Sociological ambivalence and funeral consumption

I. Szmigin, Louise Canning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
484 Downloads (Pure)


This article builds on Hillcoat-Nallétamby and Phillips’ (2011) conceptualization of sociological ambivalence within the relational framework to examine a particular consumption practice, the funeral. We develop understanding of social, cultural and relational issues that arise from the experience associated with funeral-arranging. This is not a voluntary behaviour but one engaged with through force of circumstance and which involves commercial and relational decisions. Drawing on data from 10 interviews from a larger UK study, we focus on ambivalence surrounding choice and its impact on relations, showing how sentiments including love, obligation, regret and revenge evolve and transform past and future relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-763
Issue number4
Early online date12 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • consumption practice
  • funerals
  • relational sociology
  • sociological ambivalence


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