Browsing by Subject "community building"

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  • Andrews, Molly (2021)
    There are many aspects of Catherine Kohler Riessman’s narrative scholarship which have established her international reputation in the field. This contribution pays tribute to the role she has played as a mentor, both through her written work and in her practice. Mentoring, which is time-consuming and painstaking work, is a critical but widely unacknowledged aspect of scholarship, which is often portrayed as an individual endeavor, the accomplishment of the name or names which appear on the publications. The article argues that all scholars are part of a larger cycle, situated mid-stream, between those who have come before and those who will follow. There are many questions surrounding the meaning of mentorship: who should do it and who receive it; if and how it should be institutionalized, calibrated, and recognized; and more. Taking Riessman’s example as its focus, the article critically examines the importance of mentoring and its role in forming, sustaining, and nourishing community
  • Ferica, Imy (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    This study aims to examine the political, economic, social and cultural characteristics of TED as alternative media. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a non-profit global conference media organizer that curates formatted brief speech called TED Talk and presents it in its offline conferences as well as publishes in online platform. TED has a global network that has spread rapidly through TEDx, a replication of TED-like conference by local communities worldwide. This social phenomenon makes TED as the contemporary illustration of the latest development of alternative media. Earlier literature studies on alternative media from Atton (2002) and Downing et al. (2001) focus on alternative media’s role as civil society that radically opposes the dominant power of the state, market and mainstream media. This civic role is important in providing alternative voices in democracy. Castells (2008) argues that the advancement of communication technology in globalization process has extended alternative media’s civic engagement to global level and empowered the community to higher access and participation in alternative media. Bailey et al. (2008) surmise these developments into four approaches that see alternative media: first, in serving the community; second, as an alternative to mainstream media; third, as part of civil society; and fourth, as a rhizome-like hybrid media. This study utilizes these literature references along with the four frameworks above to present holistic view in understanding TED as alternative media. By studying TED, I seek to expand these theoretical discussions by looking at how alternative media build sustainable civil society movement through dynamically incorporating dominant values in achieving its alternative media goals. This hybrid approach also affects alternative media’s ways in serving the community, promoting democracy and prompting social changes. The methodology of this study is ethnography. Since TED has two social settings of offline conference and online media platform, the ethnographic approach of this study is conducted in both setting. I gathered field data through participation and observation on TEDx Jakarta event and interview with the founders as well as online observation on TED.com, TED Talk videos, TED’s forums and third party documents on TED. I analyzed the data with the help of coding tools and discussed the findings within the framework of literature references. The key findings of this study show that TED’s political, economic, social and cultural characteristics are contingent, rhizome-like and transhegemonic. These characteristics project TED as alternative media that adopts dominant practices such as commercialism and controlled editorial system and maintaining elitism to reach paradoxically its civic goals of democratizing knowledge sharing and making social changes. TED also builds flexible partnership with the market and mainstream media and is not entirely counter-hegemonic. Although TED maintains a centralized authority in policy making, its relationship with its communities is based on rhizome-like network which strives towards semi-hierarchical access and participation, multiple replications by community and heterogeneity of its community across geographical and cultural borders. However this hybrid strategy of alternative media brings up threats of over-commercialization, elitism within the community, and ideological bias.
  • Saloranta, Sonja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In this thesis, I analyse Helsinki’s city strategy for 2017-2021 through questions of community membership, social inequality and immigration. Building on Benedict Anderson’s ‘imagined communities’ I analyse the community building and citizen-making processes that the city strategy describes. The purpose of the study is to unveil the underlying values of the strategy, which functions as a guide for political decision-making and thus is sociologically interesting. Through the theoretical framework of critical discourse analysis I illuminate how the city image, the city community and its residents are imagined. I argue that Helsinki is imagined as an international metropolitan forerunner, where social inequality is pictured as an economic problem, and immigration is pictured as a source of unemployment. Growth is an important factor of Helsinki’s identity as a leading city, and it is recognised that growth may increase social problems. Helsinki’s way of handling social differentiation is used for identity construction, where economic productivity rises as a central factor beside social welfare. Immigration, which counts for the positively perceived growth, is, however, mainly described as a problem. Immigrants are discussed in a very generalising manner and mainly in terms of employability, and it is further underlined that the residents’ worth is measured in their economic contribution to the community. My conclusions are that there is a conflict between the welfare society and the idea of economic productivity in Helsinki, as the strategy aims to please audiences interested in both functioning welfare services and innovative business possibilities. I argue that the prejudiced idea of problematic immigration and of integration as employment only does not contribute to the picture of Helsinki as an internationally attractive city for immigrants, and it contradicts the previously mentioned welfare society aspirations.