A BRAVE NEW WORLD OF BURIALS: THE BUSINESS OF IDIOSYNCRATIC BODY DISPOSAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

David O. Whitten

Abstract


Democracy spreads wealth to the masses and allows low-income citizens to enjoy comforts of life denied the elite of past civilizations. And because democracy makes conspicuous consumption available to a multitude of the living, the culture of extravagance extends to after-death rites. The most prosperous generation is dying and in the process is defying tradition in favor of extravagantly personalized funerals.

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