Analysis of Public Discussions in Social Media as a Method for Studying Social Issues
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Public Sphere Social Problem Social Media Public Discussion Personnel Shortages Public Actors News Values Media Studies Social Constructivism Public Speakers

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Judina, D., & Riazantseva, A. (2024). Analysis of Public Discussions in Social Media as a Method for Studying Social Issues. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 6(1), 100-123.


The study of social problems using the analysis of the public sphere gained scientific legitimacy with the constructivist approach during the era when television was the predominant medium. The advent of social media has transformed the public space, altering the way in which discussions concerning social issues are organized. This article examines the advantages and limitations of constructivism in studying social problems and the elements constituting public discussions on social media. We searched whether analyzing public discourse could reveal the persistence of social issues. To exemplify the use of this method for studying discussions on social media, we analyzed how network users discussed the issue of personnel shortages, from November 2022 to February 2023. During this period, the most pressing issues proved to be shortages of professionals in healthcare, housing and communal services, secondary education, transport, defense industry and IT sectors.

The research indicates that a crucial marker of a persistent social problem in people’s daily lives is the involvement of “ordinary” citizens as speakers who draw significant attention to the issue. This finding corroborates the democratizing impact of social media on the structure of the public sphere.
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