American University
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Alcohol messages in prime-time television series

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posted on 2023-08-05, 10:43 authored by Cristel Antonia Russell, Dale W. Russell

Alcohol messages contained in television programming serve as sources of information about drinking. To better understand the ways embedded messages about alcohol are communicated, it is crucial to objectively monitor and analyze television alcohol depictions. This article presents a content analysis of an eight-week sample of eighteen prime-time programs. Alcohol messages were coded based on modalities of presentation, level of plot connection, and valence. The analysis reveals that mixed messages about alcohol often coexist but the ways in which they are presented differ: whereas negative messages are tied to the plot and communicated verbally, positive messages are associated with subtle visual portrayals.



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