Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rest in PeaceA Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gary Laderman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183559.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 June 2019

From House Calls to Funeral Homes: Changing Relations between the Living and the Dead

From House Calls to Funeral Homes: Changing Relations between the Living and the Dead

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 From House Calls to Funeral Homes: Changing Relations between the Living and the Dead
Source:
Rest in Peace
Author(s):

Gary Laderman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183559.003.0001

By the start of the 20th century, the relationship between the living and the dead in the United States had begun to change dramatically. In many ways, the intimacy that had connected the physical remains with a community of family and friends was gradually being supplanted by a gaping social divide. In large part, the divide was produced by three social factors: changes in demographic patterns, the rise of hospitals as places of dying, and the growth of modern funeral homes. Decreasing mortality trends, increasing longevity, and the rise of the hospital system allowed the funeral industry to take root, and flourish, in American society. The number of funeral homes around the country grew rapidly and funeral directors achieved an air of authority in mortal matters. Embalming became a standard in the preparation of the dead for disposal. Jessica Mitford was on the right track when she identified a “new mythology” emanating from industry rhetoric to legitimate business and ritual changes in the details of modern American funerals.

Keywords:   United States, Jessica Mitford, funerals, dead, intimacy, funeral homes, funeral industry, embalming, hospitals, funeral directors

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .