Browsing by Subject "discourse analysis"

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  • Finch, Susanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The study examined a bilingual child's agency in the context of a bilingual school. Previous research has shown that supporting a pupil's agency improves his or her motivation and engagement towards school and hence also enhances learning results. The traditional roles of teacher and pupil can be changed by encouraging pupils to agency. Bilingualism is a pervasive phenomenon in the world and affects the Finnish school worlds as well. The need for language proficiency and the demands for bilingual education increase perpetually. The study sees language as a base for human action and that it is used as a tool in the expressions of agency. The study strived to find out how children express agency and how they use their mother tongues if they have two mother tongues instead of just one. The goal of the study is to examine how the agency of an English?Finnish-bilingual child is expressed through verbal communication in a classroom. The study also strived to investigate what kinds of tasks the two mother tongues are used for in interaction. The case study centers on one 11-year-old American Finnish focus student who speaks English and Finnish as her mother tongues. The data of the study were collected by videotaping in a fifth grade of a bilingual school. In addition, a semistructured interview was used to interview the focus student and her mother in order to find out what kind of language choices the child makes and how was the development of the child's bilingualism and two mother tongues supported. The data consisted of approximately 8 hours of video material. Agency and language were examined from the viewpoint of the sociocultural framework. The results were interpreted using qualitative discourse analysis. The main result of the study is that the focus student's agency was expressed in verbal communication in a classroom through three different ways: through expertise, providing humor, and playing with institutional roles. Another finding was that agency was created partly through language. The focus student used her two mother tongues consistently for different tasks, of which communicating with family, friends, and teachers was the most significant one.
  • Huttunen, Maija-Helena (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This Master's Thesis investigates the perceptions of students of educational sciences (general and adult education) concerning plagiarism. Previous studies regarding students' perceptions of plagiarism have shown that students' understandings of both plagiarism and the principles of academic writing are insufficient. This study aimed to identify different repertoires of speech the students used when talking about plagiarism, to examine how the repertoires of speech were constructed interactively, and to look into how the themes concerning students' perceptions of plagiarism recognized in a previous study (Confusion, Fear, Perceived sanctions, Perceived seriousness, Academic consequence and Resentment) were reproduced in the students' speech in this study. 19 students of educational sciences from the University of Helsinki took part in this study, from which 6 focus groups were formed. Focus group conversations were executed with the help of a facilitator introducing the topics of conversation, with the focus group members freely interchanging their thoughts and opinions about the topics. The conversations were analyzed discourse analytically while the previously recognised themes acted as a theoretical premise to an otherwise data led analysis. The various repertoires of speech the students used concerning plagiarism were interpreted in the context of an episode they were a part of. Different types of episodes formed four (4) themes: Confusion and its consequences, Understanding of why plagiarism occurs, Stance towards an act of plagiarism, and Disadvantageousness of plagiarism. The previously recognized themes were largely reproduced in this study. It is evident that students' understandings of both plagiarism and the principles of academic writing are insufficient. Numerous previous studies and this study indicate the need of developing both the instructions given concerning plagiarism and the teaching of the principles of academic writing.
  • Posvarova, Jaroslava (2007)
    The thesis's main focus is discourse analysis (both textual and in the field of policy) of the securitization process in the Netherlands for the period 2004-2006, and the implications of it for multiculturalism. The emphasis on culture that multiculturalism entails is the issue at stake. In the Netherlands, especially immigrants are being addressed in relation with their national culture which creates separate communities centred on different ethnicities and cultures. I explore how cultural essentialism and cultural fundamentalism are perceived in regard to the national identity and culture of Dutch people. The assessment of the nature and extend of political discourse reveals to us whether securitization is among one of the causes of the new guises for cultural essentialism. The methodology of this thesis is embedded in a multidisciplinary theoretical framework pertaining to combination of critical discourse analysis (CD A) of Norman Fairclough (his three dimensional model for analysis of the relationship between discursive practice, linguistic analysis of text and social practices) and refined version of the Copenhagen school's securitization theory. Furthermore, the conceptual notion of multiculturalism and the problem of culture are central to this framework for the findings' analysis. The empirical data analyzed are composed by around 50 politicians' speeches, their opinion pieces and written statements on immigration. The social practice is analyzed on legislative acts, adopted policies, government's proposals and press releases of ministries. I claim that speech acts and policy practices are integral components for studying the securitization discourse. In line with Jef Huysmans, Didier Bigo, and Christina Boswell, I argue that securitization is not wholly dependent on the explicit naming of something in terms of security but also on positioning of an issue within a specific policy domain. Furthermore, I widen the assumptions concerning processes of infiltration of security professionals into previously immigration domains.
