Cultural Death Rituals Essay

Cultural Death Rituals Essay


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You are required to write an essay in which you compare American death rituals, specifically funeral and memorial practices, to the death rituals in another culture.  You should use previous material from the course (specifically about the U.S.) and do your own research to provide an in-depth examination of death rituals in another culture.


When referring to death rituals, I’m specifically talking about funerals, memorials, and body disposal.


Questions you might consider about the U.S. and the other culture as you write the paper:

  • What are past death rituals and why? How have these changed and why?  What are some of the factors that influence death rituals?


In writing the paper, you might follow this outline:

  • Death rituals in the U.S, including an analysis of the death practices (why they exist, the importance, implications).
  • Death rituals in another culture, including an analysis of the death practices (why they exist, the importance, implications).
  • An analysis of the similarities and differences (how are they similar, different, and why).
  • Provide some predictions or insight into how death rituals might look different in the future.
  • Finally, as an appendix to the paper, I’d like you to reflect on if/how your thoughts and perceptions about death have changed over the course of the semester (1-2 paragraphs).


Length: 6-8 pages.


Assignments should be neatly typed, proofread, and spell-checked with double line spacing in a 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.


Peer reviewed sources are preferred.  Books are a great resource for this paper.  At least 5 peer-reviewed sources (can include course readings).


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