Year of Graduation
Grief on Social Media in a Context of Political Statement (on Case of Arkady Babchenko's "death")
This project proposal is intended to examine how grief expanded from private experience into more public through changing communication technologies. The growth of technology has led to a change in the rituals of mourning and the way we can express it. Social networks make it easier but also can lead to changing the perception of grief. We will explore the problem of inconsistency of form and content of Facebook users' grief posts. We are going to research the case of "death" of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko which made a huge reaction among people in social networks. We claim that this case has generated a huge number of grieving posts on social networks (namely Facebook) which are actually disguised as a criticism of the political situation in the country. Babchenko himself is not necessarily the main topic of the posts, but his death is a starter for discussion. We are also going to review the similar cases that gave a start to the political debate in social media. By collecting data from Facebook and divided it into two categories, we are going to research using content analysis of how people used grief to talk about political issues and how other people engaged in this conversation.