The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

‘It’s not the fact they claim benefits but their useless, lazy, drug taking lifestyles we despise’: Analysing audience responses to Benefits Street using live tweets

van der Bom, Isabelle; Paterson, Laura L; Peplow, David and Grainger, Karen (2018). ‘It’s not the fact they claim benefits but their useless, lazy, drug taking lifestyles we despise’: Analysing audience responses to Benefits Street using live tweets. Discourse, Context & Media, 21 pp. 36–45.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (400kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2017.11.003
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

This paper capitalises on the instantaneity of Twitter as a communicative medium by analysing live audience responses to the second series of the controversial television programme Benefits Street. We examine the discourses and representation of social class drawn upon in public reactions to the program. We compiled a corpus of live tweets that were sent during the first airing of each episode of Benefits Street II, which included the hashtags #BenefitsStreet and/or #BenefitStreet. Our corpus comprises 11,623 tweets sourced from over four thousand Twitter accounts. Drawing on techniques from corpus-based discourse analysis, and contrasting our findings to an earlier study on Benefits Street by Baker and McEnery (2015a), we offer an insight into viewers’ discursive constructions of benefit claimants not just as scroungers, but as a more generally morally inadequate and flawed underclass. We argue that poverty porn programmes such as Benefits Street encourage viewers to see any positive representations of benefits claimants as exceptions to the rule.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN: 2211-6958
Keywords: Twitter; audience response; corpus-based discourse analysis; Benefits Street; reality TV
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 52958
Depositing User: Laura L Paterson
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 14:33
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2019 12:41
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/52958
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU