Narrative Types in Swedish Journalistic Newspaper Articles About Living with Aphasia
Keywords:aphasia, media representations, newspapers, narrative types, narrative agency, vicarious voice, ethnographic content analysis
Aphasia is a language impairment caused by acquired brain injury such as stroke. Public awareness about aphasia is low in Sweden as well as internationally. The media is an important source of information on aphasia, but research on how people with aphasia are portrayed in the media is scarce. Therefore, this study aimed to increase the knowledge about media representations of people living with aphasia, by studying Swedish journalistic newspaper articles. It focused on stories in which people with aphasia were included in the discussion rather than merely being the subject of the discussion. Drawing on framing theory and Frank’s typology of narrative types, a qualitative ethnographic content analysis was conducted. Swedish print media material published between 2007 and 2018 was collected and 84 articles were identified for inclusion in the analysis. The overall finding was that, within Swedish journalistic newspaper articles, living with aphasia is framed as a success story. Themes and sub-themes were identified within each narrative type, and we suggest expanding Frank’s typology with humour narratives and necessity narratives. Although several narrative types were identified in the studied articles, the overarching success story frame was predominant.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Helena Taubner, Malin Hallén
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