Social representations indicate the ways to know the things and to share this knowledge with others. The aim of this research is to understand the social representations of grief by conducting two studies. In the first study, 171 entries from frequently used online social dictionaries (Ekşi Sözlük, Uludağ Sözlük and Instela), which were written under the title of grief, were analyzed and meaningful thematic units were formed. In the second study, by using online data collection platform, participants were asked to write their ideas on grief. As in the first study, thematic units were formed from the responses of 93 participants. The results of two studies indicated seven thematic units namely “Emotional Responses in Grief Process”, “Descriptive Statements for Grief”, “Cognitive Responses in Grief Process”, “Behavioral Responses in Grief Process”, “Psychopathological Responses in Grief Process”, “Collective Gried”, “Positive Attributes of Grief”. Additionally, only in the first study the thematic unit “Expression of Grief through Art” was observed. Thus far, studies on grief were generally based on interviews. Accordingly, the current study differentiates from the other studies considering the data collection tools which are use of online social dictionaries and asking direct question to participants on grief. Besides, this study contributes the literature since there is no study conducted in Turkey on the social representations of grief.
Keywords: grief social representations, online social dictionaries, qualitative research