Death Inc. - on researching the death care industryPublished by Mark Bodnar
OK, so I missed Hallowe'en for this one, but I couldn't resist a post on the business of death care...
I just noticed that the Oct. 28 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek had the following on it's cover: "Death Inc.: You can't escape fate--or SCI. Inside America's fastest-growing merchant of death". The related article inside is Mega Death, focused on "funeral services chain Service Corporation International (SCI) and how it came to dominate the death care industry in the U.S."
Being a librarian, I was (of course) intrigued about what else we might have in the collection on that industry, one that is sure to grow if bulging demographic curves are followed to their end points. A bit of digging and I found...
- * Reports from IBISWorld on Funeral Homes in the US and Cemetery Services in the US;
- * Industry statistics and analysis from Passport GMID on Funeral and Related Services in Canada, as well as historic and forecasted (1977-2020) death rates for every country in the world;
- * Hundreds of articles from Business Source Complete with the subjects Undertakers & undertaking OR Death care industry OR funeral homes;
- * Detailed financials on SCI , as well company reports with SWOTs published by MarketLine and GlobalData, all from MINT Global;
- * Books and eBooks on the same subjects from the SFU Library collection (e.g.: Big death : funeral planning in the age of corporate deathcare); and
- * A detailed history up to 2003 of SCI, an article on The Evolution of the Funeral Home and the Occupation of Funeral Director from the Handbook of Death and Dying, and an overview of the US Funeral Service and Crematories industry, all from our Gale Virtual Reference Library collection.
- * Finally, switching gears a bit from the pure "business" focus, I checked another relevant article database: our AgeLine database is heavily used by gerontology researchers, but business researchers (on this topic at least) might want to keep it in mind as well. Start by searching for terms such as (funeral* or cemeter*) AND (industr* or consumer*).
All fun aside, I know that the odds of any of our SFU researchers actually focusing on this specific industry in the next little while are remote, but please consider some of these same sources for whatever industry you do end up researching. There's a wealth of information available via your Library -- explore!
-- Mark - email@example.com