“Please Know That You Are Not Alone with Your Pain”: Responses to Newcomer Posts in an Online Grief Support Forum

  • Paulus T
  • Varga M
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Abstract

In an effort to better understand how the Internet can provide support to bereaved individuals, this discourse analysis study examined the responses to 107 initial posts in an online grief support group to understand how newcomers' bids for group membership were taken up by current members. Discursive features included validation and empathy through second stories, constructing grief through descriptions, and accepting bids for membership through advice giving and invitations to return to the group. These features illustrate how grief and being a griever are constructed in an online context and how they deviate from the "normal" grief expectations in the offline world.

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