Grief Goods: Material Possessions and Meaning Reconstruction in Bereavement

The publishing industry has witnessed a burgeoning in “pathographies” or personal accounts of dying or bereavement. One particularly powerful account is Joan Didion’s best-selling book, The Year of Magical Thinking, which offers a detailed forensic introspection of her emotional and cognitive journey through the first year of widowhood. The title’s reference to “magical thinking” captures how bereaved people attempt to function in a distressing, disorienting microclimate and struggle to create a meaningful narrative of death and loss. In such circumstances, normal cognitive and emotional functioning becomes arduous and tentative if not almost impossible. Through a close reading of Didion’s narrative, we explore the symbiotic relationship between goods and grieving and how material possessions are marshalled in the service of meaning reconstruction (Neimeyer, 2001).



Citation:

Darach Turley and Stephanie O'Donohoe (2011) ,"Grief Goods: Material Possessions and Meaning Reconstruction in Bereavement", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 459.

Authors

Darach Turley, Dublin City University, Dublin 9,Ireland
Stephanie O'Donohoe, Un. of Edinburgh, Scotalnd



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011



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