File Download
Supplementary

postgraduate thesis: Funeral as a drama for the bereaved family members : a dramaturgical analysis of Chinese funeral rituals in Hong Kong

TitleFuneral as a drama for the bereaved family members : a dramaturgical analysis of Chinese funeral rituals in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, S. [陳鮮叡]. (2015). Funeral as a drama for the bereaved family members : a dramaturgical analysis of Chinese funeral rituals in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractAs a final farewell for the departed, the funeral is an occasion for the living to express their thoughts for the dead. Though it is obvious that the centre of the funeral is the deceased, it is in fact an occasion for both the living and the dead, as a funeral that is organized to the satisfaction to the bereaved could help both the living and the dead feel calm, peaceful, and unworried. Previous studies have likened funeral to a drama, with the funeral professionals (FPs) and bereaved family members (BFMs) being the actors, and the guests being the audience. Based on Goffman’s idea of dramaturgy, a funeral performance can be separated into a frontstage and a backstage. The frontstage is where the performance takes place, and involves the FPs, BFMs, and the rituals they perform. On the other hand, the backstage is where the negotiations among the BFMs occur. It is also where the sense making and meaning making process happens. The cultural and ethnic diversity of Hong Kong has led to the existence of a variety of funeral rituals. However, there has not been a review of these rituals, nor has the meaning of these rituals been properly investigated. The current study aims to reveal the happenings in the frontstage and backstage, especially the interaction among the various parties involved, from the perspectives of the FPs and the BFMs. More importantly, the meaning of performing the rituals to the BFMs is explored. Through the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) technique, which involves in-depth one-on-one interviews with the related parties and a thorough study of the resulting transcripts to uncover underlying themes, the current study has discovered that contemporary funeral rituals have been undergoing changes and simplification, which has led to possible losses in traditional rituals. Despite this, new rituals are continuously being added, as BFMs are becoming more interested in personalizing funerals. This is related to suggestions by FPs on the need to include grief counselling in funerals. Findings from this study suggest that a way to achieve this would be to allow BFMs to participate directly in ritual performance. This could be done through the personalization of rituals, which adds to the meaning-making and sense-making processes of BFMs, and allows them to feel that the funeral ceremony is meaningful, and thus, helping them feel alleviated from the grief of losing a family member. In the long run, standardization of funeral rituals with flexibility for personalization, and the professionalization of FPs should be the trend for the funeral industry. This could also include FPs being trained as mediators to help BFMs compromise, and as counselors to provide grief counselling. It is hoped that the current study could shed some light on how this could be achieved.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectFuneral rites and ceremonies - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233942

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Sin-yui-
dc.contributor.author陳鮮叡-
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-07T01:44:36Z-
dc.date.available2016-10-07T01:44:36Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationChan, S. [陳鮮叡]. (2015). Funeral as a drama for the bereaved family members : a dramaturgical analysis of Chinese funeral rituals in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233942-
dc.description.abstractAs a final farewell for the departed, the funeral is an occasion for the living to express their thoughts for the dead. Though it is obvious that the centre of the funeral is the deceased, it is in fact an occasion for both the living and the dead, as a funeral that is organized to the satisfaction to the bereaved could help both the living and the dead feel calm, peaceful, and unworried. Previous studies have likened funeral to a drama, with the funeral professionals (FPs) and bereaved family members (BFMs) being the actors, and the guests being the audience. Based on Goffman’s idea of dramaturgy, a funeral performance can be separated into a frontstage and a backstage. The frontstage is where the performance takes place, and involves the FPs, BFMs, and the rituals they perform. On the other hand, the backstage is where the negotiations among the BFMs occur. It is also where the sense making and meaning making process happens. The cultural and ethnic diversity of Hong Kong has led to the existence of a variety of funeral rituals. However, there has not been a review of these rituals, nor has the meaning of these rituals been properly investigated. The current study aims to reveal the happenings in the frontstage and backstage, especially the interaction among the various parties involved, from the perspectives of the FPs and the BFMs. More importantly, the meaning of performing the rituals to the BFMs is explored. Through the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) technique, which involves in-depth one-on-one interviews with the related parties and a thorough study of the resulting transcripts to uncover underlying themes, the current study has discovered that contemporary funeral rituals have been undergoing changes and simplification, which has led to possible losses in traditional rituals. Despite this, new rituals are continuously being added, as BFMs are becoming more interested in personalizing funerals. This is related to suggestions by FPs on the need to include grief counselling in funerals. Findings from this study suggest that a way to achieve this would be to allow BFMs to participate directly in ritual performance. This could be done through the personalization of rituals, which adds to the meaning-making and sense-making processes of BFMs, and allows them to feel that the funeral ceremony is meaningful, and thus, helping them feel alleviated from the grief of losing a family member. In the long run, standardization of funeral rituals with flexibility for personalization, and the professionalization of FPs should be the trend for the funeral industry. This could also include FPs being trained as mediators to help BFMs compromise, and as counselors to provide grief counselling. It is hoped that the current study could shed some light on how this could be achieved.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshFuneral rites and ceremonies - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleFuneral as a drama for the bereaved family members : a dramaturgical analysis of Chinese funeral rituals in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5793623-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats