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The same old story? Continuity and change in Swedish print media constructions of cannabis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Number of Authors: 1
2016 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 33, no 3, 267-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS - The purpose of the study is to describe and analyse how cannabis is constructed in Swedish print media and if this has changed over time. Sweden is known for its prohibitionist cannabis policy, but this approach seems increasingly challenged on both international and domestic arenas. It is therefore important to see if and how this international change is mirrored and processed in a key arena such as print media. METHODS - Newspaper material from two years, 2002 and 2012, was included to analyse continuity and change. The theoretical backdrop for the study is social constructionism, and methodological concepts such as discourse and subject positions from discourse theory were used to investigate how cannabis and cannabis problems are constructed. RESULTS - The analysis showed that print media in both years seem to draw mainly on a juridical, a social problems and a medical discourse when portraying cannabis. It is through these discourses that some subject positions become relevant as users (e.g. youth) and as experts (e.g. police). Despite a strong continuity in these cannabis constructions, the analysis also shows signs of change. For example, in 2012 there are articles drawing on economic and recreational discourses, and there is a global outlook enabling new cannabis constructions. CONCLUSION - The Swedish print media generally has a crime-centred and deterrent approach towards cannabis, with prohibition at the heart of the reporting. International events do however introduce discursive alternatives in 2012. It remains to be seen if these new ways of writing about cannabis will strengthen or challenge prohibitionist constructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 33, no 3, 267-285 p.
Keyword [en]
cannabis, media, press, Sweden, change, discourse
National Category
Substance Abuse Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132553DOI: 10.1515/nsad-2016-0021ISI: 000379145900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132553DiVA: diva2:955294
Available from: 2016-08-25 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Månsson, Josefin
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Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD)
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