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dc.contributor.advisorDonovan, Brian
dc.contributor.authorIrwin, Melissa D.
dc.description.abstractThis study examines the burgeoning phenomenon of Facebook memorial pages and how this research about dynamic, online social networking environments can contribute to the existing literature related to Klass et al's (1996) continuing bonds thesis. Contrary to Klass and Walter's (2001) findings that in contemporary Western culture, individuals lack the cultural framework in which to incorporate the paranormal co-presence of the deceased into their lives, the Facebook users in my sample chose to express publically their ongoing paranormal experiences with the deceased, regardless of a possible lack of cultural framework or performative script for doing so. My project demonstrates that, increasingly, individuals supplement traditional bereavement rituals, such as funerals, which often signaled the termination of bonds, with new, technologically-situated ritualized spaces (such as Facebook) for continuing bonds with the deceased. I argue that memorial pages constitute a new ritualized and public space for maintaining these continued bonds and that individuals exhibit several types of bonding interactions with the deceased. I conducted a content analysis on a purposively selected sample of 12 public Facebook "pages" where I coded 1,270 individual Wall postings. Analyses demonstrated that many individuals routinely used these Walls to continue their relationships with the deceased. This research highlights how individuals have transcended the limitations of time and physical space in relation to traditional bereavement behavior and rituals and how data found on public websites, such as Facebook, can be used to further theorize bereavement and to demonstrate continue bonds between the living and the dead.
dc.format.extent48 pages
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.subjectSocial research
dc.subjectWeb studies
dc.subjectContinuing bonds
dc.subjectQualitative research
dc.titleMourning 2.0: Continuing Bonds between the Living and the Dead on Facebook
dc.contributor.cmtememberLaPierre, Tracey
dc.contributor.cmtememberStaples, William
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.

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