Article

Ebola in the Public Sphere: A Comparison Between Mass Media and Social Networks

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Abstract

This study examines how Ebola is transformed from purely scientific knowledge to public’s thinking through media communication, using Spain as a case study. To do so, this research carried out a lexical analysis in both classic media communication and social network communication (Twitter). The results showed that traditional news used a reified discourse pattern prescribing the discourse of scientists and authorities. Tweets, in contrast, adhered to a consensual pattern of discourse, characterized by heterogeneity of representation and intensive symbolic ideas. The implications of this familiarization of knowledge about science via media communication and the effect of social networks on how we should face future epidemics are considered.

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... In this regard, contemporary media are generative elements engaged in the exchange, reproduction and transformation of the (social) meaning of health-, medicine-and pandemic-related content [12][13][14]. This is also clearly demonstrated by a large research body in social sciences about the last (potential) pandemics [15][16][17][18]. Within this research stream, scholars showed how media narratives about pandemic and health crisis follow a recurrent and peculiar pattern, or cycle: it goes from the declaration of the alarm to a more reassuring register, independently by the tendency of the media coverage and the specific threats [15][16][17][18]. ...
... This is also clearly demonstrated by a large research body in social sciences about the last (potential) pandemics [15][16][17][18]. Within this research stream, scholars showed how media narratives about pandemic and health crisis follow a recurrent and peculiar pattern, or cycle: it goes from the declaration of the alarm to a more reassuring register, independently by the tendency of the media coverage and the specific threats [15][16][17][18]. A fast sequence of "scary news" (e.g. the growing number of contagions, death tolls and description of hard clinical consequence for people infected) is followed by a series of narratives intended to relieve the audience from anxiety, assuring that health authorities have the right tools to contrast the emergency and to contain the contagion. ...
... Relying on this body of research, the present article contributes to the ongoing debate over the decision-making and public shaping of science policy related to the Covid-19 pandemic, referring to Italian mainstream newspapers as a valuable source of empirical data. It assumes that pandemics are strictly interconnected with the broader media, cultural, and political landscapes [15][16][17][18]. Thus it offers an empirically-based study able to contribute to the current debate about the so-called "infodemic" [19][20][21] centered on how the massive production of information in digital and physical media environments can affect the public meanings, perception and governance of a disease outbreak. ...
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The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has emerged as one of the most dramatic health crises of recent decades. This paper treats mainstream news about the current pandemic as a valuable entry point for analyzing the relationship between science and politics in the public sphere, where the outbreak must be both understood and confronted through appropriate public-health policy decisions. In doing so, the paper aims to examine which actors, institutions , and experts dominate the SARS-CoV-2 media narratives, with particular attention to the roles of political, medical, and scientific actors and institutions within the pandemic crisis. The study relies on a large dataset consisting of all SARS-CoV-2 articles published by eight major Italian national newspapers between January 1, 2020 and June 15, 2020. These articles underwent a quantitative analysis based on a topic modeling technique. The topic modeling outputs were further analyzed by innovatively combining ad-hoc metrics and a classifier based on the stacking ensemble method (combining regularized logistic regression and linear stochastic gradient descent) for quantifying scientific salience. This enabled the identification of relevant topics and the analysis of the roles that different actors and institutions engaged in making sense of the pandemic. The results show how the health emergency has been addressed primarily in terms of political regulation and concerns and only marginally as a scientific matter. Hence, science has been overwhelmed by politics, which, in media narratives, exerts a moral as well as regulatory authority. Media narratives exclude neither scientific issues nor scientific experts; rather, they configure them as a subsidiary body of knowledge and expertise to be mobilized as an ancillary, impersonal institution useful for legitimizing the expansion of political jurisdiction over the governance of the emergency.
... In fact, extensive research has been carried out on EIDs worldwide, using the SRT as a framework. The most relevant research includes studies on AIDS (Joffe, 1999;Joffe & Bettega, 2003;Marková & Wilkie, 1987), Ebola (Idoiaga et al., 2017b;Joffe & Haarhoff, 2002), SARS (Washer, 2004), MRSA Washer & Joffe, 2006), MARS (Washer, 2006), Avian flu (Joffe & Lee, 2004) and Swine Flu (Idoyaga et al., 2012). All of the findings of this research suggest that when a new EID emerges, the first collective reaction is usually to represent it as something distant, that is, something that affects other countries or other groups of people with whom we have little or no connection (Joffe, 2011). ...
... However, no truly innocent victims are perceived to exist, as they are often blamed for their lack of hygiene or discipline, in line with the outward blaming patterns (Idoiaga et al., 2017a;Joffe, 2009: Wagner-Egger et al., 2011. Finally, the representation of the villains is clearly anchored in the upward blaming directed towards political authorities (Washer, 2006) along with the mass media which are blamed for manipulating the risk communication for their own agenda and, even worse, perceived as being puppets of evil powers at the highest level (Gronke & Cook, 2007;Idoiaga et al., 2017b;Rubin et al., 2010;Wagner, 1998;Wagner et al., 2002;Wagner-Egger et al., 2011). ...
... In fact, research conducted so far has confirmed that, when faced with EIDs, a set of recurring emotional patterns can be observed in a society, among the most common being the fear that is evoked not only by the threat of the disease, but also by uncertainty or the unknown. Emotions of anger are also clearly visible and are particularly evident in the blame that is placed upon the villains of the epidemics (Idoiaga et al., 2017b). In fact, as a predecessor of the othering theory, Douglas' risk theory states that looking for the cause of the threat in outgroups or privileged elites and blaming them for changing the way they have lived up to now is a mechanism for suppressing anxiety (Douglas, 1992;Douglas & Wildawsky, 1982). ...
Article
Objective. This study examines how people socially represent the COVID-19 pandemic in the early stage of the health crisis in Europe. Specifically, this research analyses the days before and immediately after the declaration of the state of emergency in Spain, which resulted in the entire population being placed in lockdown. Design. For this purpose, we used the Grid Elaboration Method for free association elicited by the word “coronavirus”. This exercise was completed by 1037 people from Spain. Main Outcome Measures. Responses were analysed using Iramuteq software for lexical analysis. Results. Before the state of emergency and lockdown, there was a repeat of many of the emotional and cognitive patterns seen in previous pandemics such us upward and downward blaming or feelings of anger and emotional fatigue. However, outward blaming patterns towards peers also emerged. Moreover, in the period following lockdown, we noted the emergence of new representations and emotions such as paralyzing distrust or resilience. Similarity analysis revealed that the “fear of pandemic” hides a wide variety of emotions. Conclusion. Understanding the blaming and fear processes that are linked to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain offers us practical implications for coping with the challenge of this new crisis.
... However, up until now, research has been predominantly U.S.-focused and concerned with why people marched for science [Ross et al., 2018], the sociodemographic makeup of marchers [Fisher, 2018], how they communicated via social media to organize themselves [Ley and Brewer, 2018], or how the public felt and what they thought about the march [Funk and Rainie, 2017;Motta, 2018]. What has not yet been analyzed is the journalistic attention and public communication about the march -both can generally serve as indicators of what (relevant) characteristics of the march made it into the public discourse [see Mondragon, Gil de Montes and Valencia, 2017;Veltri, 2012] because both reach substantial audience numbers [Trilling, Tolochko and Burscher, 2017]. Thus, the present paper is interested in public communication about the 2018 March for Science in Germany, comparing journalistic (online) reporting on the march and Twitter discussions about the hashtag #marchforscience, and using news value theory to elucidate the factors that made the march a newsworthy public issue and a relevant science policy event. ...