  • Baloch, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Violence against women is a deep-rooted global injustice, yet it is less often scrutinized as a category of political economy. In this research relating to human rights advocacy in Pakistan, I seek to do so. I study the ways in which local women's rights organizations attempt to hold state to account for eliminating the malice and removing its structural causes. In particular, I examine how feminist constructions of VAW and advocacy practices towards curbing it take part in the politics of development. The research is based on fieldwork which I conducted in the mid-2010's in urban Pakistan. Interviews with 17 informants representing 12 women's rights groups, NGOs and government agencies constitute the primary data. I use ethnographic lens in mapping the organizational field, yet my main deconstructive method is critical discourse analysis. The research is underpinned by post-development theory, postcolonial feminist critique, anthropology of modernity and feminist violence research. The findings consist of three discourses and two developmental logics. Each discourse explains VAW as an issue of individual infringement of rights and a question of state structures with a distinct orientation – those of gender equity, legal protection and political reform. The discourses are rooted in 'human rights developmentalism' and neoliberalism, yet they are still locally contingent in varied ways. The developmental logics of 'saviorism in solidarity' and 'commonsense hope' render visible ways in which the organizations deploy civilisation narrative and an unquestioned hope in aid's capacity to deliver 'development' as political resources. I argue that the discourses construct VAW by reference to apolitical notions of 'backwardness' not only to justify organizational advocacy practices that center upon delivering "higher awareness and morals" to the "ignorant masses". Instead, such notions contribute to building a counter discourse to the misogynous state ideology as well as an alternative political space that enables women's rights organizations persevere in Pakistan. While the discourses fail the 'beneficiaries' of aid by upholding empty developmentalist promises, they nevertheless do not exacerbate VAW. The research suggests that development ideologies, albeit contributing to global inequalities, may serve as meaningful political tools for undoing local adversities.
  • Segercrantz, Beata Ulrica; Sveiby, Karl-Erik; Berglund, Karin (Edward Edgar, 2017)
    The chapter explores the academic management discourse of innovation in high impact articles. Innovation is approached as a discursive terrain where discourses compete to ascribe meanings to innovation. The study shows that innovation is mainly constructed as a positive concept in management literature and the chapter broadens the scope by analysing and problematizing the academic management discourse of innovation. More specifically, the analysis shows that management research of innovation is self-referential; it primarily focuses on benefits for the innovating organization by promoting accelerated innovation, effective self-preservation practices and a faith in the good result of innovation. What is constructed here is a potential self-reinforcing circle driving organizations to innovate faster and faster. The authors argue that research needs to acknowledge and explore what innovation leads to beyond the immediate economic interests of organizations. This would help scholars to identify blind spots, and to invite research which rejects the pro-innovation bias in order to extend research agendas to also include undesirable effects of innovation and possibilities to reduce them.
  • Virkkunen, Matleena (2008)
    This research paper examines the subject positions of the Nicaraguan peasant women who participated in development projects. The women are a part of the target group of the projects. The concept of subject position refers in this research to the women's socially constructed position in the development projects. I also analyse the discourses of development and poverty that the Nicaraguan women produce. The discourses of the women are compared to the so called hegemonic discourses of development. The hegemonic discourses and their critique are introduced during the research. The theoretical framework of the research is constructed by social constructionism and critical discourse analysis. I have approached the subject positions of the Nicaraguan women with the help of textual analysis and narratology. This research can be conceptualised as a part of the ethnographic development research. I have investigated two development projects funded by foreign donors. The research material consists of the private and group interviews of the Nicaraguan women. In the women's narratives, four different subject positions were found. One of them represents active participation in the development project. The rest of the subject positions represent passive positions. The fatalistic subject position was especially strong. The poverty discourses of the women emphasized the lack of education (or knowledge) and the condition of a house and clothes. Poverty was also seen for instance as social inequality and as happiness. The strongest development discourse the women emphasized was education, work and a good salary. On the other hand, development was seen as the social services produced by the state. Research shows that the discourses produced by the Nicaraguan women are many times in conflict with the discourses that emphasize the economical well-being in development. On the other hand, the results of this research are similar with those of so called participatory poverty research. The research also shows the conflict between the hegemonic development discourses and the positioning of the development project's target group. The main argument of the research is that the target group's passive (or even fatalistic) subject position may threat the aims of a development project. On the other hand, becoming aware of the target group's subject positions may help the project to achieve its aims.
  • Haq, Ehsan ul; Braud, Tristan; Kwon, Young D.; Hui, Pan (2020)
    Computational Politics is the study of computational methods to analyze and moderate users' behaviors related to political activities such as election campaign persuasion, political affiliation, and opinion mining. With the rapid development and ease of access to the Internet, Information Communication Technologies (ICT) have given rise to massive numbers of users joining online communities and the digitization of political practices such as debates. These communities and digitized data contain both explicit and latent information about users and their behaviors related to politics and social movements. For researchers, it is essential to utilize data from these sources to develop and design systems that not only provide solutions to computational politics but also help other businesses, such as marketers, to increase users' participation and interactions. In this survey, we attempt to categorize main areas in computational politics and summarize the prominent studies in one place to better understand computational politics across different and multidimensional platforms. e.g., online social networks, online forums, and political debates. We then conclude this study by highlighting future research directions, opportunities, and challenges.
  • Hämäläinen, Lasse; Lahti, Emmi (2021)
    Aims: In October 2019, a citizens' initiative to decriminalise cannabis use started a large debate about drug policy in Finland. This study examines online discussions about the initiative to supplement the current knowledge about citizens' drug opinions. The focus is especially on argumentation techniques that are used to support or object to the decriminalisation. Design: Methodologically, the study is based on discourse studies, new rhetoric, and argumentation analysis. The data of 1,092 messages were collected from a popular Finnish anonymous discussion forum Ylilauta. Results: Online discussions about the legal status of cannabis are highly polarised. Decriminalisation is often both supported and resisted in a strong and affective manner, and even hate speech is not rare in the data. Statements made by both discussion parties often lack any argumentation or are based on fallacies, especially ad hominem arguments. Some discussants refer to scientific studies and expert statements, even though such references are usually inaccurate. Cannabis is compared to alcohol more often than to other illegal drugs. Conclusions: The emotional responses and inadequate argumentation might be partially explained by the general nature of online discussions and the culture of the investigated website, but also by the powerful stigma related to illegal drugs and insufficient knowledge on the subject. A future objective is to create a societal atmosphere where the complex question of the legal status of cannabis could be discussed more neutrally and rationally.
  • Pousi, Matti August Oskari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The ecological crisis is ravaging the planet. Governments and businesses have set carbon neutrality targets as part of a necessary green transformation. One promising negative emission technology is based on biochar, which has created excitement in the voluntary carbon markets. However, the voluntary carbon markets and carbon sequestration with biochar both stand at a crossroads. There is currently no regulation that would govern the markets. Only voluntary standardizations and the sellers and buyers’ conscience provide directions for the quality of offsets and real carbon cuts achieved. In addition, the production of high-quality biochar remains at a low level. This thesis contributes to the research on green transformations by examining critically the expectations and promises related to biochar and voluntary carbon markets. The focus of this study is on the framings and discourses related to the role of biochar and the voluntary carbon markets in low-carbon pathways. The main research question is: What are the different narratives and perspectives on the role of biochar and voluntary carbon markets in sustainable low-carbon pathways? To answer this, I have identified and interviewed the main actors and stakeholders in the supply chain of biochar-based offsets as well as analyzed key policy and research documents that take part in the biochar offset related discourses. The research approach draws from two theoretical frameworks: the sustainable pathways approach developed by Melissa Leach, Ian Scoones, and Andy Stirling and Maarten Hajer’s critical discourse analysis on environmental policy. These frameworks are used to analyze the informant interviews and policy and research documents. It is found out that there are five discursive patterns shaping the discourses related to biochar and the voluntary carbon markets: biochar as a magic bullet, market-led low-carbon pathway, techno-managerialism, traces of more transformative greening, and climate-centrism. Techno-managerialism is the most distinctive feature of the biochar and voluntary carbon market discourse. Together, the five patterns shape the way in which biochar and the voluntary carbon markets are perceived, how policy problems related to them are defined and framed, and finally, what type of policy solutions are formulated.
