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The Passion of Collective Grief: Identity, Social Relations and the Role of Media
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Media and communication science. Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Media, Literature and Language Didactics.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

On September the 7th , in 2011, all players and managers in the Russian KHL team Yaroslavl were killed in a plane crash. Among the victims were the Swedish goalie Stefan Liv. The collective grief stroke not only his home district but gripped nationwide and also included people far beyond Sweden’s borders. Men and women, old and young, addicted fans and people totally indifferent to ice hockey expressed personal sorrow and sympathy with Stefan Liv’s family, friends and hockey team HV71.

The vast majority of these grieving people had never met Stefan Liv in person. Their perception of him must have been created in other ways. One of these is most likely the media in which Stefan Liv recurrently was depicted as a sportsmanlike gold hero with a sparkle in his eye and his feet on the ground. Probably, media also contributed to the reproduction of the ongoing collective grief by portraying people’s passionate expressions of the loss of the apparently positive identity represented  by Stefan Liv.

Drawing on the understanding of collective grief as an inversion of Durkheim’s notion of collective effervescence, this paper examines the relationship between media representations of identity and people’s perceptions of it as the basis of their unexpected temporary social relations caused by a tragic incident. Data were collected through interviews with people involved in the collective grief. Respondents were selected  in order to achieve variation in gender, age and interest. The answers describe different views of the identity that formed the basis of the collective grief, media’s contribution to the creation of it, and to the reproduction of the grieving process after the  goalkeeper Stefan Liv’s tragic death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keywords [en]
Collective grief, identity, media ritual, sacred centre, collective effervescence
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-20883OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-20883DiVA, id: diva2:612623
Conference
Media and Passion, Lund, Sweden, 21 March
Projects
Media Effects and Practices ProgramAvailable from: 2013-03-22 Created: 2013-03-22 Last updated: 2013-03-22

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Svensson, Anders

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf