Family roles and sympathy casseroles: a sociological study examining the changes in the family after parental loss
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Arts
In the event of a death, there is a Western tradition to visit the family to give condolences; this is commonly paired with comfort food like casseroles, soups and sweets. However, the casseroles do not last forever, ultimately leaving the family to reorganize the family roles in an attempt to regain functionality. This research specifically explored the functions of the family dynamics after experiencing the death of parent. Through a feminist lens, this study investigated the reorganization of family rolesin food, domestic and emotional labour through semi-structured interviews with Acadia students who have experienced the death of a parent. The findings highlighted the association between the ease of re-assigning roles depending on whether the death was anticipated or sudden; as well as that even in times of grief, the division of labour in the home remained gendered as women of the family were more likely to step in to maintain functionality. In addition, this research demonstrated how Western traditions related to death can negatively impact the grieving process.
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