Covid-19 and the mediatization of the funeral industry in Australia and Denmark

Stine Gotved, Lisbeth Klastrup, Hannah Gould

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article focuses on the mediatization of funeral practices and customer relations in a business with human care and contact at its centre: the funeral industry. We analyse the impact of Covid-19 on the use of digital media in a comparative study of the deathcare sector in Australia and Denmark. Using surveys within the national funeral industries, qualitative interviews with funeral directors, and news media archives for 2020–2021, we identify four areas of mediatization: adaptations of specific technologies; interactions with the bereaved; transformations of funeral rites; and communications beyond the funeral service. In conclusion, we suggest that the mediatization process is a negotiation of, on the one hand, the need and growing demand for digital media into a traditions-bound business, and on the other hand, the funeral directors’ wish to care for the bereaved families through tactile, in-person relationships and emotional support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedieKultur: Journal of media and communication research
ISSN0900-9671
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Funeral industry
  • livestreaming
  • digital media
  • deathcare

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