The Riots Explained - Research and Media Explanations of the Riots in Paris 2005, London 2011 and Stockholm 2013
The riots of Paris 2005, London 2011 and Stockholm 2013 all share a number of similarities. They started from similar triggering points, in poor areas and spread to the rest of the capitals and then to other cities of the countries. In this thesis work we study how the riots have been explained by two influential actors; research and media. They both provide us with a writing of an event, on which others describe them, later on. By using the concepts of structure and agency, as well as the combinations made between them, we have found that research has a stronger focus on a number of central actors and that structural aspects receive more attention than in the media. However, the media provides a larger amount of perspectives on the riots, making their analysis less focused, but it has the advantage of finding more possible explanations. We could also identify how the less politically conservative media, that has been studied in this work, tended to stand closer to researchers in their explanations and the conservative ones were more liable to turn to agency explanations than to structural ones. The development of each of the riots affected the explanations of them, but previous writings about riots, both in media and academic research also played a part in how the actors chose to write about them. Poverty, and the ways of understanding poverty, is central in explaining why the explanations differ between cases and explanatory sources and the ways that we look at this term might need to be reconsidered.