Roadside Memorial Powerpointv4


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Roadside Memorial Powerpointv4

  1. 1. Roadside Memorials in the Community A Scientific Study of Roadside Memorials Art Jipson, PhD. University of Dayton, CJS Program
  2. 2. Interest <ul><li>Driving to work I noticed roadside memorials along my commute from Oxford to Dayton </li></ul><ul><li>I became interested in </li></ul><ul><li>the symbolic, emotional, social, and criminological components to these memorials </li></ul>
  3. 3. Figuring out Roadside Memorials <ul><li>The project has focused on ascertaining the reasons that led some people to erect a commemoration to a loved one or a friend who died as a result of an automobile accident. </li></ul><ul><li>The research has taken multiple tracks: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Interviewing erectors of memorials, </li></ul><ul><li>(2) individuals who are connected to the memorials, </li></ul><ul><li>(3) content analysis of written material on roadside and other memorials, </li></ul><ul><li>(4) and collection and analysis of data on the laws in the fifty states. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Interview Data I have interviewed 309 individuals involved in 127 Memorials (not all are listed below due to confidentiality requirements) <ul><li>Midwest: </li></ul><ul><li>Ohio (78) </li></ul><ul><li>Kentucky (45) </li></ul><ul><li>West Virginia (15) </li></ul><ul><li>Pennsylvania (14) </li></ul><ul><li>Illinois (13) </li></ul><ul><li>Indiana (16) </li></ul><ul><li>Minnesota (3) </li></ul><ul><li>Iowa (2) </li></ul><ul><li>South: </li></ul><ul><li>North Carolina (24) </li></ul><ul><li>South Carolina (15) </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia (21) </li></ul><ul><li>Tennessee (16) </li></ul><ul><li>Arkansas (2) </li></ul><ul><li>East: </li></ul><ul><li>Massachusetts (8) </li></ul><ul><li>Delaware (5) </li></ul><ul><li>Massachusetts (7) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Demographics of Erectors <ul><li>Race 70% white, 20% African-American, 10% Hispanic or Mexican-American </li></ul><ul><li>Kinship 95% family members, 5% friends or others </li></ul><ul><li>Gender 80% erected by women </li></ul><ul><li>Class 70% of erectors earn less than $120,000 annually </li></ul>
  6. 6. Content Analysis <ul><li>I have also conducted content analysis on 137 newspaper and print articles, television and radio programs, and letters to the editors written on roadside memorials. </li></ul><ul><li>This analysis has helped contextualize roadside memorials in the local and national consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, I have also reviewed the scholarly literature in literature, criminology, popular culture, cultural geography, and sociology on roadside memorials and other forms of spontaneous public commemoration. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Little written on Roadside Memorials <ul><li>Little scholarly work has focused on roadside memorials. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead research has focused on well-known large projects such as sanctioned historical markers or approved grieving spaces (such as national cemeteries) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why erect a Roadside Memorial? <ul><li>Grief </li></ul><ul><li>Private Marker </li></ul><ul><li>Public Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Marker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warning about danger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slow Down </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Other Markers <ul><li>In all of my interviews, the roadside memorial is an addition to a conventional gravestone. </li></ul><ul><li>It does not replace a gravestone in a cemetery </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Memorial is Powerful <ul><li>For every single person involved in erecting a memorial that I have interviewed, all of them stated that the roadside memorial was more meaningful to them than a gravestone in a cemetery. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Massachusetts Memorial
  12. 12. Owensboro, KY Memorial
  13. 13. SR 127 Ohio
  14. 14. SR 127 Ohio
  15. 15. Massachusetts Memorial 2
  16. 16. Massachusetts Memorial 3
  17. 17. MA Memorial 3, note the car part
  18. 18. MA Memorial 3, note the objects
  19. 19. MA Memorial 3, long shot
  20. 20. Massachusetts Memorial 6
  21. 23. A memorial near the Dayton Mall It is important to note that as is demonstrated in the pictures that follow that some memorials can be quite elaborate in a variety of ways.
  22. 32. A Roadside Memorial from Hamilton, Ohio
  23. 35. A memorial near downtown Hamilton, Ohio Even small memorials demonstrate attention to detail and obvious care.
  24. 41. A Memorial on Ohio SR 127/73
  25. 44. Common Themes <ul><li>Organization (mostly crosses) </li></ul><ul><li>Names </li></ul><ul><li>Dates </li></ul><ul><li>Flowers (plastic and real) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal notes, mementos, </li></ul><ul><li>pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Personal items of the deceased </li></ul>
  26. 46. Roadside Memorials and the Law <ul><li>Finally, in order to understand the influence of roadside memorials, I have begun to survey all 50 state Attorneys General and transportation departments on each state’s laws that pertain to roadside memorials. </li></ul>
  27. 47. Different States have different Laws <ul><li>State and local governments have responded differently to roadside memorials. </li></ul><ul><li>West Virginia, for example has explicit legislation meant to regulate the size and placement of these memorials in its borders. </li></ul><ul><li>Other states, such as Ohio, view roadside memorials as a hindrance to travel and therefore consider them illegal. </li></ul>
  28. 48. Variability of State Laws <ul><li>Not all states have legislation that directly applies to roadside memorials. </li></ul><ul><li>More frequently, state law avoids direct comment on roadside memorials and only intervenes if the memorial becomes an obstruction to traffic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent legislation: Indiana, Alaska </li></ul></ul>
  29. 49. Removal <ul><li>As I began interviewing individuals and family members who erected roadside memorials it became increasingly apparent that county and local law enforcement are often unwilling to remove a memorial – </li></ul>
  30. 50. Law Enforcement and Removal <ul><li>Removal happens infrequently even if there is some vocal opposition in the community and even in some circumstance where some in a community consider it a distraction (and a distracting commemoration would be illegal in all states) </li></ul><ul><li>Law enforcement does not want to appear to be insensitive to the feelings of the bereaved. </li></ul>
  31. 51. Thanks for Listening… <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Please feel free to write to me about Roadside Memorials @ </li></ul><ul><li>Art Jipson </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Justice Studies program </li></ul><ul><li>University of Dayton </li></ul><ul><li>300 College Park </li></ul><ul><li>Dayton, Ohio 45469 </li></ul><ul><li>on Twitter @ artjipson </li></ul><ul><li>Or call 937-229-2153 </li></ul><ul><li>or email me @ ( [email_address] ) </li></ul>
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