The Formation of Swedish Media Studies, 1960-1980

Around 1960, the politics of the emerging media society in Sweden tended to fixate the formative functions of mass communication. The monopoly of public service broadcast media, press subsidies and new tendencies in film policy were some of the issues around which uncertainty prevailed. New methods to provide reliable data were sought by politicians, since empirical facts were required as arguments for an updated media policy. This article examines the different ways that the field of media studies was introduced in Sweden between 1960 and 1980. We argue that Swedish aca- demic media studies departed from, and emerged within, a rather diffuse borderland between industry, politics and academia. The formation of national media research in Sweden can partly be seen as an effect of politicians and the media industry wanting to be better informed on issues such as media influence, media ownership and the habits and composition of the media audience.

“The Formation of Swedish Media Studies, 1960-1980” (written together with Mats Hyvönen & Per Vesterlund), Media History, no 1, 2017.