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‘Alcohol short-circuits important part of the brain’: Swedish newspaper representations of biomedical alcohol research
Stockholms universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0136-1962
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 commu-nicating research findings related to alcohol consumption. However, research on news reporting aboutalcohol is still a relatively small field; in particular, there are few studies of the reporting of biomedicalalcohol and drug research, despite the assumed increasing popularity of biomedical perspectives inpublic discourse in general. The present article addresses the representational‘devices’used in Swedishpress reporting about biomedical alcohol research, drawing on qualitative thematic analysis of thetopics, 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 ofthe 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 howthe 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 ofthe Swedish press discourse of biomedical alcohol research invite reductionism, but that thisresult could be understood from the point of view of both the social organization of reporting and theintersection of reporting, science, and everyday understandings rather than from the point of viewof the news articles only. Moreover, some characteristics of the media portrayals leave room for inter-pretation, calling for research on the meanings ascribed to metaphors of addiction in everydayinteraction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 25, no 3, 177-187 p.
Keyword [en]
Media; qualitative analysis;alcohol
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33757DOI: 10.1080/16066359.2016.1239720ISI: 000398242100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84994674055OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33757DiVA: diva2:1160935
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-0989
Available from: 2017-11-28 Created: 2017-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Bogren, Alexandra

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  • de-DE
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