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Media Representation of Social Networks of Adolescents: Analysis of Photographs Posted on Norrköping Municipal Facebook Accounts
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4274-5468
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim: Adolescence is acknowledged as a transitional life stage towards adulthood together with a set of pivotal movements, such as developing from dependence to independence and from irresponsibility to responsibility. The adolescents’ relationship with others is of significance to the meaning of life and the evolving of the life course. The media portrayals are conceived as value-expressive and constructing the public image of ageing. Most studies on media representation have analysed the portrayal of adolescents in relation to gender, sexuality, violence, alcohol use and tobacco use predominantly from a victim perspective, with scant attention on their social network developments. The aim of this study is to explore how Norrköping municipality portrays adolescents’ social network with special focuses on the contexts and activities in the photographs.

Method: The material consists of the photos collected from 32 Facebook accounts produced by municipal bodies during the entire year of 2018. The analysis is based on a categorization of various features of the photos in order to statistically describe the relation between signs, activities and contexts during the life stage of adolescence. Further, the meaning of frequently-used symbols in the photographs is analysed.

Result: The study concludes that adolescents are dominantly portrayed on Facebook pages of recreational gardens (in Swedish: Fritidsgård). The social networking activities that adolescents are frequently engaged in are practical courses, meal preparations, physical exercises and collaborative games. The characters associated with adolescents in media portrayal are restricted to their peers and leisure managers, stereotypically excluding people at other life stages. A number of signs and objects in the photographs are identified which might influence adolescents developing their social network with others, such as smartphones and commercial logos. Further, the result indicates that adolescents develop their social network mostly with other adolescents who have the same ethnicity. 

Conclusion: The municipality depicts stereotypical images of social networks at the adolescence stage, which may lead to negative influences on adult developments and social integration in Swedish society. Therefore, communication professionals need to be aware of the cultural construction of adolescents’ social network in the media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
adolescence, image analysis, media representation, photographs, social network
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-158439DiVA, id: diva2:1333084
Conference
The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) 2019 Conference, Madrid, Spain, 7-11 July, 2019
Projects
ITN EuroAgeism
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020Available from: 2019-06-29 Created: 2019-06-29 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • 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