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"Han är inte mer än människa": En studie av hur pressen framställer kungens offentliga och privata roll när "skandalbiografin" utkommer 2010
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"He's only human" : A study of how the press describes the public and private role of the monarch when the "scandal biography" is published 2010 (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to examine how the press describes the public and private role of the Swedish monarch in texts that report about the biography Carl XVI Gustaf – den motvillige monarken (Sjöberg et al. 2010) when it is published in November 2010. The examined period ranges between the days just before the release and a fortnight after. The analysis is limited to standard Swedish papers: a daily, Svenska Dagbladet, and an evening paper, Expressen.

Questions asked in the study are: In what ways do the analysed texts raise a discussion about the monarchy’s importance or function in the society of today, that is a public debate on the monarchy? To what extension are status symbols used in the constructing of royalty, that is what Jürgen Habermas (2003) describes as representative publicity? What similarities and differences are found when comparing the news articles in the daily and in the evening paper?

The method used to answer the aim and questions is the critical discourse analysis, as Norman Fairclough (1995) describes it, and the theoretical perspective of the essay is Jürgen Habermas’ (2003) theory about the bourgeois public sphere.

The result shows that the news articles in the daily unsurprisingly construct only a public who wants to debate on the monarchy. The evening paper instead addresses its readers both as cultural consumers, which the study sees as representative publicity, and as civilians who want to discuss the monarchy’s importance or function of today’s society. Important to notice is that when the evening paper is challenging the monarchy it’s always made in an implicit manner.

The public role of the monarch is in both the daily and the evening paper said to be powerful and his public role is said to influence his private role in different ways.

It is also obvious that the focus in Expressen is upon the most intimate sphere of the privacy of the monarch. The description of the private room is important here, in addition the spatial portraying uses status symbols when constructing royalty.

Finally, the analysis shows that the monarch simultaneously portrays both as an ordinary human being and as a very special person in exclusive surroundings. Earlier research has proved that Swedish media wants to describe royalty like this.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Habermas, public, private, bourgeois public sphere, public debate, representative publicity, Fairclough, critical discourse analysis, discourse, Carl XVI Gustaf, monarchy, royalty
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50375OAI: diva2:462413
Educational program
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-12-07 Created: 2011-12-07 Last updated: 2011-12-12Bibliographically approved

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