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Voice, silence and social class on television
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5247-8212
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Communication, ISSN 0267-3231, E-ISSN 1460-3705Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The question of voice is a central and timeless political issue. Who gets to speak? Who is silenced? Who is listening? One of the main arenas for voice in modern, advanced democracies is the media. Media infrastructures, technologies, institutions and organizations are a precondition for political voice in large-scale societies, but are also an important factor in distributing the possibilities for voice among different groups and sectors of the population. In this article, we take on the question of voice in relation to social class and aim to analyse how the medium of television gives voice to people from different social classes. This study operationalizes the theoretical notion of voice by asking the following questions: who has the opportunity to appear and speak on television, to whom do they speak and under what circumstances does this communication occur? Based on a content analysis of television in Sweden, the results from this study show that voice is distributed in a highly unequal manner. It also shows that the relations enacted by television appearances conform to the social hierarchy. Whereas people from the ruling class frequently speak to people from the working and middle classes, they are rarely spoken to by members of a class that is positioned below their own. Television thus constructs a social hierarchy of voice and authority that reproduces and legitimizes already existing social hierarchies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Content analysis, democracy, social class, television, voice
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36032DOI: 10.1177/0267323118784819Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049682256OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-36032DiVA, id: diva2:1237134
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-01204Available from: 2018-08-07 Created: 2018-08-07 Last updated: 2018-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Jakobsson, PeterStiernstedt, Fredrik

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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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
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf