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    The work of culture in Thai Theravāda Buddhist death rituals

    Hackley, Amy Rungpaka (2021) The work of culture in Thai Theravāda Buddhist death rituals. In: Minowa, Y. and Belk, R. (eds.) Consumer Culture Theory in Asia: History and Contemporary Issues. Routledge Frontiers in the Development of International Business, Management and Marketing. Taylor and Francis, pp. 138-155. ISBN 9780367629496.

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    Thai Theravāda Buddhist death rituals are explored in this book chapter as vivid examples of how rituals around death can offer rich potential sources for consumer cultural insight. The chapter explores Ricoeur’s and Obeyesekere’s ‘cultural hermeneutics’ (1965) and ‘the work of culture’ (1990) within the context of Thai death rituals and death consumption to extend CCT research into these under-explored areas. The death rituals reflect a sense of immortality, identity, and continuity as part of collective cultural identities that link the living with the dead. The chapter uses an autoethnographic practice theory perspective to demonstrate how Theravāda Buddhist death rituals entail the symbolic exchange between the living and the dead within the liminal spaces of a selection of death rituals and festivals. Death can be seen as a culturally defined concept given the ontological finality of the Western notion of death. The roles of Thai death rituals and the language related to death and death rituals contribute to the living’s sense of self-consciousness and identity, and connect to consumer culture. By engaging with death through death rituals, the cultural identity of the dead can be continued.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Rungpaka Amy Hackley
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 14:09
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:07


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