A Networked Self and Birth, Life, Death  book cover
1st Edition

A Networked Self and Birth, Life, Death

Edited By

Zizi Papacharissi

ISBN 9781138705890
Published August 15, 2018 by Routledge
286 Pages

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Book Description

We are born, live, and die with technologies. This book is about the role technology plays in sustaining narratives of living, dying, and coming to be. Contributing authors examine how technologies connect, disrupt, or help us reorganize ways of parenting and nurturing life. They further consider how technology sustains our ways of thinking and being, hopefully reconciling the distance between who we are and who we aspire to be. Finally, they address the role technology plays in helping us come to terms with death, looking at technologically enhanced memorials, online rituals of mourning, and patterns of grief enabled through technology. Ultimately, this volume is about using technology to reimagine the art of life.

Table of Contents


Zizi Papacharissi

Numerical being and non-being: probing the ethos of quantification in bereavement online

Amanda Lagerkvist

Co-Creating Birth and Death on Social Media

Tama Leaver

Imagining the future through the lens of the digital: parents’ narratives of generational change

Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross

Storytelling the Self into Citizenship: How Social Media Practices Facilitate Adolescent and Emerging Adult Political Life

Lynn Schofield Clark and Regina Marchi

Family life in polymedia

Mirca Madianou

Every Click You Make, I’ll Be Watching You: Facebook Stalking and Neoliberal Information

Ilana Gershon

Formative Events, Networked Spaces, and the Political Socialization of Youth

Neta Kligler-Vilenchik and Ioana Literat

Defying Death: Black Joy as Resistance Online

Catherine Steele and Jessica Lu

Young People and Digital Grief Etiquette

Crystal Abidin

Deconstructing Immortality? Identity Work and the Death of David Bowie in Digital Media

Johanna Sumiala

The afterlife of software

Michael Stevenson and Robert W. Gehl

From Personal to Personalized Memory: Social Media as Mnemotechnology 

Robert Prey and Rik Smit

Social media rituals: the uses of celebrity death in digital culture

Jean Burgess, Peta Mitchell and Felix Victor Münch

Ghosts in the Machines: How Centuries of Technological Play with Death Has Helped Make Sense of Life

Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner


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Zizi Papacharissi is professor and head of the Communication Department at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her work focuses on the social and political consequences of online media. She has collaborated with Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and has participated in closed consultations with the Obama 2012 election campaign. She sits on the Committee on the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults, funded by the National Academies of Science, the National Research Council, and the Institute of Medicine, and has been invited to lecture about her work on social media in several Universities and Research Institutes in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the US.


"Now that the ‘networked self’ has come of age, we need to deal with existential questions about online personhood, adulthood, and parenthood. Internet technologies are transforming everyday practices revolving around birth, friendship, family life, memory and death. This sparkling collection edited by Zizi Papacharissi highlights many profound aspects of this transformation. An eye-opener for every academic interested in online affects!" -José van Dijck, Utrecht University, The Netherlands