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PIRATE PANICS

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This article aims to map discourses and counter-discourses through which online piracy has been framed and constructed in Swedish blogs and online news. It has been common in previous analyses of moral public debates about new forms of media consumption to focus on conservative top-down hegemonic processes of reinstating order. The classic moral panic literature overemphasizes control, power and hegemony while overlooking counter-discourses. This study, on the other hand, takes such forms of symbolic resistance into account. It relies on a comparative discursive network analysis of texts produced by corporate news organizations and of blogs representing pro-piracy perspectives. It is concluded that with the blurring of the boundaries between producers and consumers of content, more and more localized moral panics that are not necessarily hegemonic are likely to be seen. Panic reactions can run not only from the top down but also from the bottom up as niche and micro media instigate their own moral panics.
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Keywords: cyberculture; media studies; sociology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology, Umeå University, Umeå, SE90187, Sweden

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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