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Social justice and cemetery systems

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Publication details

JournalDeath Studies
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Jun 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 13 Jun 2020
Number of pages14
Early online date13/06/20
Original languageEnglish


This paper applies social justice frameworks to ‘cemetery systems’ which here denotes the framework by which each nation state orders the disposal of the dead, and which generally includes burial, cremation and the interment or scattering of cremated remains. An application of social justice theory indicates the desirability of certain key principles for all cemetery systems: decent disposal as a human right; democratic accountability; equality of access to services regardless of income; freedom of religious expression; and environmental sustainability. Achieving these principles is not necessarily straightforward, and conflict between principles is heightened by financialisation and population densification.

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    Research areas

  • cemetery, social justice, cremation

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