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Haunting HandsMobile Media Practices and Loss$
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Kathleen M. Cumiskey and Larissa Hjorth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190634971

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190634971.001.0001

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Transition and Letting Go

Transition and Letting Go

(p.99) 5 Transition and Letting Go
Haunting Hands

Kathleen M. Cumiskey

Larissa Hjorth

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on mobile-emotive rituals of transition and letting go. Traditional psychological trajectories of the grief process typically end with the concept of the letting go of the deceased or “lost object.” While this book engages with critiques related to this trajectory, this chapter will focus on the ways in which the concept of “letting go” functions in terms of users’ relationships with digital content. Drawing from fieldwork in the United States, this chapter will show the role that the purging—as well as preserving—of mobile media plays in the integration of loss into one’s life. We investigate how US participants described their motivations behind whether or not they deleted digital content and how, for some of these participants, changes made to content or devices indicated a mobile-emotive transition in their grief process.

Keywords:   grief process, mourning, grief transitions, mobile phones, mobile media, loss, letting go

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