Men, mountains and memory: Discourses of wilderness, entitlement and gender in online and media debates on mountainside memorials
Maddrell, A. (2008) Men, mountains and memory: Discourses of wilderness, entitlement and gender in online and media debates on mountainside memorials. In: AHRC Conference: Memory, Mourning and Landscape, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, 09 June 2008.
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The proliferation of 'spontaneous' memorials in British uplands has resulted in fierce contestation of memorialisation practices on mountain tops. This contestation has been expressed performatively, principally through the removal of memorials, and discursively through interest group discusssions online and in the media. Analysis of these debates shows three key strands: constructions of mountain insider/ outsider that relates to authenticity and entitlement to memorialisation; particular representations of wilderness and the natural; and related forms of masculinity which establish (limited) acceptable perameters for emotional expression, including the emotions of others. These findings are discussed in relation to a model for understanding the spatialities of bereavement, and wider debates about private memorials in public spaces and mechanisms evolving to regulate this practice through spatial management and control.