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Title: Living in the shadow of suicide : the narrative of an online internet memorial site created by a survivor of bereavement by suicide : a biographical study
Author: Scott, Saffron L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 4457
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Online memorials are an Internet phenomena of the 21st century which have been identified as a growing contemporary mourning practice mediated by online computer networks. Online memorials offer a logical discursive platform for a unique form of personalised yet communal virtual memorialising which is mirroring the needs of a fractured and geographically divided society and affords twenty four hour access to all those who use the internet. Online memorials have also been identified as a virtual location where stigma, disenfranchisement and loss of voice in bereavement can be publically noted and challenged. Current research surrounding the use of online memorials has identified that little is known about the creation and use of private memorial sites as they are problematical for researchers to access. This study aimed to address this gap in the research by exploring the creation and use of an online memorial which is both private and relating to a death by suicide which is often considered a socially stigmatised bereavement. The study used auto/biographical research methods utilising a single case study design to explore the narratives of a naturally occurring online memorial alongside an asynchronous email interview with the memorial author. Thematic analysis of the data provided insights into the motivating factors, creation and use of this example of an online memorial. The research also offered insights into the life of the deceased and that of a survivor of bereavement by suicide and in so doing has explored the distinctions between the life lived, the life experienced and the life as told through a form of cultural memorial expression increasingly prevalent in current society. The study also offers consideration of the potential for therapeutic benefit from creating and using online memorials as a mourning activity which could influence Occupational Therapy practice and in so doing identified areas that would benefit from greater research attention to explore further the use/therapeutic use of online memorials.
Supervisor: Erben, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; ZA4050 Electronic information resources