Archives of Sadness: Sharing Bereavement and Generating Emotional Exchange Between Strangers on YouTube

  • Margaret GibsonEmail author
  • Golie Talaie
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change book series (PSCSC)


Focusing on the significant life events of death and grief, YouTube is examined in this chapter as a social media forum in which intimacy is generated between strangers in often fleeting gestures of outreach and kindness. This chapter argues that ‘intimate publics’ constitute a particular shift in the relationship between strangers as anonymity is normatively disentangled from a behavioural code of impersonality. This historically evolving shift in the relationship between strangers is one of the personalised intimacies in modes of address and in the types of subjects/topics publicly exchanged and documented between strangers. Using Mateus’ concept of extimacy (2010), this paper argues that social media sharing prefigures intimacy as extimacy—an orientation towards self-exposure in the outside world of known and unknown others.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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