  • Rivinoja, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This Master’s thesis examines how societal power is exercised and negotiated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the media in contemporary Finnish society. Conducting a critical discourse analysis of Helsingin Sanomat coverage on the Church and Finland’s asylum seekers between August 2015 and September 2017, the three levels of mediatization of religion as presented by Hjarvard (2008) are offered as a potential theoretical framework to capture essential aspects of the media’s ubiquitous impact on institutional religion. The first chapters introduce the research topic and provide contextual understanding of the Church’s position in contemporary Finnish society and media. This is followed by a literature review and the theoretical and methodological frameworks guiding the analysis. The analysis answers to the research question through the three levels of mediatization of religion. The findings demonstrated the usefulness of critical discourse analysis coupled with the mediatization of religion theory, as the research method highlighted the aspects of prevalence and dominance of mediatization. Although the mediatization of religion theory was not found to provide an exhaustive account on the dynamics between Helsingin Sanomat and the Church, the presence of all three levels of mediatization together with the dominance of media discourses and the Church’s subordination to media logic could be discerned. This thesis provides insight into the renegotiation process of the Church’s place and role in Finnish society, a topic that until today has remained understudied. Further, it sheds light on the power of both the media and the Church to steer and maintain discourses. From the perspective of the Religion, Conflict and Dialogue Master’s Degree program, analyzing the theme within the context of the asylum seeker situation can be deemed supportive for purposes of further research on institutional religion’s role in dialogue promotion and bringing about social cohesion.
  • Vainikka, Heini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis examines collaboration in construction industry. Collaboration practices are affected with the emergence of new technologies, as new technologies require new practices. Building Information Modelling (BIM), used for digital 3D modelling of buildings, is such an emerging technology, influencing collaboration. The topic is approached socio-constructively and -culturally, and through the theory of hybrid practices in construction. The thesis addresses the following questions: 1) how BIM is described to influence collaboration practices, and 2) how is collaboration in BIM construction projects conceptualised. The data was collected in 13 individual and group interviews. Content analysis and discourse analysis were used. BIM is found to influence collaboration through emerging hybrid practices, and BIM-based collaboration is conceptualised through four interlinked but conflicting discourses. The results confirm the need for more established collaboration practices in BIM projects. The thesis contributes to the narrow focus given to human perspective and conceptions in collaboration research in construction.
  • Vander Horst, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The aim of this research is to identify and compare how Posti (as the employer of an ethnically diverse workforce) and PAU (as the labour union representing a constantly diversifying field) construct new postal workforce diversities. The once respected and fairly well paid civil service offices of postal officers have turned into low-paid, low-skilled, often part-time work, which is failing to attract ethnic-Finn employees. As a result, migrant workers have infiltrated postal warehouse work, daytime mail delivery and especially early morning delivery. The rapid entrance of non-ethnic Finns into the field has forced Posti and PAU to consider, how they wish to approach the growing diversity of their workforce. This research examines these approaches. Articles from Posti’s personnel magazine and PAU’s membership magazine form the empirical basis for this research. Altogether 24 articles, 12 from each magazine, were chosen based on their relevance to the topic of ethnic diversity and migrant workforce. The material was collected from publications that were released between January 2014 and August 2017. Acker’s (2006) theoretical framework of “inequality regimes” in organizations serves as the core theory as well as the methodological tool for this research. The theoretical and methodological concept of frame analysis is also used to further help understand, how Posti and PAU are able to explain and justify existing inequalities in the data. A critical discourse analytical approach is present throughout the research, from the initial reading and coding of the material to the presentation of the results. The critical analysis of the selected material suggests that Posti and PAU approach the growing diversity of postal workforce in very different ways. Posti presents the diversification of the workforce as a necessary and positive change, which will help the company expand the personnel’s skillset and even increase its financial results. Ethnic diversity and increased migrant workforce is discussed in a thoroughly positive light in the personnel magazine of Posti. Migrant workers’ lack of Finnish language skills is the only negativity of the ethnically diverse workforce of Posti, which is brought up in the material. The poor Finnish skills of migrant workers are also stressed in the membership magazine of the union, but the union is also concerned with Posti’s unfair treatment of the migrant workforce. On one hand, PAU stresses the necessity to include migrant workers into the Finnish working life and on the other hand, PAU stresses the possible culture clashes this might generate. The core finding of this research is that the way diversity is approached is closely related to the objectives and aims of the organization in question. Posti very purposefully aims to construct a new cohesive workforce diversity, which focuses on the possibilities of diversity and actively aims to hide existing inequalities. Posti still relies heavily on manual labour to carry out its core services, and therefore, it is in its interest to portray diversity in a positive light. The approach that PAU takes towards diversity in its membership magazine, is far less coherent and purposeful than that of Posti. It shows concern for the potential mistreatment of Posti’s migrant workers but fails to take a stand on the position of migrant workers within the field. This research concludes that PAU is still unsure of its approach towards the new diversities of postal work. On one hand, its mission has always been to protect the terms and conditions of the employees, to which the entrance of migrant workers into the field poses a threat, but on the other hand, one of the key values of the labour movement has always been solidarity. So far, PAU is still trying to fulfil both objectives, which results in inconsistent and limited views of what the diversification of the workforce means for postal work.
  • Suominen, Kimmo; Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Although the managerial profession is subjugated by the discipline of strategic manage-ment, managers are not completely subordinate to it. Instead, they are able to use the in-stitutionalized discourse of strategic management, which is not their own product, in nov-el and creative ways. In this paper, we focus on the tactics that managers, as central strat-egy practitioners, use to consume strategy. Drawing on the work of the late Michel de Certeau as a theoretical lens, we conduct an empirical analysis of discourse, produced by 36 managers operating in three case organizations. This analysis allows us to elaborate on three different tactics of strategy consumption: instrumental, playful and intimate. The results capture the reciprocal dynamics between the micro and macro-levels of strategy discourse, that is, between strategic management as an institutional body of knowledge and the discursive practice of individual managers.
  • Laukka, Vuokko; Katko, Tapio S.; Peltonen, Lasse; Rajala, Riikka (Springer Nature, 2021)
    Hydrogeology Journal 29: 4 (2021), 1369–1378
    In Finland, community water supply has increasingly relied on natural groundwater and artificially recharged groundwater as the raw water source. Several managed aquifer recharge (MAR) projects have been co-created with involved parties and have proceeded well, while some cases have raised considerable resistance among the stakeholders. It seems that success or failure in MAR cooperation is related to management cultures and the ways in which various interests are taken into account, from the very beginning and throughout the process. Empirically, this paper builds on comparison between two conflictual case studies in Finland: one in the Tampere region and the other in the Turku region. The study analyses the major constraints of these projects through the lens of collaborative rationality, also drawing upon discourse analysis and negotiation theory. The material is gathered through thematic interviews of stakeholders, newspaper articles and a stakeholder workshop. The results indicate that conventional management approaches, drawing from expert-based instrumental rationality, were insufficient in both cases. The collaborative rationality framework suggests that legitimacy for the groundwater projects should be gained through joint knowledge production and inclusive multiparty interaction for creating options for collaboration. Both cases lacked the tools and know-how for authentic dialogue and collaboration. The emerging paradigm emphasizes more collaborative approaches for natural resources management and urban planning. While MAR projects operate inside these areas and are highly complex in nature, it is essential to embrace the emerging paradigm in order to promote MAR systems along with their huge potential.
