This essay examines the expansion of death and grief from private experience and spaces, into public spheres via a range of media events and communication technologies. This shift is increasingly acknowledged and documented in death studies and to some extent in media research. The modern experience of “sequestered death” has passed. Death images and events are now thoroughly mediated by the visual and communication technologies used and accessed by a vast number of people across the globe. At the same time, the proliferation and accessibility of death imagery and narratives do not necessarily equate to a familiar and especially an existential acceptance of death, as it is faced and experienced in everyday life and relationships. Indeed, what we may be facing and witnessing is a widening gap and experiential differential between media/technological death culture and “real-life” contexts and temporalities of death and bereavement.
Research Article|October 01 2011
Margaret Gibson; Real-Life Death: Between Public and Private, Interior and Exterior, the Real and the Fictional. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2011; 110 (4): 917–932. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-1382321
Download citation file: