The Comparative Context: Global Patterns of Change
During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United States had been on the cutting edge of change concerning the rituals and assumptions surrounding death, with the new emphasis on grief, the redeﬁnition of cem eteries, and the rapid gains of funeral homes and the practice of embalming. U.S. changes in the latter twentieth century, extending but also signiﬁcantly modifying Victorian patterns in light of the death revolution, were signiﬁcant in their own right. However, several other parts of the world innovated more extensively than the United States did in this new period. U.S. patterns, as a result, remained distinctive, but in more complicated ways.