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Chinese funeral culture shift and its implication


    Potential methods of attack:
    Topical Paper
    Identify trend, behaviour, custom, habit, ritual, subculture, etc
    Current debates surrounding this topic
    Global/ Local phenomena?
    Cultural theories that might help us
    to better understand why this form
    of practice exists

    introduction(funeral culture, background, industry, phenomenon-conmercialize..possible theories explain)
    literature review (three theories review: notions of interpassivity; sacred and profane consumption and desired/ undesired self)
    discussion (use the theories to help to understand the phenomenon.

    professor’s suggestion:
    Your theoretical positioning around Chinese funerals was unique. I was ok with the fact that you drew from psychological theories of interpassivity. You certainly were able to well support your arguments using this positioning. Considering that you had no input from me, I was impressed.

    At the same time I think we can better develop this topic for your individual paper to ensure you do well in all aspects of the course. While I really like your take on the commercialization of funerals, I also think that we can better support our arguments through notions of sacred and profane consumption and desired/ undesired self.
    The point that I am trying to drive home here is that marketers have absolutely commercialized the funeral process- I agree with you here completely. At the same time Chinese people (and all people really) are socialized into having certain practices associated with honoring our dead. In other words all of us want to pay for each and every part of the funeral process you highlighted in order to 1.) guarantee a clear passage into the afterlife; 2.) honor or dead- our filial duty. However, due to the increasing commercialization of this act (and the expense) we are not always able to fulfill this duty in a way that brings honor to the people that died. Sometimes we are forced to take short cuts and make decisions we would not otherwise make if we had unlimited financial resources.