What is it about?

How can a government communicate to make people follow restrictive measures? In this study, we investigated the Norwegian government's communication in daily press conferences under the first lockdown due to COVID-19 in Norway in 2020. We also interviewed people in different life situations about how they viewed the restrictions and the government's handling of the pandemic. We found that the government spoke of the handling of the pandemic as a shared "dugnad" - a Norwegian word for voluntary community work. Also, they spoke of solidarity, of the virus as dangerous, and presented themselves as trustworthy. These stories told by the government largely resonated with our interview participants.

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Why is it important?

In a global crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial for policymakers that people follow the rules and recommendations set out to handle the crisis. Therefore, it is important to understand how people make sense of government communication and the restrictions in place in their own everyday lives.

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This page is a summary of: “Everybody Needs to Do Their Part, So We Can Get This Under Control.” Reactions to the Norwegian Government Meta‐Narratives on COVID‐19 Measures, Political Psychology, February 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/pops.12727.
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