The Virtual Wake in Brazil

  • Andreia Martins Van Den Hurk

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


In Brazil, as in most Western countries, management of the dead has become professionalized; funerals have become smaller, more private. Thus, death is removed from everyday life and hidden from society. Contemporary media and especially the Internet however, have the potential to relocate death and mourning back into a more public, or at least communal, space. The Brazilian virtual wake, which in certain circumstances any stranger can watch a 24 or 12-hour wake in real time via the Internet, represents a dramatic, technologically-enabled re-framing of public and private. Those who are watching the virtual wakes of strangers are mostly members of a Facebook group named Profiles de Gente Morta. Why are they doing so? Studying this phenomenon will contribute to an emerging global research field documenting and analysing how digital technology is changing the social landscape, not least the landscape of death. Online streaming of funerals and Internet memorial sites have been researched in various countries, but the virtual wake possibly only occurs in Brazil and has just started to be researched.
Date of Award22 Nov 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJohn Troyer (Supervisor)

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