Matching Items (2)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

134273-Thumbnail Image.png

Between the Beauty Pageant and Utilitarian Disposal: Ideas and Practices Governing the Modern Funeral Home

Description

This thesis is structured proleptically, in the initial section I introduce the modern funeral service practices, what I call the compromise. The compromise consists of the system of burial rituals

This thesis is structured proleptically, in the initial section I introduce the modern funeral service practices, what I call the compromise. The compromise consists of the system of burial rituals defined by what I call the beauty pageant and the utilitarian disposal. The beauty pageant is the burial practice which involves embalming and cosmetically decorating the deceased. The utilitarian disposal consists of cremating the deceased into ashes and leaving the option available for added accessories. Both aspects of the modern funeral are subject to exploitation of the deceased as they are products of commodifying the deceased. Following this, I detail the medieval burial practices which define the burial practices of the Old Regime, managed by the authority of the Church. I recount the details which led up to the commercialization of funeral practices, which took the authority over burial from the hands of the Church and put it into the hands of the state. The commercialization of burial came with the bureaucratization and medicalization of death, since the death certificate was in the hands of medical staff and the state, and the burial rites were in the hands of the tradesman, the undertaker. The shift of power allowed for those unable to be buried under the Old regime, a place in the communal burial grounds, the cemetery. But with this commercialization came the exclusion of the poor, which were cared for under the charity of the Church prior to. This led to the development of the secular, pragmatic burial style, cremation. Cremation added another aspect to the modern funeral services, a utilitarian method in dealing with the deceased, which has the availability to be embellished or left as pragmatic. The utilitarian method of burial is subject to the same exploitative practices as the beauty pageant, since the endless options of dealing with the ashes of the deceased are commodified. The aim of the modern funeral industry is to provide a ritual and practice which allows for a commemorative event for the bereaved families of the deceased. Since the modern funeral practices have the capability of exploiting those bereaved families, it presents the question of what ways could the families commemorate without the commodification of the deceased. In my conclusion, I propose the idea of commemoration through a focus of legacy and memorialization through an obituary or memorial that represents who the person was in life and captures the essence of the personality of the deceased. This is along the lines of the commemoration that has been a part of human history since the Greek warriors, whose body was not the focus of death, but instead captures the essence of their values.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

157438-Thumbnail Image.png

A History of the Monuments & Memorials in the Wesley Bolin Plaza at the Arizona State Capitol

Description

ABSTRACT

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is located across the street from the state capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. Here, pieces of Arizona’s history are commemorated through monuments and memorials.

ABSTRACT

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is located across the street from the state capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. Here, pieces of Arizona’s history are commemorated through monuments and memorials. Monuments and memorials reflect how people have conceived their collective identity, especially when those choices are made in public spaces. The markers in the Wesley Bolin Plaza reflect the changing identity of Arizonans, both locally and in connection to national identity. Over time, they have become crucial to shaping the landscape and the historical memory of the city, state, or country. Of note, the memorials on the Arizona State Capitol grounds are unique in how they are placed all together in a park directly across the street. In 1976, the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza emerged through a conversation with broader currents in the region’s and nation’s history. Over time, the plaza has become a sacred space because so many of its memorials include relics and artifacts, or list the names of those who have lost their lives in their service to Arizona. In these ways the plaza became a landscape of memory where visitors come to remember and honor those people and parts of Arizona history. The memorial plaza also influences Arizonans’ knowledge of history. It engenders a local as well as a national loyalty and identity in its citizens and visitors. By researching the history of several of the prominent monuments and memorials in the plaza, I discovered a rich history and an intriguing story behind each one that is built. Most monuments and memorials are commemorating complex events or people in history, yet have only short inscriptions on them. As a result, much of the historical narrative, complexities, and symbolism can be lost. My purpose is to tell the story of the plaza, these memorials, and their history; highlighting their significance to Arizonans and explaining how the monuments and memorials fit into the larger story of historical commemoration.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019