Does the American Funeral Exist?

    Does the American funeral actually exist?  In short "no",  and yet at the same time it does.  The American funeral is an interesting thing which says a lot about the Australian funeral industry, and Australian society on a broader level.  In this post I continue my theme of 'American funeral' and look at if it really exists.


Could Big Data Predict Funeral Work?

    One of the most common annoyances of the funeral industry is the lack of predictability for the work.  However, recently I was in a class on quantitative research where we discussed 'big data' and I realised how it could possibly apply to the funeral industry.  That this new form of qualitative research might be able to accurately predict specific details about funeral work.

Which would be quite a benefit to many companies and individuals!


The Negatives of the American Funeral

     In this pervious post I discussed at the definition of the American funeral, the five key points which make up our understanding of this concept as the Australian industry uses it.

    Just the idea, the notion and nothing more, of American funerals is a source of anxiety and concern with those in the Australian funeral industry.  I have found an actual and ever present worry that the Australian industry will "slip" into American styles.  So let's look at what is so bad about the American funeral as viewed by the Australian industry.


Ageism in the Industry & The Funeral Friends

    Ageism is quite common within the funeral industry, I have found only a few places where it doesn't exist.  So no one company is at fault really, no single company, group, or person is ageist.  Instead it is an industry wide thing, ageism is an aspect of the funeral industry and not of funeral companies.


Blog Stats - 13/05/13

    I'm rather busy at the moment, so a breakdown of the blog stats will have to do for now.  Hopefully I'll have more content up soon, but until then you can read over the stats.  Yes, I do like reading stats like this, guess my psychology and social science background is a big part of who I am.


Origins of the American Funeral

    The American funeral has an interesting history, which is unfortunately difficult to follow and mostly based on rumours and anecdotes.  It is not a new idea by any means, but is one which has changed over time.


Research Participants Needed !!!!

Surveys are now CLOSED and interviews are no longer being conducted, thank you to those who participated!

HREA Panel B approval no. 13 031

The Public & Private Domains of Everyday Life: Social Sanitation & Australian Understandings of the Funeral Industry 

    I am looking for people to participate in my honours project!  This project seeks to develop a better understanding of our society through the modern Australian funeral industry.

    To do this I will need people to participate in interviews.  There are two types of participants I am after; those who have direct experience working in the funeral industry (funeral staff), and others with no experience working in the industry (the general public).  This project is part of honours in anthropology at the University of New South Wales and has received ethics approval (approval no. 13 031) from HREA Panel B at UNSW.

If you, or someone you know, is interested then contact me: 
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Selection Criteria (for funeral participants):
  • Currently based in Sydney.
  • Work within the funeral industry, past or present.  This can include any role with direct funeral experience.  Such as an undertaker, crematorium staff, transfer crew, mortician, gravedigger, celebrants, and so on.  You do not need to be directly employed by a funeral company as long as you have direct experience working within the funeral industry in some capacity.
  • Aged 18 to 70.
  • Potential participants who have experienced a loss of a family member or friend within the last 24 months will be excluded.

Selection Criteria (for non-funeral participants):
  • Currently based in Sydney.
  • Very little to no direct experience with funeral industry procedures.  As in, never employed by a funeral company.
  • Aged 21 to 60.
  • Potential participants who have experienced a loss of a family member or friend within the last 24 months will be excluded.

Other Important Information:
  • All interviews will be conducted between the 25th of June and 30th of August.
  • Interviews will last 30 minutes.
  • Voice recordings and written notes will be taken, no videos or photos will be taken.
  • Interviews are face-to-face and semi-structured.  This means there will be a set of open ended questions which the participant can direct.
  • It should be noted, this project is separate from the blog and its own project done through the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

If you, or someone you know, is interested then contact me: 
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    There is a copied of the project flyer below which has more information about the project.  You are welcome to share this flyer (and post) with anyone who might be interested in participating.

Funeral Industry Study
Hello, my name is Peter Minucos, and I am conducting a study exploring perceptions of the funeral industry in Sydney. This study will be looking at the public and private aspects of what happens after death and people’s attitudes and understandings of the industry. 

This study is for the purposes of my Honours research project in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of New South Wales, and this research has received ethics approval (approval no. 13 031) from HREA Panel B at UNSW. Through this study I hope to gain a better understanding of ‘social sanitation’ within society, how undesirable processes are removed from the public. I also hope to learn more about the funeral industry itself, from how it operates to why it works the way it does. 

I am seeking people and organisations willing to participate in the project and discuss their views on this topic. 

Anyone interested in the funeral industry or this topic is free to participate. I am seeking anyone who might have experience relating to the funeral industry, such as having attended a funeral, or work in a funeral company. But I am also looking for anyone curious in the funeral industry. The interviews should go for no longer than 30 minutes, and there will be no compensation from participation, although it will be greatly appreciated! 

If you are interested in participating please contact me with the information provided below OR if you know someone who may be interested please feel free to pass on this flyer. If you are interested you can contact me for more information on how you can participate to this research. 

I can be contacted on the following:
Email: Peter Minucos at theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com 
Or you can contact my research supervisor, Dr. Amanda Kearney.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration! 

Pinegrove Open Night

    The Pinegrove Cemetery & Crematorium was a simple but fun night.  It was strange to have the open night at 6pm on a Tuesday, but it worked well. I enjoyed the night quite a lot and will definitely be at the next one.  An event well worth going to.


Interview with an Undertaker

    Here's the first interview with someone from the funeral industry.  I feel it went well and the topics discussed were quite interesting, it was good to hear such a frank and open opinion on certain things.


Defining the American Funeral

    The 'American funeral' is a very important concept for the Australian funeral industry, it is talked about and referred to heavily (both directly and indirectly) by those within the industry.  Without doubt it is very important to discourse within the industry, and yet it is poorly explored or even defined, which only leads to an unhealthy discussion.

    As such I will spend some time digging deeply into this important yet overlooked topic, finally exploring it and giving it the time it deserves.