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Investigating Malaise and Mobilization Effects of Media Use on European Identity before and after the Eurozone Crisis

Waqas Ejaz |PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Research on European integration posits that people support and identify with the European Union (EU) by considering its economic benefits. Thus, it is argued that people’s sense of identity and their degree of political support for the EU can be explained by estimating the economic prosperity it yields. However, the current paper illustrates that in addition to utilitarian factors, media use can also explain political support for the EU. Thus, to examine this relationship between political support and the media, the study uses the political support framework by David Easton along with the theoretical underpinnings of the media malaise and media mobilization effects. The empirical analysis is conducted on the basis of secondary data obtained through Eurobarometer surveys. Furthermore, to test if the economic factors are a strong predictor of political support, the study assumes that the recent Eurozone crisis has caused a sharp decline in political support. Therefore, it investigates the role of different economic factors and media on political support before and after the crisis. The results indicate that consuming information from the television (TV) does not lead to malaise but rather, that it has a mobilization effect. Furthermore, the results reveal that the respondents’ informed-ness and their TV usage for getting information predict political support better than the economic indicators.

A European Football Family? German and British Television Broadcasts of the 2010 Football World Cup and the Representation of Europe

Dennis Lichtenstein & Cordula Nitsch | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: The Football World Cup tournament ranks amongst the largest international sports events, captivating vast live and television audiences. A key characteristic of football can be seen in its community-building function. Football provides opportunities for identification, strengthening local and national bonds. But does this also apply to the still vague category of Europe? Does the televised coverage of the Football World Cup hold the potential to foster a European identity? This paper employs a quantitative content analysis of the German and British live-commentaries of the 2010 World Cup matches between European and non-European teams. It analyzes and compares the description and evaluation of European and non-European participants. TV-commentaries have proven an ability to influence the audiences´ perception of the match. It is therefore assumed that the commentaries contribute to a feeling of European identity and unity – if they make the European category salient. The analysis reveals some differences in the portrayal of European and non-European participants with the commentators paying more attention to participants from European countries. Whereas the evaluation of the European and non-European teams differs, the evaluation of the individual football players is well-balanced. In regard to the analyzed criteria, British and German commentaries tend to be very similar.

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