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Article

The Language of Risk and Vulnerability in Covering the COVID-19 Pandemic in Swedish Mass Media in 2020: Implications for the Sustainable Management of Elderly Care

1
Forum for Gender Studies, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University, 85170 Sundsvall, Sweden
2
Risk and Crisis Research Centre, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University, 83125 Östersund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kalliopi Sapountzaki
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10533; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910533
Received: 30 June 2021 / Revised: 6 September 2021 / Accepted: 6 September 2021 / Published: 23 September 2021
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic—in terms of climate, economy and social aspects—cannot yet be fully assessed, but we can already see how the pandemic is intensifying already existing socio-economic inequalities. This applies to different population groups, particularly the elderly. In this article, our goal is to identify the linguistic constructions of elderly citizens in Swedish mass media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 from a sociological and corpus linguistics perspective. More specifically, our aim is to explore the discursive formations of the elderly in Swedish media during the pandemic and how these formations relate to risk as well as the discursive constructions of in- and out-groups. Drawing on corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS), inspired by discourse–historical analysis (DHA), we examine the media coverage of COVID-19 by three Swedish newspapers published during 2020: Aftonbladet, a national tabloid; Svenska Dagbladet, a national morning newspaper; and Dalademokraten, a regional morning newspaper. In this article, the news articles and their messages are considered performative to the extent that—for example, at the same time as a story is expressed—the elderly are at risk of becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19; moreover, a position of vulnerability for the elderly is simultaneously created. The result reveals that the elderly were constructed as an at-risk group, while visitors, personnel and nursing homes were constructed as being risky or a threat to the elderly. View Full-Text
Keywords: elderly; pandemic; corpus-assisted discourse studies; media coverage elderly; pandemic; corpus-assisted discourse studies; media coverage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Giritli Nygren, K.; Klinga, M.; Olofsson, A.; Öhman, S. The Language of Risk and Vulnerability in Covering the COVID-19 Pandemic in Swedish Mass Media in 2020: Implications for the Sustainable Management of Elderly Care. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10533. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910533

AMA Style

Giritli Nygren K, Klinga M, Olofsson A, Öhman S. The Language of Risk and Vulnerability in Covering the COVID-19 Pandemic in Swedish Mass Media in 2020: Implications for the Sustainable Management of Elderly Care. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):10533. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910533

Chicago/Turabian Style

Giritli Nygren, Katarina, Maja Klinga, Anna Olofsson, and Susanna Öhman. 2021. "The Language of Risk and Vulnerability in Covering the COVID-19 Pandemic in Swedish Mass Media in 2020: Implications for the Sustainable Management of Elderly Care" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 10533. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910533

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