Saturday 28 May 2016

Civil Celebrancy and Me 4 | Online Presence and Identity(ies)

Following my Civil Celebrant training, I, with the encouragement of my UKSOC tutor, began to engage much more than I previously had in and with social media. Having previously only dabbled in a lacklustre way with my twitter account, I now have an additional twitter account, a Facebook account and I forward these Blog entries to both of these. Here, in addition to writing about issues linked to Civil Celebrancy – e.g. clothing traditions and choices at weddings and funerals; cultural norms and superstitions; the important of place and space – more often than not with a sociological slant I’ve also written of loss and bereavement and the practices and processes of griefwork as identified by Deborah Davidson (2008) as the work we do with others. Recently I started to write on a sister blog Arwenack Cerebrals: writing, reading, thinking  on which I write about (amongst other things) my fiction and memoir writing. 

Obviously I am not the only one who finds Blog writing interesting, helpful, engaging. There are many examples of wellknown Blogs/Bloggers. For example:

Deliciously Ella

Also and increasingly there are also calls for academics to share their research findings in this format and/or via tweets for a more wide-reaching and immediate ‘impact’ on the world beyond the academy. 

My own social world engagement has made me think specifically about virtual world auto/ biographical practices. Within my dedicated Civil Celebrants twitter account I follow other celebrants and other people and groups with an interest in namings, various types of relationship commitment ceremonies and funerals. My dying and death online friends and ‘acquaintances’ (Morgan 2009) are particularly relevant here as Death CafĂ©, Final Fling, Kicking the Bucket, Funeral Funnies, Rated Wedding, WeddingHour etc., clearly report on auto/biographic practices. Many of those I follow and befriend are concerned with the things that Sociologists are – ritual and representation, presentation of self, identity, family practices, stigma and so on. And the social world itself is of interest to Sociologists and to Civil Celebrants in terms of how identities are presented and maintained during and after life. Interesting things to think about here include online memorials and continuing social media presence (I read recently that there are 500 dead people on Facebook), wedding flashmobs on YouTube and drop box accounts charting a child's progress; from birth, to naming ceremony and beyond. 


Davidson, D. (2008). A Technology of care: Caregiver response to perinatal loss. Women’s Studies International Forum, 31(4), 278-284.

Morgan, D. (2009) Acquaintances: The Space Between Intimates and Strangers Buckingham: Open University 

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