... Both journalistic and Twitter communication serve as indicators of the public discourse about an issue [e.g., Mondragon, Gil de Montes and Valencia, 2017;Shan et al., 2014]. The debate is ongoing about the question of the degree to which journalistic and Twitter communication about science is similar or different [e.g., Büchi, 2017;Veltri, 2012]. ...
... Since both traditional media and Twitter potentially influence each other, e.g., as intermedia agenda-setters [Shan et al., 2014;Wang and Guo, 2018], they both contribute to science communication. Often, it has been reported that Twitter activity peaks similar to news coverage about issues because Twitter users rely on sources they trust, which include traditional media; however, it has also been reported that content varies [Mondragon, Gil de Montes and Valencia, 2017], which could potentially mean that they do not share the same concept of newsworthiness. ...
Article
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Germany was second in the number of March for Science participants. Applying news value theory, this article analyzes the newsworthiness of the 2018 March for Science in Germany, comparing journalistic (online) reporting on the march (N = 86) and Twitter communication about #marchforscience (N = 591). The results of the content analyses reveal that news factors were more frequent and reached higher intensities in journalistic reporting than on Twitter. Relevance, prominence, personalization, and influence were the news factors most emphasized by journalists. On Twitter, reach was the only news factor correlating with social media engagement (likes, comments, and retweets).
... With regard to social representations of health epidemics, extensive research [9][10][11][12][13][14] has shown that the representation of EIDs is often changing during the pandemic process, even though it follows some patterns during that process [14]. In fact, worldwide EIDs were firstly viewed as originating from collective actors regarded as out-groups or 'others'. ...
... With regard to social representations of health epidemics, extensive research [9][10][11][12][13][14] has shown that the representation of EIDs is often changing during the pandemic process, even though it follows some patterns during that process [14]. In fact, worldwide EIDs were firstly viewed as originating from collective actors regarded as out-groups or 'others'. ...
... In these cases, representations of local victims, and villains usually appear [15]. It is the mass media that are often portrayed as the villains, being accused of manipulating the communications regarding risk to suit their own agenda, and, perhaps even worse, are perceived as being the puppets of evil powers at the highest level [14]. The victims are usually represented by the infected people or by those who are most likely to be infected or have the least resources to prevent it. ...
Article
In 2020, COVID-19, a new emerging infectious disease (EID), was spread throughout the world, including Europe. Spain, in particular, witnessed a significant outbreak of the pandemic. In consequence, all classes were cancelled and the Government declared a state of emergency, ordering the lockdown of the entire population from March to May. The aim of this research is to explore the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the representations of young university students from the University of the Basque Country and their emotional response when the crisis started. A free-association exercise was completed by 503 students from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) (Northern Spain). To analyze the content, the Reinert method was used with the Iramuteq software for lexical analysis. The results showed that students placed COVID-19 at a distance from the self, pointing out issues related to social response and disinformation, while showing concerns for self-related issues that are linked to negative emotions, academic consequences, and potentially close victims. The students’ concerns were categorized at four main levels: the communicative-informative level, health-emotional level, community-social level, and academic level. All of this has created overwhelming feelings of nervousness, along with anger and emotional fatigue. These results indicate the necessity for universities to work from a holistic standpoint, not only in terms of responding to academic needs but also from psychological, communicative, social, health, and well-being perspectives.
... First, the heroes of EIDs are the scientific and medical experts (e.g., doctors, scientists), who are mainly perceived as credible and trustworthy sources. Second, the villains of health crises are the media, accused of using fear for their own gain and, even worse, being perceived as the puppets of evil powers at the highest level (Idoiaga et al., 2017b). In addition, governments are also regarded as villains due to acts of corruption and concealment of the problem that facilitated the spread of the disease (Washer, 2006). ...
... Representing the government as an agent to be considered in the management of the crisis is a novel aspect that has emerged in other investigations of COVID-19 representations in the general population, in which the issue of government was not even mentioned (Idoiaga et al., 2021b). Nonetheless, in other previous EID studies, the role of the government and media has been disputed, whilst they have also been accused of using fear for their own interests (Washer, 2010;Wagner-Egger et al., 2011;Idoiaga et al., 2017b). ...
... This is particularly interesting, given that since the state of emergency was declared, the prime minister has taken almost complete control of the country (Presidency of the Government of Spain, 2020). This is most likely due to the lack of confidence in the government for the way that they have managed EIDs and the lack of clarity in their messaging whilst addressing this crisis, as already pointed out elsewhere (Washer, 2010;Idoiaga et al., 2017b). ...
Article
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Spain has become one of the European epicenters of coronavirus (COVID-19), a virus that particularly affects the elderly, since this group accounts for the majority of hospitalized cases and has the highest mortality rates. Therefore, the aim of this research is to understand how elderly people represent and emotionally cope with COVID-19 during the days when the pandemic emerged in Spain. Using a qualitative methodology, a free association exercise elicited by the word “COVID-19” was completed by 115 participants (age range: 60–85 years) from the North of Spain. Lexical analysis was used to analyze the content. The results revealed that the government and the mass media are criticized for failing to communicate a clear message, and for giving out information that is both insufficient and contradictory. However, participants are clear that it is essential to follow the guidelines of the scientists and doctors, which are represented as credible sources. However, when the state of alarm and the lockdown of all citizens was declared, most of the participants represented the risk as being associated with the elderly and the pandemic became something that might also affect their families. Due to these circumstances, negative emotions appear such as fear, nervousness, uncertainty, restlessness, and insecurity. Feelings of solitude and loneliness also emerged, and these are represented as being linked to death. These results indicate the need for governments to manage the current situation with the elderly by placing greater emphasis on social and inclusive policies to help alleviate the possible effects of the pandemic and the lockdown.
... To identify public concerns during an Ebola outbreak, Crook et al. (2016) analysed the content of the tweets without eliminating any, while Lazard et al. (2015) eliminated tweets that were from health and news agencies. For their content analysis, Odlum and Yoon (2015), Lazard et al., Wong et al. (2015), Tran and Lee (2016) and Mondragon et al. (2017) relied on computational methods to detect the topics that people talk about; Crook et al. and Dalrymple et al. (2017) relied on manual processes to identify public concerns. ...
... Furthermore, in their geolocation analysis of the tweet, they found that information about some cases is locally propagated, like an Ebola case in New York. Mondragon et al. (2017) analysed 700 articles from a newspaper when they studied how, during the Ebola outbreak, scientific knowledge was transmitted to the public in Spain. They found that 'the traditional mass media information is communicated to the audience, while on Twitter, communication is constructed in conjunction with the audience, ' (Monragon et al., 2017. ...
... Odlum et al. (2015) used 4 keywords, while two studies -Lazard et al. (2015) andCrook et al. (2016) used specific hashtags, and three used a single keyword to extract tweets(Mondragon et al., 2017; Ofogh et al., 2016;Tran and Lee, 2016). Indeed, this posits the question: what is a suitable way to choose keywords for examining public concerns?Wong et al. (2017),Park et al. (2016),Tran and Lee (2016),Bhattacharya et al. (2014) andChew and Eysenbach (2011) talked about factors related to the dissemination of tweets that a future study could concentrate on, such as the sentiment of the tweet, if the tweets contains hashtag or url and the type of the information of the tweet, while none of them discussed what factors contribute to the wide spread of misinformation on Twitter. ...
