Stockholms universitet

Mattias EkmanLektor

Om mig

Mattias Ekman är docent i medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap. Ekmans forskning rör sig över två fält. Det första rör rasism och digitala medier, och syftar till att skapa förståelse för hur samtida rasistiska och främlingsfientliga föreställningar formas och distribueras i offentligheten. Forskningen handlar också om hur rasism och främlingsfientlighet kan normaliseras över tid. Forskningen bedrivs inom ramen för två projekt finansierade av Vetenskapsrådet:  "Interaktiv rasism på internet, i pressen och politiken: Diskurser om invandring och flyktingar i tider av kris”, samt "Invandring och normalisering av rasism: Diskursiva skiften i svensk politik och svenska medier 2010-22".

Det andra forskningsfältet rör digital politisk kommunikation och har ett särskilt fokus på hur sociala medier har förändrat relationen mellan politiker, journalister och allmänheten. Denna forskning bedrivs inom ramen för forskningsprojektet: ”Den politiska kommunikationens hybridisering. Politiserade nyhetsformat och journalistikens gränser”, finansierat av Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Forskningsprojekt

Publikationer

I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Political communication as television news: Party-produced news of the Sweden Democrats during the 2022 election campaign

    2024. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm. Nordicom Review 45 (S1), 66-91

    Artikel

    Political communication has taken new and complex forms within the contemporary hybrid media system. In this article, we examine how political campaigning that draws on television news forms utilises the increasingly blurred boundaries between news journalism and politics online. We assess the digital television news channel Riks, which during the 2022 national election was operated by the Sweden Democrats party and distributed via YouTube. Deploying a mixed-methods approach, we analysed all videos published by Riks four weeks prior to the election. Results show that Riks blends descriptive, interpretative, and outrage genres, and strategically frames the most important political issues of the election campaign in favour of the party’s policies. Hence, the study contributes to political communication scholarship by emphasising how news has become an integral part of strategic party communication, challenging established scholarly conceptualisations of alternative media and hyperpartisan news.

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  • Democracy and digital disintegration: Platforms, actors, citizens

    2024. Andreas Widholm, Mattias Ekman. Nordicom Review 45 (S1), 1-14

    Artikel

    The digital transformations of contemporary media systems have had severe consequences for democracy and public debates. This introductory article addresses key challenges of what we refer to as varieties of “digital disintegration” within democratic societies. The eight contributions in the special issue are thematised in three parts. The first part explores disintegration within the context of political communication during elections, including data-driven campaigning, populism, and politicised forms of news production. The second part delves into the role of alternative news curators, audience polarisation, and issues of self-censorship in digital information environments. The third part centres on deliberative norms connected to content moderation of user comments within legacy media and the consequences digitalisation has had on journalistic sourcing practices and source diversity over time. The contributions offer valuable empirical insights, as well as new lines of thinking concerning democracy and digital and disintegrative transformations in the Nordic region and beyond.

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  • Media criticism as a propaganda strategy in political communication

    2023. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm. Nordic Journal of Media Studies 5 (1), 115-133

    Artikel

    Over the last decade, strategic attacks on news media institutions and journalists have become an increasingly common feature of populist political communication. The purpose of this article is to identify various strategies that politicians use to criticise the news media and illuminate how the use and circulation of these strategies vary between party types. The article builds on a content analysis of the Twitter feeds of all members of parliament with an active account during the 2018 Swedish election campaign. Results show that political media criticism in Sweden is strongly associated with political personalisation, and it is almost exclusively a right-wing phenomenon, though not restricted specifically to populist parties. Public service media rather than newspapers or commercial broadcasters constitute the prime target for political media criticism in Sweden, illustrating the need to take media systemic aspects in to account when analysing media criticism as a propaganda strategy in political communication.

