Dissertation Abstract

Mourning Practices on Facebook: Facebook Shrines and Other Rituals Of Grieving in the Digital Age

Death is a universal, and for humans so is the experience of grief that follows. This dissertation exams how Facebook users utilize the social media platform as they mourn their loved ones, process their grief, and support the grief of others. It explores how the experience of death and loss shapes the religious beliefs and actions of grievers and how social media impacts the grief experience of its users. It looks at the community that arises organically from mourning on the deceased’s Facebook Timeline and interrogates the social pressure to perform grief in such a public space. Finally, it asks how interacting with these virtual memorials impacts the mental and social health of participants.

Link to the full dissertation in the SMU archive coming soon!

Image Credit Grant MacDonald / Creative Commons

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