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Mapping grief. A conceptual framework for understanding the spatial dimensions of bereavement, mourning and remembrance

Maddrell, Avril

Mapping grief. A conceptual framework for understanding the spatial dimensions of bereavement, mourning and remembrance Thumbnail


Avril Maddrell


© 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. Abstract: This paper highlights the significance of the spatial dimensions of the universal human phenomena of bereavement. Grief, mourning and remembrance are experienced in and mapped upon (i) physical spaces, including the public and private arenas of everyday life; (ii) the embodied-psychological spaces of the interdependent and co-producing body-mind and (iii) the virtual spaces of digital technology, religious-spiritual beliefs and non-place-based community. Culturally inflected, dynamic emotional-affective maps of grief can be identified, as a form of deep-mapping, which reflect the ways in which relationality to particular spaces and places is inflected by bereavement, mourning and remembrance. Individual’s emotional-affective cartographies can intersect, overlap, or conflict with, others’ maps, with social and political consequences. The conceptual framework outlined here is illustrated by a schematic representation of grief maps. This framework provides geographical scholars with a lens on the dynamic assemblage of self-body-place-society that constitutes culturally inflected individual and shared everyday grief maps, providing insight to relational spaces, emotional-affective geographies and therapeutic environments. The reflexive identification of such maps represents a potential resource for the bereaved and their therapeutic counsellors, facilitating the identification of places which evoke anguish or comfort etc. and which might be deemed emotionally ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ at particular junctures.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 16, 2015
Publication Date Feb 17, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2016
Journal Social and Cultural Geography
Print ISSN 1464-9365
Electronic ISSN 1470-1197
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 166-188
Keywords death, bereavement, relational-space, emotional-affective, corporeal virtual
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Feb 22, 2016


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