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Klasstolkningar: En receptionsanalys av hur klassaspekter uppfattas i Tre kärlekar, Falcon Crest och TV-nyheter
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
Responsible organisation
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to analyze if and how Swedish television viewers perceive the social class position of characters and persons in different kinds of television fiction and news. The results are related to theories of class, ideology, reception and social cognition. The class concept is complemented by related concepts, like status, occupation and strata. The term “social position” is used as an overall concept including all these concepts. Regarding reception theory a modified version of Stuart Hall’s typology of decoding positions is used together with schema theory from cognitive psychology. The data collection was conducted 1991-1993, so the results express a part of Swedish media history. The programmes used were the Swedish social realist serial Tre kärlekar (Three Loves), the US prime time soap Falcon Crest, and two news items. Both qualitative reception interviews with 22 informants and a representative questionnaire with 1192 respondents were conducted. The interviews were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively and compared to results from the survey.

The main results were that informants usually can give some classification of social position when asked about it but this was mostly not something that they reflected upon while watching. Many different terms were used to describe characters, like occupation, class, “higher”, “lower”, status and wealth. Social position was more often consciously perceived when watching fiction than during news. This was validated by survey data. There were no significant differences between informants from different social classes regarding attention to social position, while the role of class identity was more complex. Cognitive centrality mattered, i.e. informants who more often thought about their own social class in everyday life were also somewhat more probable to think about the social position of the television characters. This was confirmed in the survey.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för journalistik, medier och kommunikation (JMK) , 2008. , 220 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från JMK, ISSN 1102-3015 ; 33
Keyword [en]
class, ideology, television, reception, encoding/decoding, schema, cognitive centrality, news, Falcon Crest
Keyword [sv]
Tre kärlekar
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8274ISBN: 978-91-7155-760-5OAI: diva2:199953
Public defence
2008-12-05, JMK-salen, Garnisonen, Karlavägen 104, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2008-11-13 Created: 2008-11-13 Last updated: 2010-10-21Bibliographically approved

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