Browsing by Subject "othering"

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  • Ruohio, Ilona (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Pro gradu -tutkielmani aiheena on ’toiseuden’ ilmenemismuodot (‘othering’) englantilaisen The Economist -viikkolehden nekrologeissa. Tarkastelen ’normiin’ ja ’toiseuteen’ liittyvää henkilökuvausta kriittisen diskurssianalyysin viitekehyksessä. Valitsin lehden tutkimus-kohteekseni, koska sillä on suuri vaikutusvalta maailmanlaajuiseen lukijakuntaan ja sen arvoihin ja asenteisiin. Vuosina 2010 – 2014 The Economist -lehdessä julkaistiin 255 nekrologia. Näiden joukosta valitsin henkilökuvauksen yleisvaikutelman perusteella 10 nekrologia tarkemman kielellisen analyysin kohteiksi. Viisi tekstiä vaikutti kunnioittavaan sävyyn kirjoitetuilta ja toiset viisi negatiivisesti värittyneiltä. Analyysimenetelmänä käytän Fowlerin luokittelua, joka pohjautuu Hallidayn systeemis-funktionaaliseen kielioppiin ja keskittyy transitiivisuuden tarkasteluun. Analysoin verbi-, adjektiivi- ja substantiivirakenteita, verbien konnotaatioita sekä semanttisia rooleja. Nämä rakennevalinnat liittyvät laajaan sosiokulttuuriseen kontekstiin, kielen interpersonaaliseen ja ideationaaliseen funktioon ja saavat merkityksensä niiden kautta. Tekemäni analyysi osoittaa, että ’normia’ edustavat henkilöt ovat aineistossa enemmistönä ja saavat osakseen positiivisia ja arvostavia verbejä, adjektiiveja ja substantiiveja, kun taas ’toiseksi’ luokiteltavia henkilöitä on merkittävästi vähemmän ja heitä kuvataan negatiivisin verbein, adjektiivein ja substantiivein. Lisäksi ’normin’ edustajat kuvataan ’toisia’ useammin toimijan (Agent) semanttisessa roolissa ja ’toiset’ saavat ’normin’ edustajia enemmän kokijan (Experiencer) ja kohteen (Affected) rooleja. Tutkimukseni tulos vastaa van Dijkin representaatiostrategiaa ‘ideological square’, jonka mukaan ’normi’ esitetään positiivisessa ja ’toiset’ negatiivisessa valossa. Tarkasteltavassa aineistossa ’normia’ (Us) edustavat valkoihoiset heteromiehet, ja ’toiseutta’ (Them) taas naiset ja värilliset.
  • Foudila, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    There has been a vivid public debate in Finland about the women and children who have been staying at al-Hol camp in Syria after the collapse of the ISIS caliphate. This thesis investigates the public debate in the media about these Finnish women and children. Using the method of qualitative content analysis, I examine 117 articles from Helsingin Sanomat from the period from May 1st to December 31st, 2019. My aim is to analyze the key issues that are raised in the debate; how the women and children are depicted; and the linkages between this debate and the changes taking place in the larger Finnish context. These changes involve on the one hand the society becoming more multi-religious, and on the other hand the rise of right-wing populism, anti-immigration, and Islamophobia. The theoretical basis of my analysis is the concept of othering in social sciences, namely the act of creating and using oppositional categories of ‘us’ versus ’them’, which are, for example, based on religion or race. The results show that the women are depicted as ’the dangerous Muslim other’ who could pose a security threat if they are brought back to Finland. These depictions are also shaped by the larger Finnish context, where there are contestations especially around religious diversity that is increasingly becoming a characteristic of society, about Finnishness as a modern identity, and about the challenges of Muslim communities today. My analysis also shows that while children’s rights and wellbeing remain an important goal of Finnish policies and legal obligations, the rights of the Finnish children in the camp have been contested in this debate. This is partly because of legal complexities regarding their repatriation to Finland, and partly because of a security-oriented perspective that sees some of the children as suspects and their relationship with their mothers as a problem. Overall, the analysis shows that the debate about these women and children at al-Hol is not just about whether the people should be repatriated, but about the current changes in Finnish society and the anxieties related to these changes.
