Le marché des défunts
Market of the Departed
The French funereal sector entered the sphere of the competitive market following the Sueur Law of 1993, breaking with two centuries of regulated monopoly. This shift constitutes an exemplary creation of a competitive public service in a domain implying strong social and civic issues.
The author describes the political and historic construction of this unique market, an effort shared between church, state, and private entrepreneurs. In the background, one discovers at the heart of movements playing out on the international stage, the originality of these transformations in French industry.
A contribution to the renewal of contemporary economic sociology, this work analyzes the practical functionality of this market against the study of competitive practices, rules and regulations, and the relation of service to an area marked by the weight of the sacred and intimate relationships.
Pascale Trompette is a Director of Research in Sociology at CNRS, and a member of Pacte Politique-Organisations at the University of Grenoble.