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  • Parasitic news: Adoption and adaption of journalistic conventions in hybrid political communication

    2022. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm. Journalism - Theory, Practice & Criticism

    Artikel

    This article explores how political parties and individual politicians in Sweden communicatestrategically in an online environment where the close relationship betweennews and journalistic institutions no longer can be taken for granted. We define theadoption and adaption of journalistic conventions in political communication as a particularcommunication style, conceptualized as “parasitic news”. The article presents ananalytical framework that explicates the role of parasitic news across five dimensions:ideological transparency/position, alternativeness, news genres, individual vs. collectivemedia practices, and social media affordances. An analysis of three news projects,representing right-wing populist, liberal/conservative, and left-wing/green ideologicalpositions, reveals that parasitic news is a flexible communication style that blurs theboundaries of politics and media in online spaces. Moreover, parasitic news challenges therelevance of established terms such as alternative, hyper-partisan, and fake news, pointingto the need of a renewed conceptual vocabulary in journalism, media and politicalcommunication research.

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  • The great replacement: Strategic mainstreaming of far-right conspiracy claims

    2022. Mattias Ekman. Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies

    Artikel

    This paper assesses how the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory (the idea that ethnically homogeneous populations in European nations are being ‘replaced’ by people of non-European origin) is articulated online by three different actors. By analyzing argument patterns and multimodal features of the cases, the paper shows that the conspiracy theory is a flexible political discourse that can be used strategically by both far-right and mainstream right-wing actors. It highlights the role of affect in online communication, and particularly how anti-immigration actors feed off circulating emotions such as insecurity and fear among the citizenry. The results show that processes of demographic change, caused by immigration, are negatively politicized through the use of pseudo-scientific sources, historic narratives of ethnic homogeneity, threat frames, visual fear appeals and other elements that constitute the wider conspiracy theory of an ongoing ‘replacement’ of native populations. The paper argues that the mainstreaming of conspiracy claims and theories related to immigration poses a threat, not only to democratic institutions and societies, but also to people of immigrant backgrounds.

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  • A populist turn? News editorials and the recent discursive shift on immigration in Sweden

    2021. Mattias Ekman, Michał Krzyżanowski. Nordicom Review 42 (1), 67-87

    Artikel

    This article undertakes a critical discourse analysis of Swedish quality newspaper editorials and their evolving framing of immigration since the 2015 peak of the recent European “refugee crisis”. Positioned within the ongoing discursive shifts in the Swedish public sphere and the growth of discursive uncivility in its mainstream areas, the analysis highlights how xenophobic and racist discourses once propagated by the far and radical right gradually penetrate into the studied broadsheet newspapers. We argue that the examined editorials carry the tendency to normalise once radical perceptions of immigration. This takes place by incorporating various discursive strategies embedded in wider argumentative frames – or topoi – of demographic consequences, Islam and Islamisation, threat, and integration. All of these enable constructing claims against immigration now apparently prevalent in the examined strands of the Swedish “quality” press.

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  • Uncivility, racism, and populism: Discourses and interactive practices in anti- & post-democratic communication

    2021. Michał Krzyżanowski (et al.). Nordicom Review 42 (1), 3-15

    Artikel

    This Special Issue of Nordicom Review discusses interactive practices of articulating and communicating uncivility in the context of recent wider anti- and post-democratic change. We consider that change as a cross-national phenomenon that has been taking place in the Nordic countries, Europe, and indeed elsewhere since the late 1990s and early 2000s, and one that has significantly accelerated with the global rise of the “anxious politics” (Albertson & Gadarian, 2015) of right-wing populism and the far-right (Moffitt, 2016; Mudde, 2019) in recent decades. While our collection joins an ongoing and growing body of research on both un- and incivility – which we describe and to some extent disentangle conceptually in detail below – it carries a few pronounced aims which characterise its contribution to the wider research on mediated and political communication in the context of a crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of nativism and far-right populism.

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  • Interaktiv rasism på internet, i pressen och politiken

    2021. Mattias Ekman.

    Rapport

    I följande policy brief presenteras resultat från det av Vetenskapsrådet finansierade forskningsprojektet Interaktiv rasism på internet, i pressen och politiken: Diskurser om invandring ochflyktingar i tider av kris. Projektet, som leds av Mattias Ekman, docent i medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap vid Stockholms universitet, har syftat till att skapa förståelse för hur samtidarasistiska och främlingsfientliga föreställningar formas och sprids i den svenska offentligheten.Brief:en innefattar resultat från studier av internetoffentligheter, ledarjournalistik och yttrandenfrån folkvalda politiker. 

