Rules, Norms and Practices – A Comparative Study Exploring Disposal Practices and Facilities in Northern Europe
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OriginalversjonOmega. Journal of Death and Dying.. 2021, 0 (0), 1-29. 10.1177/00302228211042138
We identify and analyse practices and management regimes around burial and handling of ashes across eight case study towns within six Northern European countries. We analyse management of cemeteries and crematoria gardens, majority practices and provision for minority communities, including various burial types, cremated remains, the re-use of graves, and costs for interments. Comparative data is drawn from analysis of national and local regulations, interviews with stakeholders, and observations at cemeteries and crematoria gardens. The findings show significant variation in national and local regulations and practices for burial and cremation particularly around the re-use of graves, handling of ashes and costs for grave space and cremation. We identify the opportunities and constraints of these variations in terms of accessibility, diversity and equality; and argue for national directions to avoid unequal treatment within nations. Furthermore, we stress the importance of a liberal and inclusive management of European cemeteries and crematoria gardens.