Contemporary funeral rites from the perspective of the sociology of consumption. Examples of prosumption and deconsumption
In the first part, the paper focuses on conditions which problematize an area hitherto neglected in consumption and consumer studies — especially in Poland. In an attempt to address this gap, the paper discusses the specificity of consumption of funeral services and also introduces a brief reconstruction of images of the funeral consumer — functioning in current articles in the field of social sciences. Beside providing an overview of critique of funeral consumerism, the further part explores possible alternative practices. Some examples of prosumption and deconsumption are presented, including: home or family-directed funerals, natural burials, simple options provided by memorial societies or funeral cooperatives, etc. A few concluding remarks follow such questions as: Does the emergence of alternatives portends a broader retreat from the commercial model? Does it mean a simple return to something like an old, traditional rituals?