  • Eivergård, Kristina; Enmarker, Ingela; Livholts, Mona Birgitta; Aléx, Lena; Hellzén, Ove (2021)
    Aims and objectives To examine how gendered discursive norms and notions of masculinity and femininity were (re)produced in professional conversations about users of long‐term municipality psychiatric care. Focus is on the staff’s use of language in relation to gender constructions. Background Psychiatric care in Sweden has undergone tremendous changes in recent decades from custodian care in large hospitals to a care mainly located in a municipal context. People who need psychiatric care services often live in supporting houses. In municipal psychiatric care, staff conduct weekly professional meetings to discuss daily matters and the users’ needs. Official reports of the Swedish government have shown that staff in municipal care services treat disabled women and men differently. Studies exploring gender in relation to users of long‐term psychiatric care in municipalities have problematised the care and how staff, through language, construct users’ gender. Therefore, language used by staff is a central tool for ascribing different gender identities of users. Design The content of speech derived from audio recordings were analysed using Foucauldian discursive analysis. The COREQ checklist was used in this article. Results The results indicate that by relying on gender discourses, staff create a conditional care related to how the users should demonstrate good conduct. In line with that, an overall discourse was created: Disciplined into good conduct. It was underpinned by three discourses inherent therein: The unreliable drinker and the confession, Threatened dignity, Doing different femininities. Conclusion The community psychiatric context generates a discourse of conduct in which staff, via spoken language (re)produces gendered patterns and power imbalances as a means to manage daily work routines. Such practices of care, in which constant, nearly panoptic, control despite the intention to promote autonomy, urgently require problematising current definitions of good conduct and normality.
  • Holli, Anne Maria (2003)
    Acta Politica ; 23
    The article dissertation analysed Finnish discourse and politics for gender equality from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. Three questions were investigated: How was the discourse on gender equality organised and how did it change over time? What were the strategies and impact of women's policy offices and women's movements? What are the possibilities for women to pursue change via gender equality, public policies and the state in more general terms? The study outlined a more post-structuralist inspired version of the feminist-discursive approach to gender equality, which analyses gender equality as part of social discourse and pays attention to its political consequences and implications. The data consisted of statements by women's policy offices and women's movements, policy documents, press materials and interviews. The study applied various text analysis methods to the data. The study described changes in the Finnish concept and discourse of gender equality from 1970s to 1990s. The masculine normativity of gender equality was in the 1980s replaced by a more radical conceptualisation, partly thanks to the activity of the Council for Gender Equality between Men and Women. The new version could be utilised by women for change without them giving up their sexual difference. Simultaneously, support of gender equality as a norm expanded in Finnish society. In the 1990s, the tide turned: the potential for change diminished as gender equality was conceptualised as an already 'present' characteristic in Finnish society, which also legitimised the idea that there was nothing left to do. The analysis also shows that, comparatively speaking, the policy success of Finnish women's movements in gendering public policies has been above average. In the context of moderately closed policy sub-systems and left-wing governmental power, women's movements tended to be successful, if they only managed to mobilise to a sufficient degree on an issue. However, in the Finnish context, the characteristics of the political environment also seem to affect the possibility of movement mobilisation. Women's policy agencies were very effective linkages between the women's movements and the state. The prominent role played by these agencies can be understood by their participation in the 'strategic partnerships' typical to Finnish women's activity. However, the analysis of the actual policy change modified to some degree the results concerning women's policy success and the responsiveness of the state. Women's demands met an invisible barrier in both job training and prostitution policy. However, in job training women's substantive impact was more limited, due to the closed sub-system and the strong vested interests that excluded women. On the basis of the empirical analyses, the study also aimed at providing partial and situated answers to the questions concerning the nature of the concept of gender equality and the relation between women and the state, which have been prominent in feminist theory. The results can be condensed into the notion that feminist studies should avoid too simplistic viewpoints and start paying more attention to the multifaceted and contextualised character of both gender equality and the state.
