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New Memory Cultures and Death: Existential Security in the Digital memory Ecology
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2013 (English)In: Thanatos, ISSN 2242-6280, Vol. 2, no 2, 1-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is often claimed that modern media massively return the repressed yet unavoidable fact of death, which modernity had institutionalised and placed out of sight. Death is everywhere in the media age: in news, in fiction, and not least in the budding practices of sociality and memory on the internet. This article will revolve around what we may learn about media and death from the vantage point of how memory cultures are currently being transformed. Spanning a heterogeneous terrain, the ‘digital memory ecology’ comprises among other things the construction of a digital afterlife, commemorative communities of grief and remembrance, interaction in guest books, digital candles and commentary fields on digital memorials. This article argues that today death is far from the hidden supplement to culture as Zygmunt Bauman contends or that it is even making a mediated return to us, but is rather ubiquitous in the digital age. As such it is both de-sequestered and deferred. By launching the deliberately ambiguous concept of existential security , the article outlines a research agenda for how we may approach these tendencies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 2, no 2, 1-17 p.
Keyword [en]
death, memory cultures, existence philosophy, web memorials, digital afterlife
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112971OAI: diva2:782158
Existential Terrains: Memory and meaning in Cultures of Connectivity
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2013.0150
Available from: 2015-01-20 Created: 2015-01-20 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Lagerkvist, Amanda
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