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Writing up the region: anchor firm dismantling and the construction of a perceived regional advantage in Swedish news media
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2016 (English)In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944, Vol. 24, no 4, 742-761 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates how geographic representations and regional industrial identity in news media are used to mobilize local/regional actors and to attract inward and outward investments by mediating and narrating stories of the recovery and rebirth of a region in distress – that is, how media contribute to economic development in or of the region. The study targets media attention covering the dismantling and relocation of two regionally embedded life science and likewise anchor firms: the Pharmacia and Upjohn merger in Uppsala in 1995 and the closure of AstraZeneca’s operations in Lund in 2010. By drawing on the method of framing and content analysis of news articles derived from a public media database, the analysis show that: (a) geographic representation and associations are intensified in times of media turbulence; (b) news coverage follows two subsequent phases (an initial ‘crisis’ phase and a following more optimistic ‘recovery’ phase) and (c) news media (as intermediary actors and arenas) by communicating ideas of a shared regional industrial identity contribute to the construction of a ‘perceived regional advantage’ (as understood and communicated by news media). Thus, regional industrial identity-building and how the region is perceived by internal and external audiences are important for regional development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 24, no 4, 742-761 p.
Keyword [en]
Regional development, media studies, constructed advantage, regional identity, regional industrial identity, Sweden, Pharmacia, Astra, cluster
National Category
Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-274765DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2015.1128885ISI: 000371244500007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-274765DiVA: diva2:897578
Riksbankens JubileumsfondThe Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation
Available from: 2016-01-26 Created: 2016-01-26 Last updated: 2016-10-27Bibliographically approved

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Waxell, Anders
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