Condolence books : Language and meaning in the mourning for Hillsborough and Diana
Brennan, Michael (2008) Condolence books : Language and meaning in the mourning for Hillsborough and Diana. Death Studies, Vol.32 (No.4). pp. 326-351. ISSN 0748-1187Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07481180801974729
This article reports empirical research into public books of condolence signed following two key mourning events within British culture: the 1989 Hillsborough soccer stadium disaster and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. The author suggests that not only do condolence books provide valuable historical record of the way contemporary society mourns, but also that they reflect attempts to language loss in ways that can be used to evaluate the extent of society's engagement with death. In so doing, he points to ways in which condolence messages signed following these events oscillate between "conservative structures of meaning" (Marris, 1974) and contemporary "structures of feeling" (Williams, 1971). In turn he suggests that such distinctions - between public and private, modernity and tradition - are destabilized by the postmodern cultural forms that these events appeared to inaugurate. In addition, and in the purported absence of expressivist mourning rituals (Gorer, 1965), the author suggests that condolence books may provide a useful social platform for the social expression of grief.
|Item Type:||Journal Item|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Condolence notes -- Great Britain, Mourning customs -- Great Britain, Hillsborough Stadium Disaster, Sheffield, England, 1989, Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997 -- Death and burial|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Death Studies|
|Number of Pages:||26|
|Page Range:||pp. 326-351|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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