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Knowledge production, communication and utilization: Studying biomedical alcohol research
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2013 (English)In: Drugs and Alcohol Today, ISSN 1745-9265, Vol. 13, no 1, 28-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - A growing body of social research analyzes how the biomedical interest in detailed molecular aspects of our bodies (genes, biomarkers, DNA) affect everyday notions of health, risk, and responsibility for health problems. However, this research focus has been largely neglected in social alcohol research. The purpose of this paper is to report on some early findings from a study of media portrayals of biomedical alcohol research and to present a rationale for studying biomedical alcohol research more broadly.

Design/methodology/approach - The empirical discussion is based on textual analysis of 90 newspaper articles published in Swedish newspapers between 1995 and 2010 and one-on-one semi-structured interviews with 24 newspaper readers about their interpretation of the newspaper portrayals. The motives for studying biomedical alcohol research more broadly are discussed in relation to existing research and theories of biomedicalization.

Findings - Firstly, we find that a large majority of the newspapers cite biomedical researchers to explain the mechanisms of addiction, and that biomedical research is often presented as revolutionary in scope. However, journalists also act as storytellers who explain the biomedical research results to readers. The reward system proved to be a central notion among the interviewees, who had their own, different and varying definitions of the concept. Secondly, we suggest a framework for analyzing how biomedical knowledge is produced, communicated and utilized by three types of key actors.

Originality/value - The study presents a novel framework for studying biomedical alcohol research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 13, no 1, 28-35 p.
Keyword [en]
alcohol, addiction, biomedicine, culture, science studies
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87476DOI: 10.1108/17459261311310826OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-87476DiVA: diva2:604171
Projects
Media representations and lay interpretations of biomedical research on alcohol
Funder
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, 2010-0989, 2012-0691
Available from: 2013-02-19 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-07-12Bibliographically approved

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Bogren, AlexandraWinter, Katarina
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