Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



Social networking sites (SNSs) have changed the way we mourn. Reactions on SNSs to celebrity death in particular have begun to attract the attention of both academic researchers and the broader media, yet so far linguistic studies thereof remain relatively rare. This study addresses this research gap by examining the pragmatics of Instagram posts labelled #bowie following the death of the musician David Bowie on 10 January 2016. It shows how Instagram users engage in affective stance-taking strategies ranging from disbelief to acceptance. It also suggests that the multimodality of Instagram posts functions as a means of combining grief and identity work within a fan community. The findings are relevant for an understanding of mediatised affect and offer further evidence of a renegotiation of norms of mourning online.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): celebrity; celebrity death; David Bowie; fandom; hashtags; Instagram; mourning; social media
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