Funeral industry: United States

Baker, C., Menzel Baker, S. & Gentry, J. 2016

‘The role of body disposition in making sense of life and death’ in S. Dobscha (ed.) Death in a Consumer Culture, London: Routledge, 213-227.

Banks, D. 1998

‘The economics of death? A descriptive study of the impact of the funeral on cremation costs on US households’, Death Studies, 22: 3, 269-85.

Beard, V. & Burger, W. 2017

‘Change and innovation in the funeral industry: a typology of motivations’, OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, 75:1, 47-68.

Beard, V. & Burger, W. 2017

‘Selling in a dying business: an analysis of trends during a period of major market transition in the funeral industry’, OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, 8:4, 544-567.

Cann, C. 2020

‘Buying an afterlife: mapping religious belief through consumer death goods’, in C. Cann (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Death and the Afterlife, London: Routledge, 377-392.

Chiapelli, J. & Chiapelli, T. 2008

‘Drinking grandma: the problem of embalming’, Journal of Environmental Health, 71, 24-28.

Dawdy, S. 2013

‘Archaeology of modern American death: grave goods and blithe mementos’, in P. Graves-Brown, R. Harrison & A. Piccini (eds) The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World, Oxford: Oxford Handbooks Online.

Drenton, J., McManus, K., and Labrecque, L. 2017

‘Graves, gifts and the bereaved consumer: a restorative perspective of gift exchange’, Consumption Markets and Culture, 20: 5, 423-455.

Elliott, B. 2016

‘Proclaiming modernity in the monument trade: Barre Granite, Vermont Marble, and national advertising’, in S. Dobscha (ed.) Death in a Consumer Culture, London: Routledge, 13-29.

Fletcher, K. 2015

‘Real Business: Maryland’s first Black cemetery journey’s into the enterprise of death, 1807-1920’, Thanatological Studies, 7: 53-85.

Gabel, T,, Mansfield, P. & Westbrook, P. 1996

‘The disposal of consumers: an exporatory analysis of death-related consumption’, Advances in Consumer Research, 23, 361-367.

Lowenthal, W. 2006

‘“Suitable grave stones”: the workshop of Moses Davis of Nashua, New Hampshire’, Markers, 13, 7-35.

Mallios, S. & Caterino, D. 2011

‘Mortality, money, and commemoration: social and economic factors in Southern California grave-marker change during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 15, 429-460.

Marsh, T. 2013

‘Rethinking the law of the dead’, Wake Forest Law Review 48: 5, 1327-1344.

Marsh, T. 2014

‘A new lease on death’, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, 49, 421-451.

McChesney, F. 1990

‘Consumer ignorance and consumer protection law: empirical evidence from the FTC funeral rule’, Journal of Law and Politics, 7:1, 1-72.

McCusker, K. 2023

Just Enough to Put Him Away Decent: Death Care, Life Extension and the Making of a Healthier South, 1900-1955, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Olson, P. 2016

‘Custody of the corpse: controlling alkaline hydrolysis in US death care markets’, in S. Dobscha (ed.) Death in a Consumer Culture, London: Routledge, 75-88.

Olson, P. 2014

‘Flush and bone: funeralizing alkaline hydrolysis in the United States’, Science, Technology and Human Values, 39:5, 666-693.

Prothero, S. 2001

Purified by Fire: A History of Cremation in America, Berkeley, University of California Press.


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract