Ungrievable lives and the ensemble of opinions

Publication Name



Cyclists are understood as vulnerable road users, but when cyclists are killed by drivers, media reports shared to social media are often accompanied by comments that aggressively rearticulate hierarchies of automobility. This article explores the news reporting, public social media sharing, and public social media comments about the deaths of two cyclists–Mike Hall and Cameron Frewer. To assemble an archive of relevant media material, we have developed a method that uses Google News and the Chrome plugin Crowdtangle. We draw on the work of Judith Butler to argue that some commenters find cyclists ungrievable and explore how this performance of ungrievability rearticulates common sense hierarchies of automobility. Similarly, we also argue that these tragic events serve as a locus of sociality for cyclists and cycling advocates who often do not have a personal relation to Hall or Frewer, but nevertheless articulate their mourning in terms of a personalized relationship to their evident tragic vulnerability.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access



Link to publisher version (DOI)