Politiseringen av fokuserande händelser över tre samhälleliga arenor
The politicization of focusing events in three societal arenas
Any society meets a constant flow of threats, crises and disasters. The combination of intense media reporting and worried citizens creates a negative stress that the political system must handle. Emotions are central to the distribution of attention and especially negative feelings tend to focus the attention on specific issues or scapegoating. The aim of this article is to analyze both the emotional and the cognitive reactions to different types of disasters with a varying magnitude and origin. Three arenas are included: citizens’ reactions (experimental laboratory study, N=30), the media discourse (content analysis, N=320 articles), and the political discussion in the Parliament (N=132 speeches). The results show strong negative emotional reactions among citizens, and a focus on attribution of responsibility in the media. Nevertheless, the discussion in the parliament shows a use of positive emotions, as well as an absence of blame attribution.