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To resist or to embrace social death? Photographs of couples on Romanian gravestones


  • Adela Toplean


This paper examines how a small-scale Transylvanian community uses the traditional practice of family photographs on gravestones to deal with survivors' social degradation. This practice can both affirm social death and mitigate it, depending on the survivor's will and ability to make an extra-effort to restore the tie with the deceased. Although substantial religious commitment is not necessary to engage in this practice, tie maintenance results from a serious engagement in mutual identity support and collective memory-making, with obvious spiritual overtones.

Suggested Citation

  • Adela Toplean, 2015. "To resist or to embrace social death? Photographs of couples on Romanian gravestones," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 296-309, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:10:y:2015:i:3:p:296-309
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2015.1106759

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