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Alcohol short-circuits important part of the brain': Swedish newspaper representations of biomedical alcohol research
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Number of Authors: 1
2017 (English)In: Addiction Research and Theory, ISSN 1606-6359, E-ISSN 1476-7392, Vol. 25, no 3, 177-187 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The media has a central role in communicating and constructing health knowledge, including communicating research findings related to alcohol consumption. However, research on news reporting about alcohol is still a relatively small field; in particular, there are few studies of the reporting of biomedical alcohol and drug research, despite the assumed increasing popularity of biomedical perspectives in public discourse in general. The present article addresses the representational `devices' used in Swedish press reporting about biomedical alcohol research, drawing on qualitative thematic analysis of the topics, metaphors, and optimist versus critical frames used in presenting biomedical research findings. In general, the press discourse focuses on genetic factors related to alcohol problems, on the role of the brain and the reward system in addiction, and on medication for treating alcohol problems. Metaphors of `reconstruction' and `reprograming' of the reward system are used to describe how the brain's function is altered in addiction, whereas metaphors of `undeserved reward' and `shortcuts' to pleasure are used to describe alcohol's effects on the brain. The study indicates that aspects of the Swedish press discourse of biomedical alcohol research invite reductionism, but that this result could be understood from the point of view of both the social organization of reporting and the intersection of reporting, science, and everyday understandings rather than from the point of view of the news articles only. Moreover, some characteristics of the media portrayals leave room for interpretation, calling for research on the meanings ascribed to metaphors of addiction in everyday interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 25, no 3, 177-187 p.
Keyword [en]
Media, qualitative analysis, alcohol
National Category
Substance Abuse Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142407DOI: 10.1080/16066359.2016.1239720ISI: 000398242100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142407DiVA: diva2:1092676
Available from: 2017-05-03 Created: 2017-05-03 Last updated: 2017-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Bogren, Alexandra
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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