The Institutional Logic of Images of the Poor and Welfare Recipients. A Comparative Study of British, Swedish and Danish Newspapers

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The article investigates how the poor and welfare recipients are depicted
in British, Danish and Swedish newspapers. The study was inspired by
American media studies that have documented a negative stereotypic way of
portraying the poor and welfare recipients; especially in the case they are African-Americans. The article argues that there is an institutional welfare-regime logic behind the way the poor and welfare recipients are depicted in the mass media. It is not only a matter of race. This argument is substantiated by showing that the poor and welfare recipients are a) also depicted negatively in a liberal welfare-regime, the UK, where most of the poor and welfare recipients are perceived to be white, and b), depicted positively in two social-democratic
welfare regimes, Sweden and Denmark, where the poor and welfare recipients
increasingly have come to be perceived as non-white, especially in Denmark.
The empirical analyses are based on a sample of 1750 British, 1750 Danish
and 1750 Swedish newspapers covering the period from 2004 to 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherCentre for Comparative Welfare Studies, Institut for Økonomi, Politik og Forvaltning, Aalborg Universitet
ISBN (Print)978-87-92174-44-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
SeriesCCWS Working Paper

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