Bergen Media Use Research Group

Synnøve Lindtner and John Magnus Dahl with new article in Javnost - The Public

Article on the television serial "Skam" and its democratic potential, in the Journal Javnost - The Public

John Magnus R. Dahl og Synnøve S. Lindtner

Main content

Postdoc. Synnøve Skarsbø Lindtner and PhD-Candidate John Magnus Ragnhildson Dahl have written an article on how the reception of the NRK-serial Skam illustrates the role of popular culture within the public sphere, and its democratic potential. Especially the genre-specific and aesthetic characteristics of Skam, along with its publication method, is argued to be decisive in this regard. 

The article is published in the Journal Javnost – The Public. Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture

Read the article here.


The Norwegian online teen serial Skam, produced by public broadcaster NRK, makes up an interesting case for exploring the role of popular culture within the public sphere. Since first premiered in 2015, Skam has become an international phenomenon, engaging and connecting teenagers all over the world in online discussions mainly concerning the serial’s characters and romantic plots. Through empirically based reception studies and analysis of online fan activity, we find that these discussions have civic potential and may “build” teen audiences as citizens. Furthermore, we argue that the genre-specific and aesthetic characteristics of Skam facilitate for this to happen. Melodrama, as well as the liveness created by the publication method, are the main features of the serial’s democratic aesthetic.