Staking a claim to land, faith and family: Burial location preferences of Middle Eastern Christian migrants

Alistair Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The question of where to conduct funeral rituals may confront migrants and their descendants with a stark existential choice which reveals much about how identities are negotiated in and through place. This paper scrutinises the relationship between identity and place through the prism of preferred burial location. More concretely, it sets out a typology of motivations for preferred burial location in contexts of migration. In addition to advancing analytical clarity with this typology, the paper also aims to promote theoretical clarity by questioning the hypothesis that burial in the country of residence constitutes a straightforward indicator of migrant integration. Based on 67 qualitative interviews with Christians of Middle Eastern origin in Britain, Denmark and Sweden, the paper presents various rationales for preferred burial location, showing the sometimes ambivalent relationship which migrants negotiate between place and identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Volume37
Issue number2
Early online date8 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • migration
  • migrant death
  • burial place
  • migrant burial practices
  • place
  • identity
  • integration
  • belonging

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