reactions , Johnson ( 1999 , 19 – 22 ) argues , belies both a passion for , and an
unacknowledged emotional investment in , something other that was seemingly
threatened by the mourning for Diana . Thus , “ on first reading ” , as Johnson ...
Author: Michael Brennan
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Pub
Category: Social Science
The Hillsborough stadium disaster of 15 April 1989 and the death of Princess Diana on 31 August 1997 sparked expressivist scenes of public mourning hitherto unseen within the context of British society. The largely local displays of grief witnessed on Merseyside following the Hillsborough disaster were, however, repeated and provided a pre-text for the national (and global) public mourning which accompanied the death of Princess Diana. What was it, this book asks, about the Hillsborough disaster and death of Princess Diana that provoked such strong emotions? Why and how did these ostensibly similar events produce such contrasting reactions, moving some people, including the book's author, to mourn one event but resist the mourning for the other? Mourning and Disaster provides an insight into a series of questions raised by the public mourning that followed these two events. What, for example, do the messages contained in the public books of condolence signed in the wake of these events tell us either about the social identities of the people who mourned or about the processes of meaning-making by which death is apprehended and understood? What do condolence books tell us about how contemporary society mourns and the ways in which loss is languaged? Is it the case that, in episodes of public mourning in which the deceased are not known to us personally, the mourner might actually be mourning some aspect of themselves? Is it also the case that in not mourning these events some aspect of one's own identity or self was being repudiated or mourned? Drawing upon both the public books of condolence signed in Britain during the public mourning for these events, alongside the author's own autobiographical memories of them, it is to these sorts of questions, amongst others, that this book seeks to provide answers.