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Constructing the dead: Retrospective sensemaking in eulogies

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Eulogies serve a sensemaking function of identity construction—both for the deceased and for the survivors. This work examines the communicative construction of identity in eulogies and shows how eulogia discourse affirms and reconstructs our relational identity through communication. The article extends scholarship on eulogies by using relational communication theories to investigate how eulogic discourse functions as identity construction, considering eulogies of ordinary people, and exploring the gendered nature of eulogies. We discuss how eulogies are specific ritualized forms of communication in which the bereaved focus on self-identity as they articulate their experience of grief.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: May 27, 2016

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