By Axelsson, Anton from Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration & Yousef, Charles from Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. 2017
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)).
Background: Alcohol has become ubiquitous in Swedish lifestyle blogs, as alcohol can be present in one third or one fifth of blog posts in some of Sweden’s biggest lifestyle blogs. Research suggests that exposure to media and commercial communications on alcohol increases consumption and that users and user- generated content related to alcohol and drinking may intensify social norms around alcohol consumption. This means Swedish lifestyle bloggers may be exposing alcohol and creating social normative influence that can affect blog readers’ intention to consume alcohol.
Purpose: The purpose of this thesis was to explore if and how the presence of alcoholic beverages on Swedish blogs may affect young females’ intention to pursue alcohol consumption. Firstly, the study looks at to what extent and how alcoholic beverages and alcohol-related activities appear on Swedish lifestyle blogs. Secondly, the study explores if the presence of alcohol in blogs is recognised by blog readers and if they perceive this to affect their own and others’ intention to consume alcohol.
Method: This thesis has two different data collections to fulfil the purpose of the study. First a web content analysis is conducted on eight Swedish blogs to explore the presence of alcohol. Thereafter semi-structured interviews are conducted with nine respondents. The findings are compared to previous findings and analysed from theories on behavioural change.
Conclusion: Alcohol and alcohol-related activities are depicted frequently in some of Sweden’s biggest lifestyle blogs when variation between blogs and monthly variance per blog are considered. Alcohol is put in a favourable setting through a positive or a commercial context. Blog readers perceive blog posts to contain positive alcohol content, and claim others may be affected to consume alcohol by these as bloggers have influence empowered by their social status. A majority of respondents claim they themselves are not affected by blog posts with alcohol. It is suggested this is because subjective attitude towards alcohol and a belief of personal control has stronger impact on intention to pursue alcohol-related activities. Another suggestion is that more salient and ready accessible referents such as parents, family and friends are deemed more important in affecting norms around alcohol through individuals’ perceived view of these referents’ desires and actions.
Link to access the full study: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1104180/FULLTEXT01.pdf .