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Imaginaries of Dying: The Visual Rhetoric of Stock Images Tagged with “Palliative Care”


Metzger, Gaudenz; Braun, Tina (2023). Imaginaries of Dying: The Visual Rhetoric of Stock Images Tagged with “Palliative Care”. Omega:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

In digital culture and its global economy, images circulate transnationally and shape cultural ideas about social and existential issues. While there is growing interest in death online, few studies have investigated the role of visual material in different forms of communication in this field. In this article, we examine the depiction of dying and death in stock photographs tagged with “palliative care” drawing on an image corpus of 618 photographs. Stock photographs are images produced for commercial purposes that are stored in databases by agencies on the Internet. To analyze how these representations depict fictional palliative care settings, we used visual grounded theory. The findings show that typical caregivers are portrayed as emphatic individuals, while patients appear as composed human beings facing death without fear. We argue that the images represent aspects of the modern hospice philosophy and the cultural narrative of healthy aging.

Abstract

In digital culture and its global economy, images circulate transnationally and shape cultural ideas about social and existential issues. While there is growing interest in death online, few studies have investigated the role of visual material in different forms of communication in this field. In this article, we examine the depiction of dying and death in stock photographs tagged with “palliative care” drawing on an image corpus of 618 photographs. Stock photographs are images produced for commercial purposes that are stored in databases by agencies on the Internet. To analyze how these representations depict fictional palliative care settings, we used visual grounded theory. The findings show that typical caregivers are portrayed as emphatic individuals, while patients appear as composed human beings facing death without fear. We argue that the images represent aspects of the modern hospice philosophy and the cultural narrative of healthy aging.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Institute of Religious Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
Uncontrolled Keywords:stock photography, palliative care, hospice philosophy, dying and death, visual rhetoric
Language:English
Date:27 June 2023
Deposited On:14 Jul 2023 06:44
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0030-2228
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/00302228231184296
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID188869
  • : Project TitleSterbesettings
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)