Conference Paper
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In recent years, there has been significant growth in the uptake of personal communication technologies across the world. This has been largely afforded by the wide availability of social media (SM) and facilitated by the increase in smartphone ownership. However, this growth does not come without disadvantages. For example, there is growing evidence that misinformation generated across SM platforms can generate negative impacts, for example, misinformation relating to people's health. In this paper, we explore this phenomenon and examine the impact of SM on health communications. Specifically, we present a structured literature review that identifies the key gaps in current literature. Our results indicated that while Twitter is the dominant SM tool in health communications, there is a lack of research on non-English-language contexts. We also found that there is a lack of evidence on identifying the key stakeholders providing health information on Twitter. We explain that due to the spread of misinformation during health crises, there is a need to identify the factors which contribute to improved dissemination of health information.
... In order to acquire an ecologically valid understanding of the threats associated with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we administered a free association task across eleven different national samples (i.e., Australia, Germany, Italy, Poland, USA, UK, India, Malaysia, Peru, Colombia, South Korea). The free association task has previously been used to gain insights into how lay publics engage with unfamiliar issues, such as climate change, earthquakes, and emerging communicative diseases (Mondragon et al., 2017;Joffe et al., 2013Joffe et al., , 2011. This method has the advantage of allowing participants to freely generate responses about COVID-19-relevant threats, without being constrained by pre-imposed taxonomies decided upon by the research team. ...
Preprint
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The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented threat for individuals worldwide. This paper reports the initial psychometric properties for the recently developed COVID-19 Multifaceted Threat Scale. Across three studies the construction and initial psychometric evidence is presented. In Study 1 (n = 194, 11 national groups), we adopted an inductive qualitative methodology to elicit participants’ concerns, worries, or fears about the corona pandemic. A thematic analysis revealed 10 consistent themes around threat, from which we constructed a pool of 100 potential items. In Study 2, a sample from the United States (n = 322) provided data for an exploratory factor analysis which reduced the 100 items to 30 items across the 10 hypothesised dimensions sub-factors. In Study 3, these findings were then ratified in samples from the United States (n = 471) and India (n = 423) using a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. We also present reliability estimates (internal consistency: Studies 2-3) and preliminary evidence of the validity for the scale across two national groups (United States and India). The evidence presented suggests that the COVID-19 Multifaceted Threat Scale is a psychometrically sound measure and can be used to explore current and long-lasting effects of the pandemic on individuals and societies.
... Horietan, Gobernuaren gaia aipatu ere ez zen egiten (Idoiaga et al., 2021b). Hala ere, gaixotasun kutsakorrei buruzko beste azterlan batzuetan zalantzan jarri da gobernuaren eta komunikabideen zeregina, eta, aldi berean, beldurra beren interesetarako erabiltzea leporatu zaie (Idoiaga et al., 2017b;Wagner-Egger et al., 2011). ...
Conference Paper
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Development agencies, as key agents in local development, have been promoting development projects in different counties and municipalities of the Basque Country for years. On the other hand, the Social Economy brings together diverse organizations that aim to satisfy the needs of their partners and society and promote socioeconomic transformation. This article describes various initiatives carried out by the development agencies of the Basque Country to promote the Social Economy. To this end, first, an approach has been made to local development, the Social Economy and the general framework of public intervention for its promotion.
... Horietan, Gobernuaren gaia aipatu ere ez zen egiten (Idoiaga et al., 2021b). Hala ere, gaixotasun kutsakorrei buruzko beste azterlan batzuetan zalantzan jarri da gobernuaren eta komunikabideen zeregina, eta, aldi berean, beldurra beren interesetarako erabiltzea leporatu zaie (Idoiaga et al., 2017b;Wagner-Egger et al., 2011). ...
Conference Paper
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The size of the cooperative is, according to most of the literature, a source of degeneration that especially affects its democratic system. At the same time, size provides many cooperatives with an often undeniable survival insurance. On the basis of a case study of a cooperative belonging to the Mondragon Corporation, the democratic system of governance of large cooperatives has been analysed and its weaknesses identified. From this diagnosis, the basis for a solution to the democratic tendency of degeneration generated by size is proposed.
... Horietan, Gobernuaren gaia aipatu ere ez zen egiten (Idoiaga et al., 2021b). Hala ere, gaixotasun kutsakorrei buruzko beste azterlan batzuetan zalantzan jarri da gobernuaren eta komunikabideen zeregina, eta, aldi berean, beldurra beren interesetarako erabiltzea leporatu zaie (Idoiaga et al., 2017b;Wagner-Egger et al., 2011). ...
Article
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The negative effects of gender stereotypes on gender equality have been long acknowledged, also in the field of Law with the adoption of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women). The main objective of this work is to analyze how the legal obligation to eliminate gender stereotypes derived from CEDAW has been developed in the legislation and jurisprudence of the Basque Country. Using intersectional lens, the analysis of the legal treatment of gender stereotypes has shown that the Basque gender legislation develops the obligation to eliminate gender stereotypes, but there is still a long way to go for courts to identify gender stereotypes.
... Linked to collective fears [1], these EIDs mobilize an imagination, linking them to beliefs and social representations associated with contagion, therapeutic treatment, affected populations, and science, etc. The media has also seized on these new diseases, with digital social networks disseminating possible public health prevention messages [2] as well as fake news [3,4]. ...
Article
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(1) Background: Studying social representations as lay theories allows for a better understanding of the common sense knowledge constructed around mosquito-borne diseases and the impact this may have on attitudes and behaviors. (2) Methods: A hierarchical evocation questionnaire was circulated through an Australian academic community and analyzed by prototypical analysis and correspondence factor analysis. (3) Results: Representational areas are regulated by participant age and whether or not they had contracted a mosquito-borne disease. (4) Conclusions: Collecting and understanding social representations has the potential to help social actors implement strategies that encourage people to access information and adopt behaviors in line with the scientific reality of the phenomenon, rather than limiting lay theories.
... No que diz respeito aos sentimentos, o medo e a preocupação foram os mais evocados pelas crianças, resultados similares aos da pesquisa de Joffe 24 sobre a representação social da gripe H1N1, e são padrões encontrados recorrentemente em situações de ameaça de doenças infecciosas emergentes 24,35 . ...
Article
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Resumo: Apesar de as crianças serem apontadas como o grupo menos afetado pelos sintomas da COVID-19, embora não ileso à doença e suas formas graves, seu cotidiano foi afetado de várias formas, incluindo a interrupção da vida escolar presencial e o contato com colegas de aula, além de impactos relacionados ao isolamento social e, em muitos casos, problemas financeiros e de saúde enfrentados por familiares. Neste trabalho, temos como objetivo compreender a percepção de crianças cariocas sobre o SARS-CoV-2, a COVID-19 e os vírus em geral, por meio de um estudo qualitativo. Entrevistamos 20 crianças por meio de plataformas de serviços de conferência. Os resultados indicam que elas estão conscientes dos riscos e cuidados necessários para a prevenção do coronavírus, mostrando-se apreensivas, com medo de pegar a doença e passar para os seus familiares. Quanto aos vírus em geral, observamos que suas percepções são relacionadas diretamente ao coronavírus, isto é, à situação com que estão lidando atualmente. O estudo traz subsídios que podem ajudar na concepção de estratégias de divulgação científica.
