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Title: Introduction
Contributor(s): Clark, Jennifer Rose (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: It may, on the face of it, seem a simple thing, that after a traffic crash resulting in death, a white cross is placed by the side of the road, as close as possible to the trauma site. Typically, such a roadside memorial will carry the name of the deceased and the dates of birth and death. Flowers may be lashed to the cross and there may even be a note left by loved ones. A significant or symbolic item, such as a soft toy or an ornament, may be placed on the ground. The roadside memorial remains simple, however, only if its role as a dip-stick into society - touching, probing, opening, suggesting, worrying, pointing, finding - is ignored. the roadside memorial is the material manifestation of our collective problematic relationships with death, organised religion, the search for spirituality, bureaucratic regulation of death and body disposal rituals, and motorisation. Memorials also satisfy our desire for creative self-expression in response to moments of personal crisis. It is the complexity, the unanswered questions and the profound invitation to reflection presented by the roadside memorial phenomenon that has prompted this collection.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Roadside Memorials: A Multidisciplinary Approach, p. 3-10
Publisher: EMU Press
Place of Publication: Armidale, N.S.W.
ISBN: 9780957700932
Field of Research (FOR): 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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