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  • Anti-immigration and racist discourse in social media

    2021. Mattias Ekman. European Journal of Communication

    Artikel

    This article assesses the strategies of anti-immigration actors on social media and the discursive construction of immigrants and refugees in user interaction on Facebook. It emphasizes the particular role of emotions in racist discourse and analyses how an open Facebook group generates and circulates anti-immigration and racist sentiments to a large audience. By analysing the general communicative features of the group, including user interaction, it demonstrates how anti-immigration and racist sentiments are moulded through interactivity between actors in an open digital space. Moreover, the article emphasizes that anti-immigration groups online can be understood as affective publics, in which racial expressions and overt racism are becoming increasingly normalized. It also argues that these publics must be taken into consideration when addressing the causes of anti-immigration and racist sentiments in contemporary societies.

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  • Social media racism: affective circulation and cultures of fear. A reply to Søren Mosgaard Andreasen

    2020. Mattias Ekman. Global Discourse 10 (2-3), 367-369

    Artikel
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  • Anti-Immigrant Sentiments and Mobilization on the Internet

    2019. Mattias Ekman. The SAGE handbook of media and migration, 551-562

    Kapitel

    This chapter brings fresh insight into how various forms of online communication contributes to growing anti-immigrant sentiments in contemporary society. It assesses the strategies of anti-immigration actors as well as every-day social media communication. The chapter discusses the affective dimension of social media use with an emphasis on how emotions and affect drive the circulation of anti-immigration discourse on internet. It demonstrates how anti-immigration and racist sentiments in public discourse are moulded through interactivity across media spaces, organised political activity and the mundane use of social media platforms by citizens. It argues that “uncivil” expressions on the internet push the boundaries of publicly acceptable speak and ultimately impact the broader public discourse on migration and migrants.

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  • Online Islamophobia and the politics of fear: manufacturing the green scare

    2015. Mattias Ekman. Ethnic and Racial Studies 38 (11), 1986-2002

    Artikel

    Negative attitudes and explicit racism against Muslims are increasingly visible in public discourse throughout Europe. Right-wing populist parties have strengthened their positions by focusing on the ‘Islamic threat’ to the West. Concurrently, the Internet has facilitated a space where racist attitudes towards Muslims are easily disseminated into the public debate, fuelling animosity against European Muslims. This paper explores part of the online Islamophobic network and scrutinizes the discursive strategies deployed by three ‘prominent’ online actors. By combining social network analysis and critical discourse analysis, the study shows that Islamophobic web pages constitute a dynamic network with ties to different political and geographical milieus. They create a seemingly mainstream political position by framing racist standpoints as a defence of Western values and freedom of speech. The study also shows that Islamophobic discourse is strengthened by xenophobic currents within mass media, and by the legitimization of intellectuals and political actors.

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  • Politicians as Media Producers: Current trajectories in the relation between journalists and politicians in the age of social media

    2015. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm. Journalism Practice 9 (1), 78-91

    Artikel

    The emergence of social media raises new questions concerning the relationship between journalists and politicians and between news media and politics. The increasingly complex media milieu, in which the boundaries between media producers and audiences become partly dissolved, calls for new theoretical approaches in the study of journalism. This article reassesses central theoretical arguments about the relationship between journalism, sources, politics and democracy. Drawing on a pilot study of the printed press, it explores the increased social media use among politicians in Sweden and its implications for political journalism. The article suggests that power relations between journalism and politics can be fruitfully explored from the perspective of mediatized interdependency, a perspective that acknowledges that journalists and politicians have become both actors and sources through mutual interaction in online spaces. Furthermore, it argues that social media use has expanded journalisms interest in the private life of politicians, thereby contributing to a de-politicization of politics.

