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To the youth: Social sharing of sentiments on Twitter after the 2011 Norway attacks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Traumatic incidents are processed by individuals as well as groups, but the social aspects of trauma management are often overlooked. The thesis shows how social sharing of trauma in relation to the 2011 Norway attacks has occurred by analyzing the usage of the hashtag #oslo on the social network site Twitter within the time frame of six months before the attacks up until two weeks after the attacks. Twitter has been used as an indicator of public opinion in several previous studies (Bollen, Pepe & Mao 2011; Elson, Yeung, Roshan, Bohandy & Nader 2012; Thelwall, Buckley & Paltoglou 2011; Wang, Wei, Liu, Zhou & Zhang 2011) and has been used as an indication of public mood in the current thesis as well. By analyzing the material through four sentiment specific variables and coded into the statistical software IBM SPSS, the upheavals after the attacks are uncovered. The thesis shows the occurrence of plummeting levels of the positive emotions happiness and feeling of well-being as well as hope and feeling of powerfulness. In the meantime, levels of sadness and feeling of hopelessness, fear and feeling of loss of control as well as anger and hating mood towards specific agents increased abundantly. However, there was an increased expression of gratefulness, caused by the prevalence of appreciation towards for example journalists, victims’ narratives of the events at Utøya, the open displays of solidarity in Norway as well as appreciation of other Twitter users’ posts or blog posts. Gender differences are analyzed in the thesis, but even though these differences have been statistically significant, the results show quite small gender differences in the sample. The thesis challenges the traditional view of society as merely geographical and gives an indication to traumatic incidents’ influence on an international arena and the overall need for social sharing as a way of coping with trauma, not only in the immediate society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
Social sharing, Trauma, Coping, Twitter, Sentiment analysis
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-200624OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-200624DiVA: diva2:624596
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-06-10 Created: 2013-06-02 Last updated: 2013-06-10Bibliographically approved

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