Eesti sotsiaalsete gruppide representatsioon meedias Eesti Päevalehe näitel



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In my Bachelor’s Thesis, “The Representation of Estonian Social Groups in the Media – the Case of Eesti Päevaleht Newspaper”, I examined the representation of Estonian social groups in the print media. To do this, I conducted an empirical study with the aim to find out which social groups are represented in the media, how they are represented, which themes, meanings and context they relate to, and how the interactions between the groups are seen in the social environment. The hypothesis of my thesis paper is that the representation of social groups in the media is, as a rule, one sided and carries a preconceived notion regards that group, and that the social representatives of those groups have relatively few opportunities to have a word in and influence how the media portrays them. It must be noted here that I did not investigate the causes of this phenomenon but rather how it is published in media texts. To find answers to these questions I conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of texts. With the quantitative analysis I graphed the existence of social groups, the focus of media attention, the use of different types of influencing items (headlines, photos, sound bytes, placement of text) and the cultural meaning of the text. I carried out the qualitative analysis using the Grounded Theory method. I examined the texts for cultural meaning, ideology tied to the social groups, attitudes and warnings issued against them, and interaction between groups and influences in the social environment. In comparing the groups I took into account how representation takes place: who the players or objects are, who is being discussed, who are the speakers or subjects, who are participants in the conflict, on what battlefronts the competition takes place, what is the social position of representation of the groups in the community. The results of the quantitative analysis showed that the way the published information was structured had an influence on media representation, which in the case of text was the size of the column. That the main focus of media attention are texts which mirror the media's own position (editorials, rebuttals) and politics; and that in the general media, business people, politicians, athletes and celebrities dominate. In the relationship of the subject and the object of media representation it was found that reporters and cultural workers have the most say in their representation, but relatively well represented are also public and private sector institutions (entrepreneurs, civil society representatives). It was also found in the research that the topic plays an important role in representation – it refers to the object’s social position and its relationships in the community. The more thematically diverse a group’s representation is, the greater the ties of the group to the different sectors of the community. The comparison of representation indicators revealed how the media can have certain preconceptions regarding certain social groups – some groups were more attractive visually, others as speakers or subjects. The qualitative analysis revealed, on the one hand, that the media has a tendency toward creating one sided images when it comes to social groups. On the other hand, it also revealed more detailed context of how these images are created and the matrix of inter-group problems and conflicts. The main discrepancy in the government and private sector representation was between ethical norms and the principles of governing politics. The notion of economic success as a value was primarily carried by entrepreneurs and younger employees. In the cultural sector the main conflict in education policy was between the cultural capital and the economic capital. Conflicts related to family values and different generations were influenced by the dominance of a self-centred world view, and thereby changes in ethical values of the community. Attention must also be paid to the increasing influence of media on reproduction of cultural capital, which was also referred to by Bourdieu (2003) in the influences of economic and cultural environment. The later especially because the media's own idea of self is more and more guided by commercial ideology. The media is interested in “big” things, in what is popular or deemed successful.


H Social Sciences (General), bakalaureusetööd, ajakirjandus, grupid, sotsiaalsed aspektid, sotsiaalne representatsioon, sisuanalüüs, kvalitatiivsed uurimismeetodid, Eesti Päevaleht (ajaleht)