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  • Birikimi Anlamak: Marx’ın İlkel Birikim Kuramı’nın Medya ve İletişim Çalışmaları Açısından Önemi

    2014. Mattias Ekman. Marx Geri Döndü, 83-118

    Kapitel
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  • Mediatized interdependency: Mediated interaction between journalists and politicians on Twitter

    2014. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm. Panel 8: THE RANGE OF POLITICAL ACTORS

    Konferens

    The emergence of social media raises new questions concerning the relationship between journalists and politicians and between news media and political communication. A key trajectory in the relationship between news media institutions and political institutions is related to the changing practices of media production. The interconnections between journalists and politicians have been increasingly complex after the rise of political communication on and through social media platforms. Both politicians and journalists become dependent on factors that pertain to the communicative infrastructure and practices of social media. For example, communication on Twitter is characterised by high velocity, immediacy, and the public interactivity between politicians and journalists. This paper suggest that power relations between journalists and political actors are most fruitfully explored from the perspective of mediatized interdependency, where both parties are reliant on each other in order to get their work done properly. For example, the relations between politicians and journalists on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, could be understood as negotiation (Berkowitz, 2009) or as a struggle (Broersma et. al., 2013). However, the struggle is no longer so much about what ‘could’ be published, but about an on-going discursive battle that takes place in the digital public space. Political actors often make official statements through Twitter, where they ‘correct’ publications they consider problematic. When doing so, they become media producers, which, in turn, use journalism as source and vehicle for promoting their own agenda. Consequently, media logic in the digital era is not restricted to the ground principles of journalistic work, but to a much broader set of opportunities, available to political and commercial institutions in society as well as to the broader public. In order to empirically assess the concept of mediatized interdependency the paper draws on several examples of politicians- journalists interactivity on Twitter. 

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  • The dark side of online activism: Swedish right-wing extremist video activism on YouTube

    2014. Mattias Ekman. MedieKultur 30 (56), 79-99

    Artikel

    In recent years, an emerging body of work, centred on specific communicative forms used in facilitating collective and connective action, have contributed to greater understanding of how digital communication relates to social mobilisation. Plenty of these studies highlight the progressive potentiality of digital communication. However, undemocratic actors also utilise the rapid advancement in digital technology. This article explores the online video activism of extreme right-wing groups inSweden. It analyses more than 200 clips on YouTube, produced by five right-wingextremist organisations. The study shows that the extreme right deploy video activism as a strategy of visibility to mobilise and strengthen activists. Moreover, the groups attempt to alter the perception of (historically-rooted) socio-political identities of the extreme right. Furthermore, YouTube becomes a political arena in which action repertoires and street politics are adapted to the specific characteristics of online video activism. Finally, video activism could be understood as an aestheticisation of politics.

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  • The tweeting minister: The new(s) impact of Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt’s use of Twitter

    2014. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm.

    Konferens

    A key trajectory in the relationship between news media institutions and political institutions is related to the changing practices of media production. The interconnections between journalists and politicians have been increasingly complex after the rise of political communication on and through social media platforms. Politicians use Twitter and Facebook as communicative platforms, both in relation to private users (citizens, audiences), and in order to influence and network with news media professionals (e.g. Larsson and Moe 2012). One of the most prolific and ‘successful’ users of social media among politicians is Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt.  This paper analyses the impact of Bildt’s twitter use on Swedish news during 2013. The study is based on a content analysis of Sweden’s six highest-circulating newspapers during the first eleven month of the year, analysing the total amount of tweets originated from Bildt that made it into the print newspapers. The study scrutinises in what news contexts tweets are used as sources, what news topics the tweets are part of, to what extent tweets pertain to the professional or personal dimension of Bildt, if the tweets are framed in positive, negative or neutral terms and the schematic ‘position’ of the tweets in the news articles. The paper argues that professional Twitter practices among high-end users normalise Twitter as a platform for journalistic practices. ‘Prominent’ users such as Carl Bildt provide news producers with easily accessed comments in a time of decreasing resources for critical inquiry, fact checking and thorough news reporting. The paper also discusses if social media could be understood as an arena where political messages and identities become increasingly marketised in relation to news production (cf. Wodak 2011). 

