Death, Mourning, and Cultural Memory on the Internet

Holly Thorpe

in Sport History in the Digital Era

Published by University of Illinois Press

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780252038938
Published online April 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780252096891 | DOI:
Death, Mourning, and Cultural Memory on the Internet

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This chapter discusses the cultural production of memory in the digital era through Facebook memorial pages and virtual memorial websites dedicated to deceased sporting heroes. Increasingly, fans, family, friends, and journalists are turning to the Internet to express their condolences, communicate with other mourners, and memorialize the deceased in “highly creative, interactive, and dynamic ways.” Constituting a “record of the multiple, contested, and changing emotional responses,” these websites become “valuable archives of the public affective responses to cultural trauma.” The chapter then focuses on surfer Andy Irons and skier Sarah Burke, who died in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and who have been memorialized extensively online.

Keywords: Facebook memorial pages; virtual memorial websites; sporting heroes; cultural trauma; Andy Irons; Sarah Burke

Chapter.  8038 words. 

Subjects: Sport and Leisure

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