E. Zolubienė “Risk discourse in Lithuanian online news media in 2006-2014” doctoral thesis defence

Thesis Defense

Author, Institution: Eimantė Zolubienė, Kaunas University of Technology

Science area, field of science: Social Sciences, Sociology 05S

Scientific supervisor: Prof. Dr. Audronė Telešienė (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Sociology – 05S).

Dissertation Defence Board of Sociology Science Field:
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aistė Balžekienė (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Sociology – 05S) – chairwoman.
Prof. Dr. Auksė Balčytienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, communication and information – 08S),
Prof. Dr. Vylius Leonavičius (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Sociology 05S),
Dr. Vaidas Morkevičius (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Sociology – 05S),
Prof. Dr. Anna Olofsson (Mid Sweden University, Social Sciences, Sociology – 05S).

The doctoral dissertation is available at the libraries of Kaunas University of Technology (K. Donelaičio St. 20, Kaunas), Lithuanian Social Research Centre (A. Goštauto St. 11, Vilnius) and Vytautas Magnus University (K. Donelaičio St. 58, Kaunas).


This doctoral research aims to systematically explain the features and dynamics of the holistic risk discourse in Lithuanian online news media in 2006-2014. In the first part of the work the research object was conceptualized following the approach of the ‘soft‘ social constructionism, the relational theory of risk, theory of risk society, as well as other theoretical perspectives from the communication science and the field of discourse analysis. The chosen theoretical perspectives allowed to reveal the social determination of risk, the features of risk communication, the practices of social construction of reality in media and, finally, the social anatomy of the risk discourse. The second part of the dissertation introduces and reasons the methodology of the research. This doctoral research is grounded on the mixed methods approach, integrating the elements of quantitative and qualitative studies. Critical discourse analysis is employed as a strategy of the research. The final part of the dissertation presents the obtained results and their interpretation. Relying on the empirical research data, it could be argued that the holistic risk discourse in online news media is a heterogeneous, socially constructed and determined formation, which covers public discussions about diverse risks. The period under consideration can be characterized by gradually increasing risk communication which illustrates the development of a growing public risk discourse in the most popular Lithuanian online news portals. This doctoral research also reveals the features of the risk discourse, such as its content, order and representations of social actors participating in it.

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December 10 d. 14:00

Rectorate Hall, Kaunas University of Technology (K. Donelaičio g. 73, room 402, Kaunas)

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