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  • Twitter and the celebritisation of politics

    2014. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm. Celebrity Studies 5 (4), 518-520

    Artikel

    A distinctive feature of our time is the constant circulation of mediated images of celebrities, a process that has taken new directions after the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This article draws on the contention that contemporary politics is increasingly celebritised, both in terms of how politicians are folded into specific celebrity frames in the news media and in the way politicians ‘perform’ their own professional and private identities through frequent use of social media. Recently, Twitter has become an established platform for a more personal form of political communication, where politicians can influence and network with news media professionals as well as showcase images of their successful and glamorous lives.

    Drawing on examples from the prolific tweeter and Swedish minister for foreign affairs Carl Bildt we argue that the celebritisation of politics that takes place on Twitter can be conceptualised in terms of three modes of ‘performed connectivity’: public, media and celebrity connectivity respectively. As an analytical concept, performed connectivity accentuates that political communication on Twitter is increasingly performative, meaning that it exhibits the professional as well as private sides of politicians’ daily lives. The term also underlines that this performativity is intimately linked to ideas of connectivity, which create associations of status and ‘known-ness’ in the digital public space.

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  • Popularising Fascist Politics: Video Activism of the Swedish Extreme Right

    2013. Mattias Ekman.

    Konferens

    The extreme right’s early adaptation of digital communication technology has gained plenty of scholarly attention. However, most research has been focused on the political discourses and the networking in relation to online communication. In recent years an emerging body of work on the specific communicative forms used in facilitating and enabling both collective and connective action repertoires have contributed to greater understanding of how digital communication relates to social mobilisation. Swedish extreme right-wing groups have a long history of alternative media production, and today producing and distributing digital videos have become a key strategy in their political communication.

    This paper explores the video activism deployed by extreme far-right groups in Sweden. It analyses the ideological and aesthetical aspects of visual politics, and the distribution strategies facilitated by YouTube. The study is based on an analysis of more than 200 clips produced a by four extreme right-wing organisations. It explores the intersection between political discourse and visual propaganda. The study shows that clips have, at least, three major functions. First, they confirm the existence of extreme right-wing groups to a potentially large audience. Second, the content of the clips contributes to a normalization of the socio-political dimensions of the extreme right. Third, YouTube constitutes a political arena in itself, and video production are adjusted and shaped to the specific media logic and structures of YouTube, making video activism a political practice.

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  • Sanitising Fascism: Online Video Activism of the Swedish Far Right

    2013. Mattias Ekman.

    Konferens

    The extreme rights early adaptation of digital communication technology has gained plenty of scholarly attention. However, most of the research have been focused on the political discourses, the specific rhetorics(such as hate-speech), community building, and the networking of extreme right organisations in relation to online communication and new media. In recent years a emerging body of work on the specific communicative forms used in facilitating and enabling both collective and connective action repertoires have contributed to greater understanding of how social media and digital communication relates to social mobilisation in general.

     

    Swedish extreme right-wing groups have a long history of alternative media production and today video making and online distribution and circulation of visual clips have become a key strategy in their political communication. Organisations operating within a well developed online infrastructure (including communities, news media outlets and blogs) are also well established actors on commercial platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. This paper explores the video activism deployed by extreme far-right groups in Sweden. It analyses the ideological and aesthetical aspects of extreme visual politics, and the distribution strategies facilitated by YouTube (the circulation of online clips by embedding, linking, etc) The study is based on an analysis of more than 200 clips produced and disseminated by four different organizations pertaining to the Swedish extreme right-wing milieu. It explores the ideological and aesthetic elements of the clips, focusing on the intersection between political messages and visual propaganda. Furthermore it also examines how the circulation of clips come to fore in online platforms deployed by far right groups. 

