Death Matters pp 177-197 | Cite as

Digital Mourning Labor: Corporate Use of Dead Celebrities on Social Media

  • Magdalena Kania-LundholmEmail author


The goal of this chapter is to examine the phenomenon of celebrity death and mourning as performed in the context of social media. It focuses on how commercial actors such as global brands make use of famous persons’ deaths in what becomes commodification of death through the process of digital mourning labor. This chapter discusses how often mutually exclusive logics of death and mourning are mixed together with the logics of commerce and profit. It suggests that digital labor is immaterial but materializes in the form of profit generated by the online networking sites and platforms. Consequently, value is not only extracted from users’ digital labor but also from the symbolic meaning and value of celebrity death upon which global brands capitalize.


Branding Celebrity death Digital labor Mourning Social media 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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