CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN THE MEDIA AND AGENDA-SETTING THEORY: THE LIMITS OF CONCEPTS’ COMPATIBILITY
Keywords:agenda-setting, media, social constructivism, social problems
AbstractThe paper presents a comparison of two modern popular approaches to the analysis of discussions in the media and the way that the media shape the public’s attention to certain issues. The author describes the origin and evolution of these concepts; a special attention is paid to the prerequisites for their occurrence and the initial disciplinary affiliation. The major content differences, such as different requirements for the discussions are considered in the article. The agenda-setting theory is largely focused on the study of media reports concerning the issues where personal experiences are lacking among the population (given that the empirical object exists in reality). The constructivist approach to social problems does not refer to lacking experience, it is mostly implies a connection between a constructed problem and reality. Besides, the agenda-setting theory puts aside the influence of the actors of the media discussions, while for the constructivist approach it is one of the key issues under examination.
SOCIOLOGY OF COMMUNICATIONS