     

    The study shows that film clip have, at least, three major functions for the extreme right groups. First, by taking part in a mainstream commercial online platform, they confirm the existence of extreme right-wing groups to a potentially greater audience. Second, the content of the clips contributes to a normalization of the socio-political dimensions of extreme right-wing groups. By focusing on practices, discourses and aesthetics that does not necessarily connects to extreme politics, they contribute to a sanitation of neo-fascist politics and practices. Third, YouTube constitutes a political arena in itself, and video production are adjusted and shaped to the specific media logic and communication structures of YouTube. Therefore video activism on YouTube could also be understood as a political practice in its own.

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  • Tweeting politics: Exploring the social media interrelationship between journalism and politics in Sweden

    2013. Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm.

    Konferens

    The mediatization of politics refers to a process by which media institutions become increasingly powerful actors in society, making political activities and policy making dependent on journalistic demands and media logic. This paper highlights the new interrelationships between politicians and journalists that have occurred in connection with the rise of political communication on social media platforms. Political actors, previously positioned outside the realm of media, have now incorporated social media use into their communication strategies, thus, journalists are now facing politicians in a multimodal communication environment. Whereas previous studies on Twitter have analysed news topics on Twitter, or news coverage of Twitter as a phenomenon, this paper maps some of the essential factors that can explain how and to which extent Twitter messages by Swedish politicians are used in journalistic content.

     

    Using content analysis, this paper scrutinizes the total amount of tweets originated from politicians that made it into the news, in four large daily newspapers. The study examines in what contexts Tweets are used as sources, what news topics political tweets are part of, the actors behind the tweets, the geographical aspects of the political issue, and to what extent tweets pertain to the political or personal dimensions. The paper include a theoretical framework for the study, reflections on the content analysis and the result of a pilot study that examines the impact of politicians’ tweets in news.

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  • Networking Islamophobia: The global online network of Counter-jihad

    2012. Mattias Ekman.

    Konferens

    Negative attitudes, animosity and explicit racism aimed towards Muslims are increasingly visible in Europe. In several European countries far right-wing political parties focusing on the “Islamic problem” have gained access to, or strengthen their positions in, national parliaments. In recent years the political debate concerning immigration and integration has shifted tone. Mainstream right wing political parties, some with a history of liberal attitudes towards immigration, have jumped on the anti-immigrant bandwagon in search of disillusioned voters. In fuelling and normalizing more extreme standpoints on immigration and immigrants, the Internet has facilitated a space where xenophobic viewpoints and racist attitudes towards Muslims are expressed. A growing number of web pages, blogs and communities form a network that combines paranoid visions of an immanent Islamic invasion and a demand for harsher immigration legislations.

    This paper examines the content, character and structure of the Counter-jihad online network. It focuses on the hyperlinks and the inter-textual and inter-discursive relations between political parties, organisations and actors. The paper analyses the discursive strategies used in framing Islam and Muslims as the most prominent threat to Europe and to “European values”. The study draws on theories of racism and the connection between elite discourses, racism and mass media. Methodologically the paper combines elements from social network analysis and critical discourse analysis.

    The study shows that the Islamophobic web pages constitutes a dynamic network of different actors, such as journalists, politicians, intellectuals, political parties and organisations, situated in different political and geographical environments. The discourses that emanates from the various nodes and actors in the network create a seemingly anti-establishment position by framing racist and xenophobic standpoints as a defence of western values, a question of freedom of speech and a critique against religious extremism. The analysis shows that the online sites use news media content in order to disseminate negative stories on immigrants in general, and Muslims in particular. The study also shows that the web pages use xenophobic currents within elite mainstream media in order to mobilize supporters.

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  • Understanding Accumulation: The Relevance of Marx’s Theory of Primitive Accumulation in Media and Communication Studies

    2012. Mattias Ekman. tripleC (cognition, communication, co-operation) 10 (2), 156-170

    Artikel

    The aim of this article is to discuss and use Marx’s theory on primitive accumulation, outlined in the first volume of Capital, in relation to media and communication research. In order to develop Marx’s argument the discussion is revitalized through Harvey’s concept of accumulation by dispossession. The article focuses on two different fields within media and communication research where the concept of accumulation by dispossession is applicable. First, the role of news media content, news flows and news media systems are discussed in relation to social mobilization against capitalism, privatizations, and the financial sector. Second, Marx’s theory is used to examine how communication in Web 2.0 and the development of ICTs could advance the processes of capital accumulation by appropriating the work performed by users of Web 2.0 and by increasing the corporate surveillance of Internet users. In conclusion, by analyzing how primitive accumulation is intertwined with contemporary expanded reproduction of capital, the article shows that Marx’s theory can contribute to critical media and communication research in several ways.

