scholarly journals ‘My Memories of the Time We Had Together Are More Important’: Direct Cremation and the Privatisation of UK Funerals

Sociology ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. 003803852110363
Kate Woodthorpe ◽  
Hannah Rumble ◽  
Anne Corden ◽  
John Birrell ◽  
Henk Schut ◽  

Funerals have long been of interest to social scientists. Previous sociological work has examined the relationship between individuality, belief and tradition within funeral services, founded on the assumption that public rituals have psycho-social benefit for organisers and attendees. With the introduction of direct cremation to the UK, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on funeral service attendance in 2020 and 2021, critique of this assumption is now needed. Drawing on interviews with recently bereaved people who organised a direct cremation in late 2017, this article illustrates how compromise, control and consistency are key drivers for not having a funeral service. The article argues that a declining importance in the fate of the body and a move towards ‘invite-only’ commemorative events represents a waning need for social support offered by a public, communal funeral service. In turn, this indicates a sequestration, or privatisation, of the contemporary funeral.

2015 ◽  
Vol 15 (3) ◽  
pp. 33-39 ◽  
David Evans

This paper considers the relationship between social science and the food industry, and it suggests that collaboration can be intellectually productive and morally rewarding. It explores the middle ground that exists between paid consultancy models of collaboration on the one hand and a principled stance of nonengagement on the other. Drawing on recent experiences of researching with a major food retailer in the UK, I discuss the ways in which collaborating with retailers can open up opportunities for accessing data that might not otherwise be available to social scientists. Additionally, I put forward the argument that researchers with an interest in the sustainability—ecological or otherwise—of food systems, especially those of a critical persuasion, ought to be empirically engaging with food businesses. I suggest that this is important in terms of generating better understandings of the objectionable arrangements that they seek to critique, and in terms of opening up conduits through which to affect positive changes. Cutting across these points is the claim that while resistance to commercial engagement might be misguided, it is nevertheless important to acknowledge the power-geometries of collaboration and to find ways of leveling and/or leveraging them. To conclude, I suggest that universities have an important institutional role to play in defining the terms of engagement as well as maintaining the boundaries between scholarship and consultancy—a line that can otherwise become quite fuzzy when the worlds of commerce and academic research collide.

2021 ◽  
pp. 097168582110159
Sital Mohanty ◽  
Subhasis Sahoo ◽  
Pranay Kumar Swain

Science, technology and human values have been the subject of enquiry in the last few years for social scientists and eventually the relationship between science and gender is the subject of an ongoing debate. This is due to the event of globalization which led to the exponential growth of new technologies like assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART, one of the most iconic technological innovations of the twentieth century, has become increasingly a normal social fact of life. Since ART invades multiple human discourses—thereby transforming culture, society and politics—it is important what is sociological about ART as well as what is biological. This article argues in commendation of sociology of technology, which is alert to its democratic potential but does not concurrently conceal the historical and continuing role of technology in legitimizing gender discrimination. The article draws the empirical insights from local articulations (i.e., Odisha state in eastern India) for the understandings of motherhood, freedom and choice, reproductive right and rights over the body to which ART has contributed. Sociologically, the article has been supplemented within the broader perspectives of determinism, compatibilism alongside feminism.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (13) ◽  
pp. 6845
Rebecca L. Pratt

The buzz about hyaluronan (HA) is real. Whether found in face cream to increase water volume loss and viscoelasticity or injected into the knee to restore the properties of synovial fluid, the impact of HA can be recognized in many disciplines from dermatology to orthopedics. HA is the most abundant polysaccharide of the extracellular matrix of connective tissues. HA can impact cell behavior in specific ways by binding cellular HA receptors, which can influence signals that facilitate cell survival, proliferation, adhesion, as well as migration. Characteristics of HA, such as its abundance in a variety of tissues and its responsiveness to chemical, mechanical and hormonal modifications, has made HA an attractive molecule for a wide range of applications. Despite being discovered over 80 years ago, its properties within the world of fascia have only recently received attention. Our fascial system penetrates and envelopes all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, providing the body with a functional structure and an environment that enables all bodily systems to operate in an integrated manner. Recognized interactions between cells and their HA-rich extracellular microenvironment support the importance of studying the relationship between HA and the body’s fascial system. From fasciacytes to chronic pain, this review aims to highlight the connections between HA and fascial health.

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Ismail Badraoui ◽  
Ivo van der Lans ◽  
Youssef Boulaksil ◽  
Jack G.A.J. van der Vorst

PurposeThis study investigates the impact of agri-food supply chains (AFSCs) characteristics on the antecedents of horizontal logistics collaboration (HLC). Specifically, the study compares the relationship between collaboration activities and outcomes for companies in and outside AFSCs.Design/methodology/approachFirst, a survey was used to collect data from different industries. Second, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were applied to compare the measurement and structural models from different industry categories.FindingsThe results support the premise that collaboration improves trust and commitment in the relationship, which in turn enhance satisfaction. The results also show the existence of a minor influence of AFSCs characteristics on HLC antecedents, in the form of an indirect impact of dedicated investments on commitment.Practical implicationsThe factors having a significant influence on the collaboration outcomes and their respective effects are generally similar across food and nonfood supply chains, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary and collaboration experiences.Originality/valueThis research contributes to the body of knowledge on interfirm collaboration by considering the specificities of HLC. It also highlights the importance of conducting contingency research on collaborative experiences, as firms from different industry contexts operate under distinct operational conditions.

