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Debating drunk driving: the construction of causal explanations in television discussion programmes

Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862, Lunt, Peter K. and Slotover, Matthew (1992) Debating drunk driving: the construction of causal explanations in television discussion programmes. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 2 (2). pp. 131-145. ISSN 1052-9284

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Identification Number: 10.1002/casp.2450020209


The mass media are an important source of social understandings and representations. The growing genre of audience discussion programmes functions as a public forum for airing opinions on issues of social concern. The genre is structured so as to involve viewers, to validate ordinary experiences and to express opinion. Four programmes on drunk driving were analysed for the causal explanations they offer viewers. The causes, effects and causal interconnections used within each programme were analysed, and networks of the overall representations of drunk driving were constructed. These showed a broad consensus of causes and effects across programmes, but different explanations in terms of locus, stability and controllability. Programmes typically offered lists of important factors, rather than structured arguments, despite the debating framework. There was an emphasis on external, stable, controllable causes in the programmes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1992 by John Wiley & Sons
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 12:23
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:27

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