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  • Den globala rättviserörelsen i svenska medier: Hegemoniska formationer i relationen mellan journalistik och kapitalism

    2011. Mattias Ekman.

    Avhandling (Dok)

    The mobilisations against global summits towards the end of the last millennium, and the creation of the World Social Forum (WSF) in 2001, made an emerging global network of social movements visible. This thesis analyses media representations of the global justice movement, with the intention of exploring the relation between journalism and hegemonic formations in the capitalist system. The analysis includes representations of social mobilisations against global summits between 1999 and 2007, and the WSF between 2001 and 2007, in all Swedish daily newspapers. The analysis draws on theories of journalism as a social institution, and Gramsci’s concept of hegemonic formations.

    Using critical discourse analysis (CDA), the dissertation reveals that the representation of protests subordinates political aspects to violence, and that discursive violence presupposes physical violence. The protests are generally defined from of a hegemonic position of the political, but sometimes protest emerges in relation to legitimate political departure points. Simultaneously it is also downplayed as anti-political. The representation of WSF is more heterogeneous. It is portrayed as: an alternative, an anti-movement, and a carnival. Some aspects of violence are also highlighted through the presence of absent violence. The representations both reproduce a hegemonic order, and in some cases highlight hegemonic struggle.

    The thesis concludes that the global justice movement actualizes relations between dominance and resistance in the global system, but that the distance between the social mobilization and the Swedish context, transforms the protests and the WSF to temporary and partly isolated events. The historical continuity in the relations between social mobilization and news journalism shows that social movements cannot rely upon conventional news coverage.

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  • Online Islamophobia: The relation between elite news discourse and increasing xenophobia in Swedish blogs

    2011. Mattias Ekman. Internet Consequences on Political Parties and Activism

    Konferens

    Islamophobia, and racism against Muslims, are on the rise in Europe. In Sweden, a far right-wing political party with a neo-Nazi past gain parliamentary access in the recent election. In recent years the political debate concerning immigration has shifted tone in Sweden. Mainstream right wing political parties, with a history of liberal attitudes towards immigration, have jumped on the anti-immigrant bandwagon in search of disillusioned voters. In fuelling and normalizing more extreme standpoints on immigration and immigrants, the Internet has facilitated a space of increasing xenophobia and racism. A growing number of web pages, blogs and communities form a new kind network, which combines paranoid visions of an immanent Islamic invasion and a demand for harsher immigration legislations. In Sweden, islamophobic web logs and pages, have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the far-right nationalist party Sverigedemokraterna in the election in 2010. They have also been part of a general shift in the mainstream political discourse on immigration and cultural integration.

     

    This paper examines part of the Swedish islamophobic web-community and its relation to mediated discourses on Islam and Muslims in mainstream online news media. It taps into the discursive construction of Islam and Muslims in three of the most popular xenophobic Swedish blogs, and examines the inter-textual, inter-discursive relations and the hyperlinks between online islamophobic blogs/pages and mainstream online news and its relations to institutionalised politics (domestic and foreign).

     

    The study draws on theories of racism in mass media and the connection between elite discourses, geopolitics and racism (van Dijk, 1993). It also discusses the role of historic representation of the non-European other in general, and of Muslims in particular.

     

    The study shows that the online islamophobic web pages, use, and link to, certain online newspapers, journalists and news topics in order to confirm, or contrast their position on Islam and Muslims. They create a seemingly anti-establishment position by framing racist and xenophobic standpoints as a question of freedom of speech and critique against religious extremism. The study also shows that the online pages use xenophobic currents within elite mainstream media in order to mobilize voters in support of far right-wing political parties.

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