  • Widdel, Linda Sophie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Effective responses to climate change cannot be achieved without the transition away from fossil-fuel-based electricity systems towards low-carbon systems of power generation. Such sustainability transitions are highly complex and require deep structural changes along different dimensions: technological, economic, political, infrastructural or socio-cultural. The transitions literature has so far very much focused on the diffusion of (radical) sustainable innovations like wind or solar, while the destabilisation and decline of unsustainable technologies such as coal has received much less attention. The decline of established systems is of particular importance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions effectively. It also creates space for sustainable innovations, thereby accelerating ongoing transitions. Decline processes in general, and of fossil-fuel-based systems in particular, are value-laden and often highly conflictual. They usually involve a broad range of powerful actors trying to influence the pace and direction of the transition. How these different actors affect the transition is an open issue. So far, only few studies have targeted the role of politics and power in decline processes. The goal of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the ‘politics of decline’ by looking into the public discourse on the coal phase-out and energy transition in Germany. This research is based on a discourse analysis of 345 newspaper articles published between 2000 and 2019. The study explores how actors struggle to build or challenge the legitimacy of coal-fired power generation through storylines and elucidates how they form discourse coalitions based on those storylines. The research also aims to uncover broader discursive developments with the potential to influence the pathway of the energy transition. The discourse analytical approach is qualitatively driven, but also entails quantitative coding with NVivo to record how frequently certain categories appear in the data set across time. The study reveals two antagonist actor coalitions. The anti-coal coalition, comprising NGOs, activists, the Green party, the Ministry for the Environment, think tanks and researchers, challenges the legitimacy of coal primarily due to its vast environmental and climate impact. Led by electric utilities, the pro-coal coalition mainly build legitimacy by pointing to the economic role of coal for the national economy, the lignite mining regions and the coal workers. The analysis finds an extensive and sudden discursive shift which accelerates the discursive destabilisation of coal-fired power. The discursive patterns reveal a strong dominance of coal-delegitimising storylines as well as high media attention on the future role of coal resulting from the discursive shift. Moreover, the discourse shows clear signs of disruption of the actor coalition in support of coal. Traditional coal allies such as the Ministry of the Economics, the political parties CDU/CSU and SPD, as well as some of the utilities withdraw from the legitimising discourse. However, as pressure on the coal regime increases, other influential actors such as the labour unions, industry representatives and the minister presidents of the coal states enter the discourse, enacting severe resistance to the decline of coal-fired power. The research concludes that the German coal phase-out provides a range of valuable insights for countries in similar situations. Nevertheless, for future research, systematic cross-country comparisons of destabilisation discourses are needed to be able to generate more generalisable insights into the ‘politics of decline’.
  • Vilhunen, Milla Helena (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The aim of this master's thesis is to examine the formation of special in the speech of teachers. The theoretical framework is based on the stance that people try to make sense of the world by perspective of normal. However, to be normal is possible only if something is deviant from it. When it comes to schools, these lines between normal and deviant have been seen to be linked to the relation of mainstream education and special-education. The interest of this study is to analyse, how the special is formed in the speech of teachers when there is more and more students in special education and when the official direction is to bring mainstream education and special-education together by constructing teaching of all students in the same classroom. The research data is formed by interviewing special- and class-/subject-teachers. The interviews were constructed as groups, one included special -teachers and the other one class-/subject-teachers. There where total of seven interviewees. The interviews followed the rules of theme interview. I have analyzed the data by using discourse analysis. According to my results the special were formed as maladjustment, certain problems, imperfection and change. The lines between normal and special operated on the other hand between all students and on the other hand the lines were situated only between certain students, them being the students in the special education class and the students in the mainstream class. When it comes to the consequence of special it was the situation of the student that were concerned. The conclusions of this research suggest the persistence of some categories in schools and the place as an essential component for defining the lines between normal and special. Worth noticing is also the ways that showed the possibility of negotiation.
  • Kallio, Liisa; Heiskanen, Eva; Apajalahti, Eeva-Lotta; Matschoss, Kaisa (2020)
    This study focuses on how a hybrid actor challenges dominant expectations about markets and rules by creating a novel business model, Farm Power, that links locally produced small-scale renewable energy directly with energy end-users. We explore the potential of Farm Power to influence the energy transition by studying how the business model is interpreted and given meaning by different actors. Drawing on the conceptual framework of institutional anchoring, this paper identifies emerging storylines that reflect expectations related to the institutionalized beliefs, values and rules governing the energy market in Finland. The implications of our results are that while the business model challenges dominant expectations of cheap and anonymous electricity, it also legitimates the notion of market-based energy transitions and that the role of hybrid actors in initiating change in the energy sector deserves more attention.