Brita Ytre-Arne

Media researcher at the University of Bergen

CEDAR – Themed Section in Participations

CEDAR – Consortium on Directions in Audience Research has published a Themed Section in the journal Participations. I am co-editor with CEDAR director Ranjana Das from University of Leicester. The Themed Section includes an introduction to our work and many interesting essays on important developments in audience research in the past decade.

Article published: Social media experiences of long-term patients

A new article from my postdoc is out in Nordicom Review: “The Social Media Experiences of Long-Term Patients: Illness, Identity, and Participation“. It is published online now and will be in the print edition of the journal later this year.

New project: Media Use, Culture and Public Connection

My most recent project studies how the Norwegian population use their freedom of information to connect to – or disconnect from – the public sphere. A team of researchers led by Hallvard Moe will employ qualitative and quantitative methods in a broad exploration of the use of diverse media and cultural expressions across platforms and technologies. My role in the project is to lead one sub-project focusing on qualitative approaches, including media diaries and in-depth interviews. I will also take part in a sub-project focusing particularly on marginalized audiences.

Here is some information in Norwegian and a short version in English. Our research group website will include updates from the project.

CEDAR: Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research

One of my current projects is CEDAR – Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research. This is a wonderful network of young European audience researchers, conducting a project on the state and future of audience research with a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). The network is led by Ranjana Das of University of Leicester and myself as co-investigator.

New article: Political debate in online discussion forums

I have published an article (in Norwegian) analysing debates on welfare politics in an online discussion forum for mothers. The article is published in the first digital only Open Access edition of the journal Norsk medietidsskrift.

Article published: Changing Magazine Journalism

Nordicom Review has published a special issue on New Nordic Journalism Research. I am happy to have one of my articles published there, probably the very last I will write based on my doctoral research project. The article is called “Changing Magazine Journalism: Key Trends in Norwegian Women’s Magazines” and aims to identify and discuss important changes in magazine journalism in the last decade.

Article published: Women’s suffrage in the media

Finally, my article from the women’s suffrage project is out. It is published in the Norwegian interdisciplinary gender studies journal Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning.

The article (in Norwegian) gives an analysis of how newspapers and women’s journals covered parliamentary debates on women’s suffrage in Norway from 1890 to 1913. Political journalism changed considerably in this period, and the question of women’s suffrage went from being highly controversial to practically uncontested in the space of a few years. Yet, there was remarkable consistency in the discourses put forward by the media, as newspapers continued to evaluate the question of women’s political participation in terms of women’s roles as wives and mothers.

Postdoctoral project: Responding to welfare state services through social media

Between November 2012 and August 2016 I have worked on a postdoctoral research project as part of a larger interdisciplinary research project called Responding to welfare state services: An analysis of users, media and public institutions. It is organized by the Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies and the University of Bergen, and funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

While the larger project will analyse various forms of user responses to welfare state services, my postdoctoral project will focus on the role of social media as an arena for debating and responding to the welfare state. As the internet has become an integral aspect of everyday life and a crucial site for information and debate, more research is needed on how internet use might contribute to public opinion on a fundamental societal institutions – such as the welfare state. For instance, the widespread use of social media warrants attention to how the communicative possibilities and challenges of social media might affect people’s relationships with the welfare state.

The main research question for my project is: What is the impact of social media on 1) user communication with welfare state services, 2) the sharing of experiences between welfare service users and 3) formation of public opinion about the welfare state? The three-part research question will be answered through a case study approach. I will draw on various qualitative methods including interviews and discourse analysis, and on theoretical perspectives from public sphere theory, sociology and audience and reception research.

Article in Feminist Media Studies

The last article originating from my PhD project will be published in Feminist Media Studies vol. 14(3), which means that it will appear in print in July 2014. As that is a long way ahead, I am happy that the journal has an iFirst publication scheme. My article is already published online, and for a limited time period the full text is freely available to anyone following this link. The article is called “Positioning the self” and it is about identity and women’s magazine reading.

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