Social Representations Theory

A New Theory for Media Research

  • 1 Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Örebro University


This article argues that the theory of social representations can give valuable contributions to media research. It offers a new theory-based approach for studying how the media and citizens socially represent societal and political issues colouring our age, or some specific time period. Two fundamental communicative mechanisms – anchoring and objectification – are posited by the theory. These mechanisms, with a set of subcategories, are presented and it is shown how they can be used as conceptual analytical tools in empirical analysis. Concrete examples are given from a study on climate change and the media.

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