... Three themes emerged from a dominant metaphor of warfare as used in the selected articles, namely that the general population was depicted as a potential victim, while public institutions were portrayed as heroes or warriors fighting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Mondragon et al. (2017) examined the collective image of the 2014 -2015 Ebola outbreak to understand how people incorporate this epidemic in their everyday thinking from 700 newspapers articles, in Spain. Ebola was represented as inherently African and depicted as a global threat that created fear. ...
... For all of these reasons, it is critical to ensure effective communication in order to avoid public health risks. Thus, in emergency situations such as the one we are currently experiencing, it is more important than ever for experts such as medical professionals and governing bodies to be prepared to transmit information to the public in an effective and direct manner (Sandman, 2003;Idoiaga et al., 2017b;Ruiz de Azúa et al., 2020;Tran et al., 2020a,b). ...
Article
Spain has been in a state of emergency since 14th March due to the COVID-19 crisis. This state of emergency means that the population must comply with strict rules such as lockdown (confinement to their homes except for essential trips) and social distancing. The aim of this study was to examine the psychological state of the general population in a sample recruited in Northern Spain. Sociodemographic and psychological data were gathered, assessing variables such as stress, anxiety, and depression. A questionnaire was administered at the beginning of the lockdown and three weeks later. The sample was recruited using an online questionnaire by means of a non-probabilistic snowball sampling methodology. A total of 1,933 people participated in this study. The results reveal that more than a quarter of the participants have reported symptoms of depression (27.5%), anxiety (26.9%) and stress (26.5%) and as the time spent in lockdown has progressed, psychological symptoms have risen. In relation to gender, data indicate that men have higher levels of depression than women, and similar levels of anxiety and stress. Greater symptomatology has also been found among the younger population and in people with chronic diseases. We discuss the need to continue carrying out these types of studies to prevent and treat psychological problems that could emerge amidst this pandemic.
... Our findings show the topics of poverty during COVID-19 as well as how the focus of poverty discourse has shifted compared to the pre-crisis period. Interestingly, and unlike many other studies that have investigated epidemics (Mondragon et al., 2017;Joffe and Lee, 2004;Joffe and Bettega, 2003) we do not observe 'blame' for the causes of COVID-19 within our discourse analysis of poverty articles. This may be due to the transcending nature of the pandemic, and the way in which the pandemic has spread globally. ...
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We determine the core media topics surrounding poverty during the initial COVID-19 period of January to April 2020. A machine learning technique for topic modeling is applied to understand the structure of media discourse around poverty in 22,091 global news articles. We find that COVID-19 is a pervasive part of the current discourse on poverty, but within seven distinct topics. We compare these topics with topics during a pre COVID-19 period to find the media discourse is now concentrated on immediate poverty impacts, such as nutrition and illness, and less on the long-term issues of poverty including sustainability and education. This supports a behavioral economics perspective that a crisis reduces focus on long-term solutions to poverty reinforcing poverty traps.
Article
Although investors in financial markets have access to information from both mass media and social media, trading platforms that curate and provide this information have little to go by in terms of understanding the difference between these two types of media. This paper compares social media with mass media in the stock market, focusing on information coverage diversity and predictive value with respect to future stock absolute returns. Based on a study of nearly a million stock-related news articles from the Sina Finance news platform and 12.7 million stock-related social media messages from the popular Weibo platform in China, we find that social media covers less stocks than mass media, and this effect is amplified as the volume of media information increases. We find that there is some short-term predictive value from these sources, but they are different. Although mass media information coverage is more predictive than social media information coverage in a one-day horizon, it is the other way around in a two-to five-day horizon. These empirical results suggest that social media and mass media serve stock market investors differently. We draw connections to theories related to how crowds and experts differ and offer practical implications for the design of media-related IS systems.
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Social representations theory offers a useful framework to analyze the construction of lay explanations of social risks. The current study used this theoretical framework to investigate lay explanations of the COVID-19 outbreak. Risk psychology generally focuses on individual perceptions and cognitive errors or the notion of the fallibility of human information processing. According to Moscovici, society is not a source of information, but of meanings. People, on topics of interest, construct questions and look for answers, rather than merely perceiving and processing obtained information. Social psychologists, therefore, cannot be interested in risk responses as erroneous or correct, nor as false, deficient, or biased. Instead, they must be concerned with how social awareness of risk is built, in other words, how and why people need to co-construct social representations of such a risk. To identify the structure and content of COVID-19 SRs, we used a non-probabilistic sample composed by social sciences and humanities and life sciences students (N = 124). To access the structure of COVID-19 SRs, we employed the method of hierarchical evocation. The free association task was completed by participants' justification of their association choices to avoid the lexical ambiguity that could come from this kind of data. To access the content of COVID-19 SRs, we utilized both open and closed questions made up starting from the following dimensions: informative sources and participants' networks of interaction; anchoring and objectivation processes; expectations and emotions related to the object.
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is severely affecting people worldwide. Currently, an important approach to understand this phenomenon and its impact on the lives of people consists of monitoring social networks and news on the internet. Objective: The purpose of this study is to present a methodology to capture the main subjects and themes under discussion in news media and social media and to apply this methodology to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Methods: This work proposes a methodology based on topic modeling, namely entity recognition, and sentiment analysis of texts to compare Twitter posts and news, followed by visualization of the evolution and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We focused our analysis on Brazil, an important epicenter of the pandemic; therefore, we faced the challenge of addressing Brazilian Portuguese texts. Results: In this work, we collected and analyzed 18,413 articles from news media and 1,597,934 tweets posted by 1,299,084 users in Brazil. The results show that the proposed methodology improved the topic sentiment analysis over time, enabling better monitoring of internet media. Additionally, with this tool, we extracted some interesting insights about the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. For instance, we found that Twitter presented similar topic coverage to news media; the main entities were similar, but they differed in theme distribution and entity diversity. Moreover, some aspects represented negative sentiment toward political themes in both media, and a high incidence of mentions of a specific drug denoted high political polarization during the pandemic. Conclusions: This study identified the main themes under discussion in both news and social media and how their sentiments evolved over time. It is possible to understand the major concerns of the public during the pandemic, and all the obtained information is thus useful for decision-making by authorities.
