Special Issue "DIDE–Digital Death: Transforming History, Rituals and Afterlife"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2023) | Viewed by 98

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Johanna Sumiala
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Media and Communication Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Interests: digital death; public mourning; social media and death rituals; politics of victimhood; digital immortality and afterlife; AI and death; violent death
Dr. Dorthe Refslund Christensen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
Interests: contemporary Western grief practices; grief and identity work; grief and everyday life; grief and ritualizations; identity and transformation; sharing grief

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout history, death has typically been presented alongside and orchestrated by religion and/or other ideological belief systems and societal institutions (Ariès 1977; Davies 2011). The Digital Death: Transforming History, Rituals and Afterlife (DiDe) research consortium builds on the premise that in contemporary digital society, death is largely and increasingly experienced through and managed by affordances of digital communication and the related cultural, social, and institutional practices and conventions (Sumiala 2021; Sisto 2020; Stokes 2021). The present circumstance affects death as a social and cultural phenomenon in multiple ways (Jacobsen 2021). It transforms ideas, beliefs, and conceptions of death in society, alters relationships between the living and the dead, influences the range and character of bereavement practices, reconditions values and morals associated with human death, and reconfigures institutional structures that manage and control death in society (Sumiala 2021; Coeckelbergh 2020; Han 2020).

The DiDe consortium (https://www.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/digital-death-transforming-history-rituals-and-afterlife) has committed itself to investigating the topic of digital death by approaching human death as a multifaceted object of accelerated cultural and social transformation in digital society. In DiDe, digital death is defined as a concept that is more than just death and death-related practices perceived, experienced, and performed in a digital context. DiDe specifies digital death as a manifold phenomenon articulated, experienced, and performed in interaction with digital communication and culture. This refers to a dialectical approach in which the digital is seen to shape perceptions and experiences of death in society and culture, but also being shaped by it.

With this Special Issue of Social Sciences, the DiDe group aims to shape a joint foundation for the study of digital death (1) by exploring the interrelations of death and the digital and reflecting on the various formations these interrelations might have for the present day society and (2) by reflecting on the challenges of studying digital death as an interdisciplinary research field. he ambition of this Special Issue is to become an authoritative contribution to the field and to make an essential reading for students and fellow researchers in this rising research area.

The Special Issue will include texts that are theoretical, empirical, and/or reflective. The authors have been invited and picked by the editors.

Publication is planned for 1 January 2024.

Dr. Johanna Sumiala
Dr. Dorthe Refslund Christensen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • digital death
  • grief
  • afterlife
  • immortality
  • beliefs
  • practices
  • history
  • ritual
  • ritualizations
  • transformation
  • interdisciplinarity

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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