Paupers, burial clubs and funeral insurance: Calculating moral panics
British Accounting Review
Funeral insurance is an example of a practice that has evolved from the grass-roots burial clubs that developed from the 18th century as a response to the social anxiety wrought by the threat of a pauper's funeral. Largely accessed by the poor and working classes to avoid this social stigma, burial clubs commodified a social risk into a manageable and controllable financial arrangement. We explore this phenomenon through the lens of moral panic to trace the calculative practices that recast the social anxiety of a pauper's funeral into the novel metric of a ‘funeral benefit’.
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