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Tuesday, July 12 • 14:46 - 16:35
Grieving in the 21st Century: Social media’s role in facilitating supportive exchanges following community- level traumatic events

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Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
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  • Kimberly Glasgow, JHU/APL, United States
  • Jessica Vitak, University of Maryland, United States
  • Clay Fink, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, United States

In the aftermath of a traumatic mass casualty event, a community’s resources are strained, while its needs for tangible, emotional, and informational support are elevated. Social media may serve to bridge the distance between the locally affected community and those outside who are willing to offer support. This exploratory study uses Twitter as a lens for examining gratitude for support in the aftermath of disaster. We examine how social media may provide new opportunities for support to be exchanged and networks to be formed in the aftermath of a traumatic event. By analyzing tweets originating from Newtown, CT after the school shooting, we identify and describe six categories of support exchanged through Twitter, including two categories (symbolic and role-based) that have not been extensively discussed in the social support literature – but are valued by the community. Each type of support network shows distinct structural characteristics and temporal variance. 

Tuesday July 12, 2016 14:46 - 16:35 UTC
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

Attendees (5)