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Death and Communal Mass-Mourning: Vin Diesel and the Remembrance of Paul Walker

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This article examines Vin Diesel’s use of his public Facebook Page to mourn the loss of his friend and co-actor Paul Walker in the period from 2013-2015. It discusses how Vin Diesel performed his grief and how his mourning process was communally reflected and repeated by both Vin Diesel and Walker fans, who used Vin Diesel’s page to share and verbalise their own feelings of loss in a both public and safe space. An analysis of Vin Diesel’s own status updates and 1800 comments reacting to three popular status updates related to the death of Paul Walk posted over the course of more than a year show that commentary was used to make condolences to both Vin Diesel and Walker’s familes and to affectively express the users’ immediate feelings, both verbally and through the use of emojis. However, over time, both the form and intensity of expression of both Vin Diesel and his followers changed, pointing to the need to further study celebrity mourning processes on social media over extended periods of time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Media + Society
Volume4
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
ISSN2056-3051
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018

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