Media panic, medical discourse and the smart phone

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

This article investigates a space of upset related to the smartphone with its communicative affordances and implications. A useful way of conceptualizing spaces of upset and their discursive frames is Cohen’s (1999 [1972]) notion of moral panic. Informed by this concept and accounts of the panic discourses particularly directed at media (Drotner 1999), I examine the upset articulated in Danish media panic discourses which grants authority from a medical perspective. In addition, I draw on the concept of medicalization (Zola 1972) and discuss how it becomes sayable within the space of upset related to digitally mediated communication that human interaction through a technological device is not (always) communication, but habit or addiction, to unpack the socio-cultural and sociolinguistic assumptions and implications of this perspective. Empirically, the article focuses on a particularly preeminent voice in the public debate in Denmark about the impact of social media and smartphone use, namely the voice of a medical doctor who has been granted the authority as “digital health expert” and frequently appears in Danish print-, broadcast- and social media.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Udgave nummer275
Sider (fra-til)111-128
StatusUdgivet - 2022

ID: 271764232