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Alcohol on TV – and How Minors Cope With It

Alcohol on TV – and How Minors Cope With It

Alcohol is an inherent part of everyday life and of various social rites, which are also reflected on TV. These allegories and their meaning as depicted in the media are the subject of a cooperative project being carried out on behalf of the Federal Centre for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung) and the Hanseatic Academy of New Media (Hamburgische Anstalt für neue Medien).

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Project Description

Within the scope of this project, the Hans-Bredow-Institute conducted a content analysis of selected programmes broadcasted by german TV stations. The results revealed that alcohol is depicted constantly and ubiquitously, but is rarely a focus. Besides its omnipresence, the trivializing characterisation of alcohol in the context of sportcasts or sporting events and in association with humor are especially worthy of discussion.

This project was accompanied by mediapaedagogical projects, during which adolescents created their own films about alcohol. The concomitant scientific investigation, conducted by the faculty of paedagogy at the University of Hamburg showed, that nearly all adolescents had some experiences with alcohol. From their point of view, alcohol plays a crucial part at parties and the get-together of friends; it evokes fun and contributes to the atmosphere. However, excessive use can lead to aggression and destroy friendships. Adolescents locate alcohol especially in series targeting youth, in commercials and feature films. Altogether it became obvious, that mediapaedagogical projects are able to contribute to the sensitisation of adolescents with regard to alcohol.

The project was completed by the end of 2001, the results were published in volume 21 of the HAM-Schriftenreihe (in German only).

The Oskar-Kuhn-Preis was awarded to the project in 2003.

Project Information


Duration: 2000-2003

Research programme:
RP3 - Knowledge for the Media Society

Third party

Hamburgische Anstalt für neue Medien (HAM) und Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA) im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Gesundheit

Cooperation Partner

M. Große-LoheideProf. Dr. S. Aufenanger, B. Korte

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz
Director (Chairperson)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 0 (Sekretariat)

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