Title

Trying to keep you: how grief, abjection, and ritual transform the social meanings of a human body

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-3-2017

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x55fd4b0f05f0)

Abstract

The present research illuminates how the grief process and the abject force us to confront and reconcile the strangeness of a loved one’s lifeless human body. We find that the grief process, initially fueled by abjection, moves the social meanings of a human body in death through three stages: (1) divorcing the deceased’s identity from the body, (2) seeking tangible substitutes, and (3) attaining meaning outside the physical realm. These findings reveal how the process of grief, the abject, and the ritual practices surrounding it, transform the social meanings of a human body and other related symbolic consumption items. This work contributes to the literature by illuminating our understanding of the fluidity of identity that extends beyond a person’s natural life and by revealing how renegotiating the relationship with a physical body is important for the self-preservation of the living.

Publication Title

Consumption Markets and Culture

Volume

20

Issue

5

First Page

403

Last Page

422

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/10253866.2017.1367678

ISSN

10253866

E-ISSN

1477223X

Share

COinS