"Oprah" i den senmoderna offentliga sfären. En textanalys av "The Oprah Winfrey Show" och dess funktion i samhället

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap

Sammanfattning: The intention of this thesis is to examine "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and its position and functions in the public sphere. Particularly interesting aspects are like the linking of private and public issues, the show's potential as a forum for debate and dissemination of knowledge, and what types of criticism the show has been subjected to. The methods used dealt with the textual aspects of the show. Semiotic analysis and conversation analysis were applied to five episodes and a search of literature was made. The thesis rests on theories concerning television studies and talk shows, in addition to theories on modernity and identity. Other studies of talk shows and of Oprah Winfrey and her show were also useful. The thesis shows that "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has great potential for encouraging the democratic process. The survival of the public sphere requires media to reach out to the masses, which this show does. It fulfils democracy's needs for education, and, and more importantly, it makes obvious the connection between public and private obvious to these masses. However, at the same time the show does not present enough different perspectives. Most expert opinions are portrayed as undisputed fact, and there are no real debates.

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