chapter 8

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Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Number Date Reflection on Chapter 8 From the chapter, it is clear that communities enact ceremonies to mark the passing of one of the members thus expressing, through symbol and metaphors, the way different social groups perceive death. The author addresses the four major functions of a funeral (274). The funeral serves as a way of acknowledging and commemorating the death of an individual, as well as providing a situation for body disposal. Besides these two functions, funerals help in reorienting the bereft to their lives, not to mention establishes mutual social and economic responsibilities between the bereft and their social world (276). The fact that every human culture has death rites suggests that they serve as distinctive human needs. Once a person dies, immediate family members of the deceased are the first to learn about it, besides the medical team. After the public learns about it, they gather to provide support and comfort to the bereaved (308). These rituals are important because they exemplify the rhythm of separation and assimilation. Death announcement, visits to the bereft family as well as other after-death rituals deliver a strong emotional impetus for realizing a loss. According to the subtopic on Funerals in the United States, very few people care for their own dead nowadays but rather hire professionals to do so (280). Since time immemorial, funerals have had critics too. Some even claim that the modern idea of funerals is merely a hint of a pagan irrational fear of death (283). Despite critics of American funerals, many individuals are very comfortable with the kind of services provided in

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