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Yasaman Sarabi ◽  
Matthew Smith ◽  
Heather McGregor ◽  
Dimitris Christopoulos

PurposeThe relationship between interlocking directorates and firm performance has been increasingly debated, with a focus on whether firm's centrality in interlock networks is associated with performance. The purpose of this study is to examine not only how a firm's position in this network is associated with performance but also how the performance of network partners can impact a firm's performance. This study examines how firms effectively utilise the interlock network to achieve the goal of higher market capitalisation – termed market capitalisation rank (MCR).Design/methodology/approachThe premise of the study is the UK FTSE 350 firms from 2014 to 2018. The paper makes use of a temporal network autocorrelation model to examine how firm characteristics, the structural position in the interlock network and the performance of network partners affect MCR over time.FindingsThe analysis indicates that firms with ties (via the interlock network) to firms with high market capitalisation are more likely to enhance their own MCR, highlighting network partners have the opportunity to play a critical role in a firm's dominance strategy to optimise firm value.Originality/valueThe value of this research is that it does not only look at the impact of a firm's position in the network on performance, but the impact of the performance of network partners on a firm's market performance as well.

2013 ◽  
Vol 16 (2) ◽  
pp. 20-36
Mike Fisher

This paper concerns the impact of social work research, particularly on practice and practitioners. It explores the politics of research and how this affects practice, the way that university-based research understands practice, and some recent developments in establishing practice research as an integral and permanent part of the research landscape. While focusing on implications for the UK, it draws on developments in research across Europe, North America and Australasia to explore how we can improve the relationship between research and practice.

Lorna Ann Moore

This chapter discusses the one-to-one interactions between participants in the video performance In[bodi]mental. It presents personal accounts of users' body swapping experiences through real-time Head Mounted Display systems. These inter-corporeal encounters are articulated through the lens of psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and his work on the “Mirror Stage” (1977), phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1968) and his writings on the Chiasm, and anthropologist Rane Willerslev's (2007) research on mimesis. The study of these positions provides new insights into the blurred relationship between the corporeal Self and the digital Other. The way the material body is stretched across these divisions highlights the way digital media is the catalyst in this in[bodied] experience of be[ing] in the world. The purpose of this chapter is to challenge the relationship between the body and video performance to appreciate the impact digital media has on one's perception of a single bounded self and how two selves become an inter-corporeal experience shared through the technology.

Rose Cecily

This chapter studies the relationship between corruption and global security. It begins by discussing the term ‘corruption’, which lacks a legal definition and can mean different things to lawyers and to social scientists. The chapter describes the various ways in which corruption and insecurity can relate to each other. Corruption is both a cause of global insecurity and a consequence of it. In other words, corruption may lead to insecurity, and conversely, insecurity, as in post-conflict societies, may lead to corruption and to greater tolerance of it. In addition, corruption can also be a cause of security or stability, rather than insecurity. Finally, anti-corruption measures and campaigns may themselves inadvertently cause insecurity. The chapter then details the international legal framework concerning corruption. It explores the extent to which anti-corruption treaty laws can serve as tools or guides for States and also non-State actors seeking to combat corruption and promote global security. The chapter also considers one of the challenges facing researchers who study the causes and consequences of corruption, namely the difficulties involved in measuring corruption and the impact of anti-corruption laws.

2020 ◽  
pp. 154-178
Sylvia de Mars

This chapter focuses on the relationship between EU law and national law. It first explores the jurisprudence on what is known as the doctrine of supremacy of EU law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). When a national court observes that a national law clashes with an EU law, they must set aside that national law. The EU legal order would not work without a doctrine like supremacy: not only would domestic courts not be compelled to apply EU law instead of conflicting national law, but it is likely that different domestic courts would take different decisions as to whether to apply EU law over national law in a given scenario. The chapter then considers how supremacy has been received in Germany and the UK, looking at how the German and UK legal orders interact with EU law. It then addresses whether ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ is compatible with EU membership, and examines the impact of Brexit on the supremacy of EU law.

Nutrients ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 12 (6) ◽  
pp. 1868
Wim Calame ◽  
Laura Street ◽  
Toine Hulshof

Vitamin D status is relatively poor in the general population, potentially leading to various conditions. The present study evaluates the relationship between vitamin D status and intake in the UK population and the impact of vitamin D fortified ready-to-eat cereals (RTEC) on this status via data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS: 2008–2012). Four cohorts were addressed: ages 4–10 (n = 803), ages 11–18 (n = 884), ages 19–64 (n = 1655) and ages 65 and higher (n = 428). The impact of fortification by 4.2 μg vitamin D per 100 g of RTEC on vitamin D intake and status was mathematically modelled. Average vitamin D daily intake was age-dependent, ranging from ~2.6 (age range 4–18 years) to ~5.0 μg (older than 64 years). Average 25(OH)D concentration ranged from 43 to 51 nmol/L, the highest in children. The relationship between vitamin D intake and status followed an asymptotic curve with a predicted plateau concentration ranging from 52 in children to 83 nmol/L in elderly. The fortification model showed that serum concentrations increased with ~1.0 in children to ~6.5 nmol/L in the elderly. This study revealed that vitamin D intake in the UK population is low with 25(OH)D concentrations being suboptimal for general health. Fortification of breakfast cereals can contribute to improve overall vitamin D status.

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