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This special issue of PSR focuses on the social representations of SARS or Covid- 19. The first study by Pizarro and colleagues analyzes the prevalence of social representations about the Covid-19 pandemic in 17 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, their association with perceived risk and their anchoring in sociopolitical beliefs, such as RWA and SDO. The second and third articles comment on the social communication processes around Covid-19 in Brazil and France (Apostolidis, Santos, & Kalampalikis, this issue; Justo, Bousfield, Giacomozzi, & Camargo, this issue), the fourth in Italy and a last one in South Africa (de Rosa & Mannarini, this issue; Sitto & Lubinga, this issue). Three studies (fifth, sixth and seventh) examines the structure of social representations related to Covid-19 using questionnaires, the free-association technique and inductive terms like Coronavirus (Colì, Norcia & Bruzzone, this issue; Fasanelli, Piscitelli & Galli, this issue) and the new normality (Emiliani et al., this issue), analyzed by different techniques like automatic lexical analysis (IRaMuTeQ). Finally, Denise Jodelet makes a final comment and closes this issue with a reflection on Covid-19 “a separate epidemic”. In this introduction, rather than summarizing the articles, we will develop the themes and the questions they raise. Keywords: social representations, covid-19; anchorage, propaganda, conspiracy, cognitive polyphasia
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This special issue of PSR focuses on the social representations of SARS or Covid- 19. The first study by Pizarro and colleagues analyzes the prevalence of social representations about the Covid-19 pandemic in 17 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, their association with perceived risk and their anchoring in sociopolitical beliefs, such as RWA and SDO. The second and third articles comment on the social communication processes around Covid-19 in Brazil and France (Apostolidis, Santos, & Kalampalikis, this issue; Justo, Bousfield, Giacomozzi, & Camargo, this issue), the fourth in Italy and a last one in South Africa (de Rosa & Mannarini, this issue; Sitto & Lubinga, this issue). Three studies (fifth, sixth and seventh) examines the structure of social representations related to Covid-19 using questionnaires, the free-association technique and inductive terms like Coronavirus (Colì, Norcia & Bruzzone, this issue; Fasanelli, Piscitelli & Galli, this issue) and the new normality (Emiliani et al., this issue), analyzed by different techniques like automatic lexical analysis (IRaMuTeQ). Finally, Denise Jodelet makes a final comment and closes this issue with areflection on Covid-19 “a separate epidemic”. In this introduction, rather than summarizing the articles, we will develop the themes and the questions they raise.
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This study examines how key organizations and individuals use Twitter strategically to disseminate health messages, in terms of information, community, and action functions. A textual analysis was conducted through a synthesized analytical approach (typology of strategic tweets by classification of key users), comparing the tweets originated from media users versus non-media users. Findings suggest that key health communicators use Twitter either for spreading health information, building relationships, or encouraging people to perform health-related actions. Media users tweet more health information whereas non-media users tweet more to propose health-improving behavior. Implications of this analysis for health and social care are also discussed.
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Public accounts on social media have become important channels for information dissemination. Well-designed public social media accounts are vital to better communicate science and technology (S-T) achievements. This article defines the S-T communication concept and proposes the analyzing dimensions. In order to measure the communication effect, this research collected 7,246 articles from S-T public accounts on WeChat. We analysis these massive data incorporating neural network (NN) and multivariate linear regression (MLR) model. The evaluation indicator system of communication effect includes three levels indicators. The research found the following factors affecting the S-T communication effect in different degrees: the number of active fans on Science Technology Public Accounts on Social Media (STPA-SM), locations where the articles are published, the authentication status of STPA-SM, and so on. Finally, the article proposes some strategic suggestions for improving the communication effects of S-T achievements through STPA-SM.
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Resumen: El brote de Ébola de 2014 fue el mayor brote epidémico producido por este virus en su historia. La gestión de la comunicación relacionada con el brote trajo consigo una crisis con implicaciones para las autoridades sanitarias, políticas y mediáticas. Una situación que ha resaltado la impor­tancia de una comunicación sanitaria eficiente en tiempos de crisis. Esta investigación realiza una revisión sobre veinte publicaciones científicas que han aparecido en los últimos años (2014 a 2017) y que hacen referencia al tratamiento de la crisis del Ébola a través de las redes sociales. Los resultados sugieren que la gestión de esta comunicación fue mínima y la divulgación, escasa. Las instituciones tampoco usaron adecuadamente las redes para ampliar información o resolver dudas de la ciudadanía.Palabras clave: Ébola; Riesgo; Salud; Comunicación de crisis; Redes Sociales; Twitter.Abstract: The Ebola 2014’s outbreak was the largest outbreak of this virus in its history. The management of communication surrounding the outbreak resulted in a crisis with implications for health, political and media authorities. This situation highlited the importance of an effective health communication in crisis times. Therefore, this investigation carried out a review of twenty scientific publications which have appeared in recent years (2014 to 2017) and which refer to the treatment of Ebola crisis through social networks. The results indicate that the management of this communication was minimal and the divulgation, quite limited. The institutions also did not use this networkss to expand information or resolve citizens’ doubts.Keywords: Ebola; Risk; Health; Crisis Communication; Social Networks; Twitter.
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Conflict in online discussions of science has the potential to polarize individuals’ perceptions of science, yet science communication scholarship has paid little attention to systematic study of how verbal attacks play out in online discussions of science. This study analyzes sarcasm and incivility in Twitter discussions of climate change during an extreme weather event (n = 4,094). We found instances of incivility and sarcasm were low overall. Incivility was used in association with political topics, and both incivility and sarcasm were used alongside skeptical perspectives of climate change and by those who mention right-leaning politics in their profiles.
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Trust in many government organizations is low, creating a challenging environment for communication during outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, like Ebola. In a thematic analysis of 1,010 tweets and four Twitter chats during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, we found that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized organizational competence, extant protocol, and facts about transmission to manage public fear. We argue that an emphasis on certainty in a rapidly changing situation leaves organizations vulnerable to charges of unpreparedness or obfuscation. Our results also speak to the contested definition of engagement online, particularly during health crises.
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ResumenEn la siguiente investigación se analizan los encuadres sobre dos crisis sanitarias, gripe A y bacteria e.coli en prensa, en los diarios de mayor tirada; El País, El Mundo y ABC. En este estudio se refleja cómo se produce un enfoque muy distinto de ambas crisis y la influencia en estos encuadres e importancia de las fuentes institucionales como principales portadoras de información frente a las fuentes sanitarias o científicas, con escasa relevancia para la prensa española.AbstractThe following analysis is focused on the approach made by newspapers such as El País, El Mundo and ABC about the sanitary crisis of A Flu and E.coli bacteria. The methodology used is the analysis of content of a wide range of news samples generated during both crisis. As a result of this analysis it is made clear that both crises have been approached by Spanish press in different ways, giving more importance to government and official sources in opposition to the lack of relevance given to scientific or sanitary ones.
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Social network sites (SNSs) like Twitter continue to attract users, many of whom turn to these spaces for social support for serious illnesses like cancer. Building on literature that explored the functionality of online spaces for health-related social support, we propose a typology that situates this type of support in an SNS-based open cancer community based on the type (informational or emotional) and the direction (expression or reception) of support. A content analysis applied the typology to a 2-year span of Twitter messages using the popular hashtag "#stupidcancer." Given that emotions form the basis for much of human communication and behavior, including aspects of social support, this content analysis also examined the relationship between emotional expression and online social support in tweets about cancer. Furthermore, this study looked at the various ways in which Twitter allows for message sharing across a user's entire network (not just among the cancer community). This work thus begins to lay the conceptual and empirical groundwork for future research testing the effects of various types of social support in open, interactive online cancer communities.
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The ongoing outbreak of the Ebola Virus in West Africa is the largest on record and has undermined already fragile healthcare systems and presented new challenges to contain the spread of the disease. Based on our observations in the field and insights from referenced sources we aim to identify key experiences of community engagement and social mobilization efforts in the current Ebola response. We conclude that there is no excuse not to actively involve local people and that UN agencies and other partners did learn from their earlier mistakes to make a genuine attempt to better engage with communities. However, bottom-up approaches have not been widely implemented during the response and the reasons for not doing so must be further assessed. Health promotion can make an important contribution because it shows how to enable people to take more control over their lives and health. This can provide a guide to agencies to understand an appropriate way forward when the next Ebola outbreak inevitably occurs.
