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“For Whom the Bell Tolls”: Emotional Rubbernecking in Facebook Memorial Groups

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Facebook memorial groups are often formed as a way for people to remember a deceased loved one. Because of the public nature of communication on Facebook, people who did not intimately know the deceased (emotional rubberneckers) can locate memorial groups and watch as people grieve the loss of their friend or family member. Using grounded theory methods, the author identified and examined the function of the rubberneckers’ messages posted on 10 Facebook memorial group walls. Emotional rubberneckers identified with the deceased and expressed sadness at their death, indicating a connection with the deceased stranger.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Speech Communication, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois, USA

Publication date: February 7, 2014

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