In English

Dear English-speaking visitors,

our web­page con­tains in­for­ma­tion and pic­tu­res from a so­cio­lo­gi­cal re­search pro­ject that co­vers, among other to­pics, the cur­rent im­pact of so­cial chan­ge on fu­ne­ral cul­tu­re wit­hin Cen­tral Eu­ro­pe. This short para­graph aims to give you an over­view about the fea­tu­res of the site.

First up, there is a brief ex­pla­na­tion on our re­search. We have vi­si­ted hos­pi­tals, hos­pi­ces, cli­ni­cal pa­tho­lo­gies, un­der­ta­kers, and many other pla­ces where peo­ple deal pro­fes­sio­nal­ly with death. Fur­ther­more, we have done field re­search on more than 1,100 ce­me­te­ries in Ger­many, Aus­tria, Swit­zer­land, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the south of Den­mark. This has led to an ar­chi­ve of more than 83,000 pho­to­graphs, most of them de­pic­ting rather un­usual gra­ve­sto­nes that pro­vide in­sight in­to so­cie­ty. Our main fin­ding is that dying, grie­ving and re­mem­be­ring to­day echoes in­di­vi­dua­li­za­tion pro­ces­ses and thus is no lon­ger con­duc­ted by means of ga­zing into a hea­ven­ly fu­tu­re that re­uni­tes peo­ple, but is rather built around in­di­vi­dual life­worlds and achie­ve­ments rea­ched in the past, but still valuable for the pre­sent.

You can ac­cess a short text from Ger­ma­ny’s lea­ding news ma­ga­zine »Der Spie­gel« which gives you an in­tro­duc­tion to our work in English lan­gua­ge.

You can also find out more about us: We are Thor­sten Ben­kel, Matt­hias Meitz­ler and Leonie Schmickler, all from the University of Passau ans all so­cio­lo­gists. Our web­pa­ge pro­vi­des an in­sight into our research and especially our books on the subject, con­tai­ning the most in­te­res­ting pic­tu­res. You will find some in­for­ma­tion on the two pre­ce­ding vo­lu­mes as well, each of them com­po­sed of both text and pho­to­graphs. There is also a list of book chap­ters and jour­nal ar­tic­les we wrote for dif­fe­rent pub­li­ca­tions, as well as an over­view of all spee­ches we held in con­nec­tion to our pro­ject.

This is fol­lo­wed by a list of ad­di­tio­nal re­search we have done, di­vi­ded again into books, chap­ters ar­tic­les, and spee­ches. Apart from exa­mi­ning how so­cie­ty deals with the pro­blem of mor­ta­li­ty from the per­spec­ti­ve of cul­tu­ral so­cio­lo­gy, we have wor­ked wit­hin in the field of law (on com­mu­ni­ca­tion wit­hin pe­nal law trials), in so-­cal­led »red light dis­tricts« (among others, on in­ter­ac­tion pat­terns in pro­sti­tu­tion set­ting and the drug sce­ne), and we have also loo­ked at self-­re­pre­sen­ta­tion on­line through Fa­ce­book.

This web­site also pre­sents you with a list of all the gra­ve­yards we have vi­si­ted for the cur­rent pro­ject, which is up­da­ted re­gu­lar­ly. The fi­nal sec­tion is de­vo­ted to the »Gra­ve­sto­ne of the Month« with a short ex­pla­na­tion on its spe­cia­lties – and in­clu­ding an archi­ve for ear­lier win­ners in that ca­te­go­ry.

Please do not he­si­ta­te to get in touch with us if you are in­ter­es­ted in our pro­ject and/­or want to con­nect with us! You can reach us via friedhofssoziologie[at]