Entextualising mourning on Facebook: stories of grief as acts of sharing

Giaxoglou, Korina (2015). Entextualising mourning on Facebook: stories of grief as acts of sharing. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 21(1-2) pp. 87–105.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13614568.2014.983560

Abstract

Web 2.0 mourning is said to afford increased opportunities for the deceased's and mourners' visibility as well as create in the bereaved an increased sense of social support through the participatory entextualisation of mourning. So far, however, there has been little systematic attention to the uses of narrative in social network sites. The present article addresses this gap by providing an analysis of entextualised moments of mourning as stories shared by a single author over a six-month period on a Facebook Rest in Peace memorial group. The article foregrounds heterogeneity in narrative activity across posts, linking diversity in ways of telling to different types of the online mourner's positioning at three interrelated levels of discourse construction: (1) the representation of the event of death, (2) the alignment (or disalignment) with the dead and the networked mourners and (3) the poster's self. It is argued that telling stories on Facebook memorial sites constitutes an act of sharing affording networked individuals resources for making meaning out of the meaninglessness of a loved one's death in ways that can help render the painful experience of loss tellable and also create a sense of ambient affiliation or affinity with networked mourners.

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