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Scythe and the CityA Social History of Death in Shanghai$
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Christian Henriot

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804797467

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804797467.001.0001

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Funerals and the Price of Death

Funerals and the Price of Death

Chapter:
(p.259) 7 Funerals and the Price of Death
Source:
Scythe and the City
Author(s):

Christian Henriot

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804797467.003.0007

Death had a price. From the performance of funeral rituals, to funeral apparels, and to funeral processions, death (re)created a complete hierarchy in even sharper lines than among the living. Funerals were a central rite of passage in which families invested considerable amounts of money, as much as they could afford, sometimes beyond their means. This chapter provides keys to situate the importance of funeral ceremonies in Chinese death culture and to establish the parameters of inclusion/exclusion of various social groups. It also examines the fundamental issue of the “price of death” and the economy of death in Shanghai.

Keywords:   funeral, economy, price, cemetery, coffin, procession, ritual

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