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As traditional thinking about science communication is modified to emphasize engagement with science, public relations theorizing—particularly related to dialogic communication—may contribute to science communication theory and practice. Despite calls to move beyond the deficit model, we argue that many science organizations continue to practice one-way communication and underutilize social media’s potential for dialogue. To support our argument, we provide data to illustrate how U.S. federal government science agencies use new media platforms for information dissemination rather than engagement. We call for a clearer integration of public relations theories and science communication models to inform communication best practices.
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A través del análisis de los titulares publicados en un diario estatal (El País) y otro autonómico (La Voz de Galicia) pretendemos elaborar una reflexión sobre el papel de la prensa durante el primer mes de cobertura informativa de la gripe A, a raíz de la aparición del brote en México. La muestra investigada está formada por el conjunto de titulares de las noticias sobre gripe A publicadas en los diarios españoles y gallegos durante el plazo de un mes, en semanas consecutivas desde el inicio de la intensificación de la cobertura de prensa (considerando como tal el día 25 de abril).
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This article compares and contrasts the way a set of fundamental issues are treated in social representations theory and discursive psychology. These are: action, representation, communication, cognition, construction, epistemology and method. In each case we indicate arguments for the discursive psychological treatment. These arguments are then developed and illustrated through a discussion of Wagner, Duveen, Themel and Verma (1999) which highlights in particular the way the analysis fails to address the activities done by people when they are producing representations, and the epistemological troubles that arise from failing to address the role of the researcher's own representations.
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Twitter has been recognized as a useful channel for the sharing and dissemination of health information owing in part to its “retweet” function. This study reports findings from a content analysis of frequently retweeted obesity-related tweets to identify the prevalent beliefs and attitudes about obesity on Twitter, as well as key message features that prompt retweeting behavior conducive to maximizing the reach of health messages on Twitter. The findings show that tweets that are emotionally evocative, humorous, and concern individual-level causes for obesity were more frequently retweeted than their counterparts. Specifically, tweets that evoke amusement were retweeted most frequently, followed by tweets evoking contentment, surprise, and anger. In regards to humor, derogatory jokes were more frequently retweeted than non-derogatory ones and, in terms of specific types of humor, weight-related puns, repartee, and parody were shared frequently. Consistent with extant literature about obesity, the findings demonstrated the predominance of the individual-level (e.g., problematic diet, lack of exercise) over social-level causes for obesity (e.g., availability of cheap and unhealthy food). Implications for designing social-media-based health campaign messages are discussed. Keywords: Obesity, Twitter, retweets, social sharing, emotion, humor, attributional causes
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The communications and engagement strategies of local councils play an important role in contributing to the public's understanding of local democracies, and their engagement with local issues. Based on a study of the local authority in the third largest city in the UK, Leeds, this article presents an empirically based analysis of the impact of new opportunities for public engagement afforded by digital media on the Council's communication with citizens. Drawing on over 20 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with elected politicians, Council strategists, Council communications specialists, mainstream journalists, and citizen journalists, the article explores perceptions of the Council's engagement and communication with citizens from the perspective of a range of actors involved in the engagement process. The research asks what the differing motivations behind the Council's communications and engagement strategies mean for the way that digital media are and might be used in the future to enhance the role of citizens in local governance. The research suggests that while there are no grounds for expecting digital media to displace existing channels of public engagement, digital media are beginning to play an important role in defining and reconfiguring the role of citizens within local governance.
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The objective of this article is to illustrate user characteristics of a hospital's social media structure using analytics and user surveys. A 1-year retrospective analysis was conducted along with an Internet survey of users of the hospital's Facebook, Twitter, and blog. Of the survey respondents (n = 163), 95.7% are female and 4.3% are male; most are ages 50-59 years (31.5%) and 40-49 years (27.8%); and 93.2% are Caucasian. However, the hospital system database revealed 55% female and 37% minority population, respectively. Of the survey respondents, 61.4% reported having a bachelor's degree or higher, whereas only 11.7% reported having a high school degree/equivalent or lower. However, within the hospital patient databases, 93% of patients have a high school degree/equivalent or lower and only 3% have a bachelor's degree or higher in our women's services population. Social media were used to seek personal health information 68.7% (n = 112), to learn about hospital programming 27.6% (n = 45), and to seek family health information 25.2% (n = 41). Respondents younger than 49 years of age were more likely to seek personal health information using social media compared to those 50 years of age and older (p = .02). Respondents with a bachelor's degree or higher education were statistically less likely to search for physician information compared to those less educated individuals (p = .04). We conclude that social media may play an important role in personal health information, especially for young female respondents; however, the survey provides strong evidence that further research is needed to ensure that social network sites provided by hospitals are reaching the full spectrum of health system patients.
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The deficit-model of science communication assumes increased communication about science issues will move public opinion toward the scientific consensus. However, in the case of climate change, public polarization about the issue has increased in recent years, not diminished. In this study, we draw from theories of motivated reasoning, social identity, and persuasion to examine how science-based messages may increase public polarization on controversial science issues such as climate change. Exposing 240 adults to simulated news stories about possible climate change health impacts on different groups, we found the influence of identification with potential victims was contingent on participants’ political partisanship. This partisanship increased the degree of political polarization on support for climate mitigation policies and resulted in a boomerang effect among Republican participants. Implications for understanding the role of motivated reasoning within the context of science communication are discussed.
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Thirty-nine educated middle-class residents of Patna, India, were interviewed about a vignette describing the behaviour of a seemingly mad man or woman. The interview explored their representations of traditional healing methods and of modern psychiatric notions. Besides explanations for mental illness and madness, the interviews also covered the reaction of families and neighbours to such phenomena. Respondents thought of different causes depending on the context, ranging from frustrated desires, shock and heredity to spirit possession. The majority’s spontaneous preference for modern psychiatric treatment often co-exists with a faith in traditional healing. This faith is strengthened by their family’s traditional preference. The results are discussed as an example of a process of modernization of common sense in which popularized scientific notions become anchored in the traditional setting of social structure and family life. The newly acquired knowledge forms a loosely organized social representation confronting a strongly objectified cultural representation of traditional thinking.
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Value changes and the rapid emergence of media innovations (internet, social web) in society lead to an institutionalization of crisis communication, in which especially new media play a crucial role. The key contributions of the paper include deepening and refocusing the theoretical foundations of crisis communication by experimentally analyzing the effects of traditional and social-media strategies on the recipients’ perceptions of reputation; and by analyzing the effects or crisis responses on the recipients’ secondary crisis communications (e.g., sharing information and leaving a message) and reactions (e.g., willingness to boycott). The results indicated that the medium matters more than the message. For all three dependent measures – reputation, secondary crisis communication and reactions – main effects of medium occurred, whereas the message had only a significant main effect on secondary crisis reactions.
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Directed links in social media could represent anything from intimate friendships to common interests, or even a passion for breaking news or celebrity gossip. Such directed links determine the flow of information and hence indicate a user's influence on others—a concept that is crucial in sociology and viral marketing. In this paper, using a large amount of data collected from Twit- ter, we present an in-depth comparison of three mea- sures of influence: indegree, retweets, and mentions. Based on these measures, we investigate the dynam- ics of user influence across topics and time. We make several interesting observations. First, popular users who have high indegree are not necessarily influential in terms of spawning retweets or mentions. Second, most influential users can hold significant influence over a variety of topics. Third, influence is not gained spon- taneously or accidentally, but through concerted effort such as limiting tweets to a single topic. We believe that these findings provide new insights for viral marketing and suggest that topological measures such as indegree alone reveals very little about the influence of a user.
