|Honours thesis cover page.|
So instead every now and then I'll summarise and explain a few select aspects of the thesis which would interest people. For now I'll put up my abstract as it summarises my whole thesis. I might put up extracts from the thesis, but no quotes from participants and nothing more than a few lines. This is a summary and explanation of what it was about and why I employed certain methods.
Social Expressions of Public & Private: Australian Understandings of the Funeral Industry
The notion of public and private is often presented as a dichotomous opposition. This is demonstrated with the Australian funeral industry as it is often argued that the funeral industry operates in a private sphere which is distinctly separate from public accessibility and understanding. This research critically unpacks the application of public and private to the funeral industry with the aim of analysing how notions of ‘public’ and ‘private’ are articulated through the social space of the Australian funeral industry. Surveys and interviews were conducted with funeral staff, celebrants, and members of the general public along with participant observation at two funeral homes, exploring the themes of public and private. Through this it will be argued that public and private does not operate in a clear dichotomy. The research found an overlap in public and private, and unclear boundaries between the notion of ‘public’ and ‘private’, particularly with the perceived reasons and responsibilities for this separation. As such I argue that the dichotomous presentation of public and private does not accurately represent the complex interrelationships and dynamics involved. This thesis provides a unique understanding of how the concept of public and private is articulated in social spaces.