Journal article

#Funeral and Instagram: death, social media, and platform vernacular

Martin Gibbs, James Meese, Michael Arnold, Bjorn Nansen, Marcus Carter

Information, Communication & Society | Routledge | Published : 2015


This paper presents findings from a study of Instagram use and funerary practices that analysed photographs shared on public profiles tagged with ‘#funeral’. We found that the majority of images uploaded with the hashtag #funeral often communicated a person's emotional circumstances and affective context, and allowed them to reposition their funeral experience amongst wider networks of acquaintances, friends, and family. We argue that photo-sharing through Instagram echoes broader shifts in commemorative and memorialization practices, moving away from formal and institutionalized rituals to informal and personalized, vernacular practices. Finally, we consider how Instagram's ‘platform vernac..

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