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Lay perceptions of collectives (e.g., groups, organizations, countries) implicated in the 2009 H1N1 outbreak were studied. Collectives serve symbolic functions to help laypersons make sense of the uncertainty involved in a disease outbreak. We argue that lay representations are dramatized, featuring characters like heroes, villains and victims. In interviews conducted soon after the outbreak, 47 Swiss respondents discussed the risk posed by H1N1, its origins and effects, and protective measures. Countries were the most frequent collectives mentioned. Poor, underdeveloped countries were depicted as victims, albeit ambivalently, as they were viewed as partly responsible for their own plight. Experts (physicians, researchers) and political and health authorities were depicted as heroes. Two villains emerged: the media (viewed as fear mongering or as a puppet serving powerful interests) and private corporations (e.g., the pharmaceutical industry). Laypersons' framing of disease threat diverges substantially from official perspectives.
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Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its millions of users to send and read each other's "tweets," or short, 140-character messages. The service has more than 190 million registered users and processes about 55 million tweets per day. Useful information about news and geopolitical events lies embedded in the Twitter stream, which embodies, in the aggregate, Twitter users' perspectives and reactions to current events. By virtue of sheer volume, content embedded in the Twitter stream may be useful for tracking or even forecasting behavior if it can be extracted in an efficient manner. In this study, we examine the use of information embedded in the Twitter stream to (1) track rapidly-evolving public sentiment with respect to H1N1 or swine flu, and (2) track and measure actual disease activity. We also show that Twitter can be used as a measure of public interest or concern about health-related events. Our results show that estimates of influenza-like illness derived from Twitter chatter accurately track reported disease levels.
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A new method is presented, which enables extracting the pattern of social representations of an object from corpora in natural language "about" this object. Interrogation of a source of common knowledge (a representative sample of a population, a dictionary, a set of articles or books), yields a corpus of linguistic statements concerning the object. In the case of individuals, an open question on free association (What comes comes to your mind about...?). In the case of dictionaries, the set of all definitions of synonyms and analogues of the word in question is used. The corpus is then processed with a software that breaks up the corpus into statements (e. g. : sentences), and then makes a classification of those statements, on the basis of co-occurrence of lexical traits. Each class is considered as a basic nucleus of the representation, characterised by typical lexical traits. Multivariate analysis enables to represent the relationship of those nuclei and traits in a semantic space of connotations. Demonstration of the method is presented on two corpuses about "eating", (1) coming from a survey using the free association technique on a 2000 sample representative of the French population, (2) 544 definitions of synonyms and analogues of "to eat" from a large dictionary. Results are quite similar on both corpuses ; they yield a very clear model of the social representation of "eating", which is coherent with the findings by qualitative methods in the literature. The paper is based on a presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Social representations. Rio de janeiro, 1994. It can be downloaded on open access from the publisher's website.
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Surveys are popular methods to measure public perceptions in emergencies but can be costly and time consuming. We suggest and evaluate a complementary "infoveillance" approach using Twitter during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Our study aimed to: 1) monitor the use of the terms "H1N1" versus "swine flu" over time; 2) conduct a content analysis of "tweets"; and 3) validate Twitter as a real-time content, sentiment, and public attention trend-tracking tool. Between May 1 and December 31, 2009, we archived over 2 million Twitter posts containing keywords "swine flu," "swineflu," and/or "H1N1." using Infovigil, an infoveillance system. Tweets using "H1N1" increased from 8.8% to 40.5% (R(2) = .788; p<.001), indicating a gradual adoption of World Health Organization-recommended terminology. 5,395 tweets were randomly selected from 9 days, 4 weeks apart and coded using a tri-axial coding scheme. To track tweet content and to test the feasibility of automated coding, we created database queries for keywords and correlated these results with manual coding. Content analysis indicated resource-related posts were most commonly shared (52.6%). 4.5% of cases were identified as misinformation. News websites were the most popular sources (23.2%), while government and health agencies were linked only 1.5% of the time. 7/10 automated queries correlated with manual coding. Several Twitter activity peaks coincided with major news stories. Our results correlated well with H1N1 incidence data. This study illustrates the potential of using social media to conduct "infodemiology" studies for public health. 2009 H1N1-related tweets were primarily used to disseminate information from credible sources, but were also a source of opinions and experiences. Tweets can be used for real-time content analysis and knowledge translation research, allowing health authorities to respond to public concerns.
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Informar sobre epidemias constituye una situación excepcional para los medios de comunicación, cuya función debe ser ofrecer al público la información más completa posible para evitar que se extienda el pánico. Sin embargo, en las últimas epidemias muchos medios se han guiado más por criterios económicos, buscando el sensacionalismo, que por criterios de servicio público. El presente trabajo tiene como objetivo estudiar el tratamiento informativo que la prensa escrita diaria española ha hecho del brote de epidemia del virus de influenza A (H1/N1). El análisis de contenido de las noticias publicadas por los cinco diarios españoles de mayor difusión en la primera semana desde que se conoció la epidemia nos indica qué papel ha adoptado la prensa en esta ocasión
Book
American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants’ personal experiences. Analyzing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker’s emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy. .
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Previous literature has suggested that examining Twitter messages can be productive for studying how the public shares and spreads health information on social media. Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a promising approach to HIV prevention, yet there are many issues that may influence its effective implementation. This study examined social representations of PrEP on Twitter. One thousand four hundred and thirty-five Tweets were collected and 774 English Tweets were content-analyzed to explore propagation of various issues around daily oral PrEP, as well as characteristics of the sources of those Tweets. We also examined how Twitter message content influenced information propagation. Our findings revealed that PrEP-related information on Twitter covered a wide range of issues, and individual users constituted the majority of the Tweet creators among all the sources, including news media, nonprofit and academic groups, and commercial entities. Using Poisson regression, we also found that a Tweet's affective tone was a significant predictor of message propagation frequency. Implications for health practitioners are discussed.
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This book explores the relationship between knowledge and context through a novel analysis of processes of representation. Sandra Jovchelovitch argues that representation, a social psychological construct relating self, other and object-world, is at the basis of all knowledge. Understanding its genesis and actualisation in individual and social life explains what ties knowledge to persons, communities and cultures. It is through representation that we can appreciate the diversity of knowledge, and it is representation that opens the epistemic function of knowing to emotional and social rationalities. Drawing on dialogues between psychology, sociology and anthropology, Jovchelovitch explores the dominant assumptions of western conceptions of knowledge and the quest for a unitary reason free from the 'impurities' of person, community and culture. She recasts questions related to historical comparisons between the knowledge of adults and children, 'civilised' and 'primitive' peoples, scientists and lay communities and examines the ambivalence of classical theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Freud, Durkheim and Lévy-Bruhl in addressing these issues. Against this background, Jovchelovitch situates and expands Moscovici's theory of social representations, developing a framework to diagnose and understand knowledge systems, how they relate to different communities and what defines dialogical and non-dialogical encounters between knowledges in contemporary public spheres. Diversity in knowledge, she shows, is an asset of all human communities and dialogue between different forms of knowing constitutes the difficult but necessary task that can enlarge the frontiers of all knowledges. Knowledge in context will make essential reading for all those wanting to follow debates on knowledge and representation at the cutting edge of social, cultural and developmental psychology, sociology, anthropology, development and cultural studies.
