First Advisor

Tina Burdsall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sociology and University Honors




All Souls' Day -- Mexico, Mourning customs -- Mexico, Grief -- Mexico, Mexico -- Social life and customs, Sociology




Day of the Dead is a festival that takes place in Mexico every year. The purpose of the festival is for loved ones to further mourn and honor their deceased. The festival includes many independently effective psychological components as well as beneficial sociological processes. The festival is an accurate reflection of the overall conceptualization of death and grief of Mexico’s culture and history. This literature review analyzes how Day of the Dead further influences communities interactions with the expression of grief and the mourning process. Parson’s sick role is used to analyze the expression of grief relative to social expectations, norms, and overall influence. The mourning process is conceptualized as a rite of passage in which people undergo transformation and growth as perceived by society and the individual. Day of the Dead re-affirms and maintains the culturally-relative effective beliefs, values, and behaviors that are observed in both the expression of grief and the mourning process in Mexico. It is a strong example of how the social structures and perceptions influence how people grieve death on individual and community levels.


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