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The Stigmatized Deaths in Jonestown: Finding a Locus for Grief

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This article considers the stigmatized deaths in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978, in which more than 900 Americans died of mass murder and suicide, and how this led to the disenfranchisement of grief. It examines the rituals of exclusion by which bodies were handled and describes the experiences of Jonestown survivors. It then looks at the ways in which grief has been enfranchised through a memorial website that posts names, photographs, and eulogies of those who died. This website serves as the primary place for relatives to visit, since the names themselves have become signs of absent bodies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Religious Studies, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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