Article
L'auteur est Max Reinert , et non A. Reinert comme indiqué par erreur sur l'article publié
Book
In the 1970s it seemed infectious diseases had been conquered, but today global epidemics seem to pose a new, more sinister, threat. This fascinating study explores these new infectious diseases, such as Swine Flu, SARS and AIDS, and the re-emergence of old threats, and discusses their role in society.
Article
Drawing on the sociology of moral panic, this paper argues that the media will shift from alarming to reassuring coverage when a 'hot crisis' portends a possible grass root panic. To determine whether this moderation effect follows from dread-inspiring events that are developing in unpredictable and potentially threatening ways, the paper compares newspaper and magazine coverage of emerging diseases with their coverage of Ebola Zaire. The results reveal that the mutation-contagion package, with its frightful account of emerging diseases, was quickly abandoned and subverted during the Ebola epidemic. In its place, the media fashion a containment package that uses a strategy of 'othering' to allay the fear. The conclusion discusses the flexibility in the tool kits used by the media to frame events.
Chapter
Moscovici, S. (1998). The history and actuality of social representations. In U. Flick (Ed.), The psychology of the social (pp. 209-247). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Book
La psychanalyse, son image et son public. Étude sur la représentation sociale de la psychanalyse « Bien qu’elle paraisse dans la “Bibliothèque de Psychanalyse”, cette étude sur la représentation sociale de la psychanalyse n’est pas un travail de psychanalyse, mais une recherche de psychologie sociale et de sociologie de la connaissance. Spécialité médico-psychologique, “action-research”, science de l’homme ouverte sur les autres sciences de l’homme, la psychanalyse a largement pénétré dans ce qu’on appelle “le grand public” et “l’actualité”. Elle était un objet de choix pour étudier ce que devient une discipline scientifique et technique quand elle passe du domaine des spécialistes au domaine commun, comment le grand public se la représente et la modèle, et par quelles voies se constitue l’image qu’il s’en fait. Dans et par sa recherche même, S. Moscovici a élaboré une méthode applicable à d’autres représentations sociales, la maladie, la médecine, l’éducation… : l’un des problèmes les plus séduisants est celui des “modèles psychologiques” latents à partir desquels, dans une société donnée, les membres de cette société pensent leur expérience et leur conduite. » Daniel Lagache (« Préface »)
Book
La première édition de La psychanalyse, son image et son public était une thèse. Cette seconde édition est, je l’espère, un livre. De l’une à l’outre j’ai modifié le style, le mode d’exposition des faits et des idées, éliminé des indications techniques et théoriques qui n’intéressaient qu’un cercle restreint de spécialistes ou qui sont devenues monnaie courante. Ce travail de réécriture correspond, bien entendu, aussi à une évolution personnelle et intellectuelle vis-à-vis des rites d’initiation universitaire et de la science. Lors de sa parution, la thèse a provoqué un malaise. Des psychanalystes surtout ont vu d’un mauvaise œil la tentative de prendre la psychanalyse comme objet quelconque d’étude et de la situer dans la société. 2 J’ai été frappé alors, et je le suis toujours, par le fait que les détenteurs d’un savoir, scientifique ou non, croient avoir le droit de tout étudier — et en définitive de tout juger — mais estiment inutile, voire pernicieux, de rendre compte des déterminismes dont ils sont le lieu, des effets qu’ils produisent, bref d’être étudiés à leur tour et de regarder le miroir qu’on leur tend en conséquence. Ils y voient une immixtion intolérable dans leurs propres affaires, une profanation de leur savoir — veut-on qu’il reste sacré ? — et réagissent, suivant leur tempérament, avec mépris ou mauvaise humeur. Ceci est vrai de la plupart des scientifiques, ceci est même vrai des marxistes. C’est pourquoi nous n’avons pas de sociologie de la science, ni du marxisme, ni de la psychanalyse. Je me suis cependant aperçu qu’en dix ans, du moins en ce qui concerne la psychanalyse et les psychanalystes, les attitudes ont beaucoup changé dans un sens favorable à un travail tel que celui-ci. 3 Au centre de ce livre est le phénomène des représentations sociales. Depuis la première édition, de nombreuses études tant de terrain que de laboratoire lui ont été consacrées. Je pense notamment à celles de Chombart de Lauwe, Hertzlich, Jodelet, Kaës d’un côté et à celles d’Abric, Codol, Flament, Henry, Pêcheux, Poitou de l’autre. Elles ont permis de mieux saisir sa généralité et de mieux comprendre son rôle dans la communication et la genèse des comportements sociaux. Mon ambition était cependant plus vaste. Je voulais redéfinir les problèmes et les concepts de la psychologie sociale à partir de ce phénomène, en insistant sur sa fonction symbolique et son pouvoir de construction du réel. La tradition behavioriste, le fait que la psychologie sociale se soit bornée à étudier l’individu, le petit groupe, les relations informelles, ont constitué et continuent à constituer un obstacle à cet égard. Une philosophie positiviste qui n’accorde d’importance qu’aux prédictions vérifiables par l’expérience et aux phénomènes directement observables s’ajoute à la liste des obstacles. 4 Cette tradition et cette philosophie empêchent, à mon avis, le développement de la psychologie sociale au-delà des limites qui sont les dermes aujourd’hui. Quand on s’en rendra compte et que l’on osera franchir ces limites, les représentations sociales, j’en suis convaincu, prendront dans cette science la place qui est la leur. En outre, elles seront un facteur de renouvellement des problèmes et clés concepts de la philosophie qui doit sous-tendre le travail scientifique. Là encore, les jeux ne sont pas faits. Au contraire ils sont à refaire et la crise que traverse la psychologie sociale le montre à l’évidence. 5 Il y va de l’intérêt de bien d’autres domaines de recherche concernant la littérature, l’art, les mythes, les idéologies et le langage. Enfermés dans des cadres dépassés, prisonniers de préjugés quant au pecking order des sciences, les chercheurs dans ces domaines se privent des moyens que, dans son état actuel, la psychologie sociale met à leur disposition. En France notamment ils se réclament, sous l’emprise du structuralisme, d’une orthodoxie saussurienne, tout en oubliant ce que Ferdinand de Saussure a entrevu avec précision : « La langue est un système de signes exprimant des idées, et, par là, comparable à récriture, à l’alphabet des sourds-muets, aux rites symboliques, aux formes de politesse, aux signaux militaires, etc. Elle rat seulement le plus important de ces systèmes. On peut donc concevoir une science qui étudie la vie des signes au sein de la vie sociale ; elle formerait une partie de la psychologie sociale et par conséquent de la psychologie générale ; nous la nommerons sémiologie (du grec semeïon, « signe »). Elle nous apprendrait en quoi consistent les signes, quelles lois les régissent. » Mais le lecteur n’a pas à se soucier de ce passé, de cet état de la science, des projets flottant autour du livre. Pas plus que je ne m’en soucie. En faisant l’étude d’abord, en lui donnant forme ensuite, je me suis enrichi et j’ai eu du plaisir. Tout ce que je souhaite c’est que, en lisant ce livre, il lui arrive la même chose.
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Moscovici, S. (1984). The phenomenon of social representations. In R. Farr & S. Moscovici (Eds.), Social representations (pp. 3-69). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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