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  • Publication
    Together or Apart? Some questions raised by the broadcasting of funeral services during the Covid-19 pandemic
    (Sociological Review Foundation, 2021-08-03) ; ;
    On January 2021 a thousand people watched a funeral Mass streamed live on University College Dublin’s YouTube channel: the funeral Mass of "Old man Belfield", an intensely private individual who lived on the campus of Ireland's largest university for over 30 years, rarely speaking to anyone. This piece takes this, and similar events, as a starting point to explore how new online media forms may impact the representation of social life while simultaneously affording new forms of social connections and disconnections. Although questions about the role of media platforms like YouTube in everyday life are not new – is YouTube the new television? (Ha, 2018) – Covid-19 has amplified their significance. Our focus is on Ireland, but we believe the issues raised here are of wider relevance.