Death Positive: An Analysis of an Authenticity Movement




Hale, Lilly

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The death care industry encompasses a wide variety of death related services, such as funerals and cremations, in order to prevent or eradicate decay. Problems in death management, such as a history of inauthenticity and lack of transparency, have led to dissatisfaction in care. As a result of the inauthenticity of services, the death positive movement has grown in popularity and seeks to normalize decay, death, and dying. The death positive movement encourages open and honest conversations around death so that death should no longer happen behind closed doors. This thesis analyzes the current atmosphere leading to the creation of the death positive movement and explores each tenet of the movement. Research is conducted through existing library literature. This thesis finds that the movement outcomes have manifested into an increase in home funerals, the use of death doulas, simple earth burials, and greener cremations. Moving forward, I predict the death positive movement and use of more natural disposal options will continue to grow in popularity as Americans seek authenticity both in life and death. I believe that the movement will experience limitations in integration with society, but the current death care industry will adopt aspects of the movement into their operations.



death care, death positivity, social movement, authenticity, funerals, death, Honors College


Hale, L. (2018). Death positive: An analysis of an authenticity movement (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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