Death comes to all humans, but how death is managed, symbolised and experienced varies widely, not only between individuals but also between groups. What then shapes how a society manages death, dying and bereavement today? Are all modern countries similar? How important are culture, the physical environment, national histories, national laws and institutions, and globalization? This is the first book to look at how all these different factors shape death and dying in the modern world. Written by an internationally renowned scholar in death studies, and drawing on examples from around the world, including the UK, USA, China and Japan, The Netherlands, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. This book investigates how key factors such as money, communication technologies, the family, religion, and war, interact in complex ways to shape people’s experiences of dying and grief. Essential reading for students, researchers and professionals across sociology, anthropology, social work and healthcare, and for anyone who wants to understand how countries around the world manage death and dying.

Global Flows

Global Flows

Global Flows

This chapter looks at global flows of death-related goods and services, of people, information, and practices. Of particular interest are the directions of flow, and to what extent modern western deathways are becoming globalized or getting undermined by globalization.

Goods and Services


Recently I phoned an acquaintance who is a funeral director in my country, England, assuming him to be in his office, only to hear him reply from Ghana in West Africa where he has set up a funeral home. The Internet has made customized Ghanaian coffins world famous, but he told me there is also a demand for prestigious imported caskets. Chinese manufacturers are now producing American-style caskets and so can undercut American manufacturers, one of which has therefore now outsourced ...

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