Ged Carroll

Loose networks & social connections

Published: (Updated: ) in consumer behaviour | 消費者行為 | 소비자 행동, economics | 經濟學 | 경제학 | 経済, ideas | 想法 | 생각 | 考える, ireland | 愛爾蘭| 아일랜드 | アイルランド by .

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I went to a family funeral and got to think about loose networks and social connections.

In Ireland the tradition for a funeral is:

This all happens really fast; usually three days from time of death to grave. Those of the family that can make it home try to, but there isn’t much time. So those who are a long haul flight away generally are excused from coming back home.

In the rural west of Ireland word goes out through a number of channels

Local media and traditions have carved out a distinctive niche that doesn’t involve Facebook or other social media platform

The people that come along include a mix of closely connected contacts and threads of loose networks including:

For the bereaved, the process does as good a job as you can helping the family deal with grief. In the case of my relative who had a sudden heart attack and died it provided closure. The person was eulogised and then sent on the next part of their journey onward.

For a rural community, made up of small towns and farms it presents an opportunity to reinforce loose networks and business connections. In our family’s case the farm as a business is passed down from generation-to-generation.

It becomes important for for business people to attend these events to cement business relationships. In our family’s case some of the visitors were business connections of one of my Uncle’s (who is still living) rather than the deceased.

Attending these events requires commitment. You had attendees travelling over an hour to pay their respects.

I was a bit surprised by how robust these loose connections were with relatively little reinforcement. It seems the habit of the funeral process plays its part.

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