Social representations of polydrug use in a Finnish newspaper 1990-2016

Jenni Tuulia Savonen, Pekka Hakkarainen, Kati Kataja, Inari Hannele Sakki, Christoffer Tigerstedt

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

Abstrakti

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the social representations of polydrug use in the Finnish mainstream media. Social representations are shared ways of talking about socially relevant issues and have ramifications on both individual and socio-political levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The social representations theory and the “What’s the problem represented to be?” analysis provided the theoretical framework. In total, 405 newspaper articles were used as data and analysed by content analysis and thematic analysis. The key tenets of the social representations theory, anchoring, objectifying and naturalisation, were used in data analysis.

Findings

The study found that polydrug use was written about differently in articles over the study period from 1990 to 2016. Three social representations were introduced: first, polydrug use as a concept was used to refer to the co-use of alcohol and medical drugs. This was seen as a problem for young people, which could easily lead to illicit drug use. Second, illicit drugs were included in the definitions of polydrug use, which made the social representation more serious than before. The typical polydrug user was portrayed as a person who was addicted to substances, could not quite control his/her use and was a threat to others in society. Third, the concepts were naturalised as parts of common language and even used as prototypes and metaphors.

Originality/value

The study provides a look at how the phenomenon of polydrug use is conceptualised in everyday language as previous research has concentrated on its scientific definitions. It also adds to the research of media representations of different substances.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
LehtiDrugs and Alcohol Today
Vuosikerta19
Numero2
Sivut123-132
Sivumäärä10
ISSN1745-9265
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 3 kesäkuuta 2019
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu

Tieteenalat

  • 5144 Sosiaalipsykologia

Siteeraa tätä