Projects per year
Abstract / Description of output
In the field of death studies, there is growing recognition that other people, culture and the dead themselves shape individual experiences of bereavement. Service encounters are a key but under-researched site for examining these interactions, broader relationships between mortality, the marketplace and consumer culture, and their implications for consumer wellbeing. This interpretive study explores service encounters from the perspective of bereaved American consumers. Our data suggest that bereavement rendered service encounters doubly heterogeneous, and that continuing bonds between the living and the dead often placed a double duty of care on service providers, since the interests of the dead as well as the wellbeing of survivors were at stake. From the bereaved consumer’s perspective, this double duty of care seems more likely to be discharged through empathetic improvisation rather than standardised performances of saccharine sensitivity by service providers.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- service encounter
- consumer vulnerability