various social groups which we encounter in our world today, the internal organization and operation of those social groups, the ways to change and maintain these organizations, and the relationship between these social groups.

2

Funeral service sociology

Address ourselves specifically to the funeral and disposition of human remains of the various groups that a funeral director will serve.

Begins with arrangements, ends with disposition.

3

Cultural Universals include:

Government

Marriage

Funeral rites

4

Funeral rites within a culture

Traditional funeral rites

Humanistic funeral rites

Adaptive funeral rites

Immediate disposition

Primitive funeral rites

5

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of importance

1. Physiological needs

2. Safety needs

3. Social needs

4. Esteem needs

5. Self fulfillment

6

Physiological needs

Oxygen
Food
Shelter
Water
Sleep
Elimination
Clothing

7

Safety needs

Security
Stability
Order
Physical safety
Shelter for body warmth and protection
Sensory or motor stimulation
Stability and consistency in one's life

8

Social needs/love

Affection
Identification
Companionship
Love and belonging

9

Emotional needs

Love
Approval and self esteem
Importance
Recognition and respect

10

Esteem needs

Self esteem
Self recognition
Prestige
Success
Esteem of others
Recognition
Self sufficiency
Needs to be wanted
Need to be needed
Productivity

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Social needs

Identification
Belonging
Education or learning
Religion or spiritual
Recreation or play

12

Self actualization

Self fulfillment
Achieving one's capabilities
Beauty
Harmony
Spiritual

13

Responsibilities of the family

Discipline- includes attitude towards death and dying.

Giving and receiving motivation

Establishment and fulfillment of mental expectations.

14

Modernization is credited to what three processes?

1. Urbanization

2. Industrialization

3. Bureaucratization

15

What determines a family's funeral customs?

Mores, folkways and customs

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Enculturation

Socialization, the process by which each individual learns about the accepted social values and activities important to his/her culture

Dictates what people can and cannot do in regards to death and the funeral rite

These dictates become custom

17

Kantor and Lehr 3 basic family types

1. Open family structures

2. Closed family structures

3. Random family structures

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Open family structures

Democratic
Allow honest exchange
Sense of order
Flexibility
Adaptation through consensus
Individual rights are respected
Loyalty of self and family is expected


In grief: tolerant

19

Closed family structures

Rules and heirarchal power structure
Subordinate their needs to the good of the group
Rigid daily schedules
Seek stability through tradition


In grief: rigidity and loyalty may disallow feelings and block communication.

20

Random family structures

More likely to do their own thing
Few rules if any
Fosters exploration through intuition

In grief: inhibit the sharing of the reality of the death and the experience of loss.

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Healthy families

Have a shares religious core
Abound in rituals and traditions

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Terminal Illness

Depleting emotionally
Financial issues
Life support issues
Organ donation

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Sudden death

Accidental or violent
Family must deal with:
Shock
Disbelief
Abrupt changes in lifestyle
No time to prepare
Unfinished business
No time to say goodbye

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Violent death

Trauma possible from body disfiguration

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Homicide

Time consuming court cases
Believe justice has not been served

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Major disaster

Insecurity
Feelings of vulnerability

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Deaths not grieved openly

Suicide
Homicide
Alcohol related deaths
AIDS

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Minimized deaths

Miscarriage
Stillbirth
Infant death

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Crisis

An unstable state of affairs in which a decisive change is impeding

30

Religion in America

Judeo-Christian
Overall purpose is to allow for the acknowledgement of the doctrine of atonement.

Other purpose is to permit the bereaved family to call into use their faith and belief concerning life and death

31

Government in America

Democratic
Families are free to select the funeral rite of their choice

32

Economics in America

American is a nation of free enterprise

Funeral home not funded directly by the government, free to open own funeral home.

33

Age in America

Youth oriented society
Death denying
Place the old in nursing homes

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Educational Level in America

High degree of educational status with excellent public education systems


Many funeral directors are required by state to take continuing education program classes

35

Mobility in America

Very mobile society with much evidence of neo-localism, relocation is acceptable.

36

Use of the funeral home

Normal site for visitation, rosaries, fraternal services, embalming.

Sometimes arrangements.

Sometimes funeral service.

37

Use of embalming

Became more greatly accepted after WWII.
Purpose is primarily disinfection, secondarily preservation, third restoration.

Enables a family to wait longer to assemble relatives for the funeral rite, which enables a more complete acceptance of death.

38

Viewing the remains

Differs in different parts of the Country.

gathering at the funeral home to physically view the remains

39

Visitation at the funeral home

Either via set hours or a state room depending on area.

May provide the only time for friends and family of the deceased to visit informally with the immediate family of the deceased during the funeral period.

40

The funeral director

Must expand knowledge on type of family they are serving, customs, traditions and religion of the family, and the rules and regulations that the family operates under.

41

Credit

Allows a family to select a more desirable service at the time of death or before death.

42

Disposition of the remains

Interment is predominant, entombment, and cremation

43

Pre need programs

Planning and purchase of merchandise before death occurs

44

Itemization

A method of pricing that provides a separate charge for each item of service and merchandise.

45

Factors that have contributed to the avoidance or denial of death

Secularization of American society

Deritualization of grief

Growth of impersonal technology around dying people

Unrealistic attention and focus on death

46

Three primary styles of denial

1. Ignore death

2. Efforts to lessen the harshness of death- choice words, beautification

3. A distorted preoccupation with death that, to some degree, mimics pornography in its danger of dehumanizing genuine feelings and emotions.

47

3 primary categories of fear associated with death process

1. The process of dying is painful

2. The process of dying is undignified

3. The process of dying as a burden to others

48

3 primary categories of fear associated with death (in general)

1. Fear of the process of dying

2. Fear of the loss of life

3. Fear of what happens after death

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Fear of the loss of life

Vulnerability
Incompleteness or failure
Separation of people, places, and things that are loved and treasured.

50

Fear of what happens after death

The fate of the body
Fear of judgement
Fear of what happens after death

51

The death anxiety scale

Measures:
General death anxiety
Thoughts and talk of death
Subjective proximity of death
Fear of pain and suffering
Fear of the unknown

52

The threat index

Interview format, used in 23% of studies, offers more interpretability than the DAS.

53

The collett- Lester fear of death scale

36 items connected to 4 dimensions of death anxiety:

1. Death of self
2. Dying of self
3. Death of others
4. Dying of others

18% of studies

54

The Hoelter multidimensional fear of death scale

4% of studies, features 8 individual subscales, each containing 6 items on which respondents indicate extent of their agreement.

55

6 goals for death care professionals

1. Tactfully avoid euphemisms in speaking and writing (remove taboo).
2. Promote and demonstrate comfortable and intelligent interaction
3. Encourage death education for children
4. Perceive health care workers and other caregivers as professionals and human beings.
5. Stay educated on changes and trends.
6. Encourage, communicate, participate in meaningful research in the field of death studies, grief, and bereavement.

56

4 points to be drawn from funeral rites

1. The funeral rite itself can be called a social function.

2. The funeral rite is a cultural universal.

3. To understand how a society buries it's dead, the funeral director must first examine and understand the social structure of the society.

4. Funeral rites reflect both modern and contemporary tendencies.

57

Psychology

The study of human behavior, focuses on the individual behavioral patterns of living things.

Begins at time of death and ends with the acceptance of death.