The Context of Transcendent and Immanent use of Humour
How Workers in Crematoria and Cemeteries in the UK are Coping with Death, Funerals and Second Hand Grief
Keywords:coping, death, gallows humour, immanent, transcendent
From my study, using an internet based questionnaire and field observation, data showed that workers in crematoria and cemeteries in the United Kingdom use immanent and transcendent coping mechanisms while witnessing the repetitive grief of others and the trappings of death and funerals. Data indicated that respondents used methods of coping in order to rise above death on a daily basis, which can be described in terms of Chidester’s (1990) theory of spiritual transcendence and Clack’s (2002) premise, that immanence, a worldly transcendence, may be gained by engaging with natural aspects of humanity. Throughout this study, respondents’ experiences were explored in terms of ‘working against death’ suggestive of Davies’ (2002) theory of ‘words against death’. Central to this article was the aspect of survey data which showed that many respondents purported to use humour as a coping strategy, and this article explores the ways in which their humour was found to be used contextually and responsibly, while maintaining its effectiveness against death.
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