  • Krug, Anna-Lena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The world in which we live and communicate is complicated and complex. This is also true for political communication, which has moved, in some part, to newer forms of media, such as social media platforms. Politicians have gained the opportunity to communicate directly with their followers online, without any mediators. This allows political actors to present the image of themselves and the version of reality they want to convey. Twitter is one example of such a platform, which provides an interactive channel of communication between political actors and their audience. This thesis aims to analyse how the 280 characters long tweets are used as forms of communication by employing and combining Erving Goffman’s concepts of framing and self-presentation. Frames are interpretative frameworks which are activated by our brains to make sense of situations and events and the understanding of self-presentation describes how actors portray themselves in social settings. (Political) actors can change the way the narrative is framed, depending on which frame of reference they are highlighting in their communication. For the case sample, 1785 tweets by the German party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have been collected over a period of four weeks at the beginning of 2020. Their categorisation as a right-wing party as well as their active presence on Twitter makes them an interesting subject of study. To structure the collected data, the tweets are divided into 12 categories of framing strategies, which are based on the differentiation between a Positive Self-Presentation and a Negative Other-Presentation. The analysis of the tweets and the employed framing strategies showed that the party emphasised the (perceived) differences between themselves and the other, which ranges from political elites, oppositional political parties and their supporters to civilian groups such as activists, migrants or critics of the party. Language is important for the portrayal of the framing strategies, either through the usage of personal pronouns – for example, “us” or “them” – or through the invention of mocking names classifying the other. The self, here the AfD, is always presented positively and the others are depicted in a negative light. It has been found that the combination of different framing strategies can lead to a stronger emphasis on the positive self and the negative other. The tweets generally portray one version of reality or one version of the narrative that fits best to the objective the party wants to portray. The data sample and the period of data collection are rather limited and would need to be expanded for further analysis. Nonetheless, the results give an indication of how framing strategies can be used daily in political communication, which can add to the knowledge of political researchers and communicators.
  • Simpson, Ashley; Dervin, Fred (2017)
    In recent years the words ‘Finnish education’ are accompanied by utterances of ‘an education miracle’, ‘the best education system’, ‘a success’ and a number of other adjectives and superlatives to ‘describe’ education in Finland. While Finland’s PISA ranking has declined media interest and discourses on ‘Finnish education’ have not relented. Seemingly, Finland’s educational system is as popular as it has ever been. Finland’s education system is viewed with ‘international admiration’ yet behind these discourses are a number of discursive contradictions. Using the discursive concept of ventriloquism (Tannen 2010; Cooren, 2014) we show how ‘Finnish education’ has become ventriloquised – when ‘Finnish education’ is uttered a number of automatically generated responses are uttered by speakers. In this sense, discourses on ‘the success of the Finnish education system’ act as prevailing meta-discourses. We argue that, behind these constructs, can too easily lie ventriloquised discourses reinforcing and (re)producing Finnish ethnocentrisms, intercultural ignorance and a lack of regard for the other. Through analysing the discourses of specific educators and academics on ‘Finnish education’ we show that behind the ‘hype’ and meta-discourses on the Finnish education system lie possible sentiments of (hidden) ethnocentrisms, (hidden) xenophobia, and (hidden) racism.
  • af Hällström, Matilda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    “The Nordic Model is dead” the Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho said in 1997. The Nordic identity which originated during the Cold War experienced an ontological crisis with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the bipolar world order. In the 1990’s discourses of Europeanisation emerged and the Nordic identity was by many deemed a Cold War construct. Since the middle of the 2000s Nordic cooperation gained a stronghold where it previously had not existed: within security cooperation. The overall re-emergence of Nordic cooperation took place in parallel with the growing Russian superpower ambitions. Since 2009 there have been more notable advances in Nordic security cooperation through the establishment of the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO) and the signing of the Nordic Declaration of Solidarity. These advances are remarkable because security has previously been a non-issue in the construction of the Nordic identity. The inclusion of security and defence cooperation in the Nordic identity can be labelled paradigmatic. The theoretical approach is one of poststructuralist discourse analysis, which advocates a reality completely constructed in discourse and rejects any pre-existent identities. The premise is that the self is constructed in discourse through the articulation of a number of others. This Thesis is concerned with how Russia is constructed in Nordic security discourses and how it contributes to a Nordic identity. The primary sources consist of four reports published in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark respectively. The foreign, security and defence policy reports are either written or commissioned by the respective governments. Similar reports from before the Russian annexation are used to support the primary data and allows for a deeper understanding about how discourses about Russia have shifted. The study shows that Russia has replaced economic benefits as the primary incentive for Nordic cooperation. The focus of Nordic cooperation has shifted its focus from the global to the regional and the Baltic Sea Region is increasingly important. The discourses clearly reject the Cold War identity of the “Third Way” between the two poles of the bipolar system. Rather the Nordic identity is integrated in the Western security and value community. It is also notable that despite this, the Nordic countries’ views on Russia, the world and the near vicinity differ. History, geopolitics and membership in NATO and/or EU play a big role in shaping the respective national understanding of security. The differing understandings of security represent the biggest obstacle for Nordic security and defence cooperation. The Thesis also discusses the role of hybrid warfare, NATO and norms and values in the othering of Russia in Nordic identity construction.
  • Sahamies, Liisa Jasmine (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis aims to investigate and compare how immigrants in Canada and Finland are visually ‘othered’ in media. Critical events in 2016 heightened the discussion of immigration, further emphasizing media’s importance of representing this population to the public. Visual representations of the ‘other’ can come in subtle forms yet perpetuate imagined communities of ‘we’ and ‘they’ in major ways. It is therefore becoming more imperative to conduct research on processes of ‘othering.’ This thesis uses visual framing analysis (VFA) on leading newspapers in Canada and Finland, a combined total of 271 images were collected for analysis from Canada’s Toronto Star and Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat. These images were examined for visual frames of the ‘other’ by measuring communication with the viewer, spatial proximity, depiction with others or as individuals, social interaction and vertical and horizontal points of views. The results revealed clear distinctions of framing immigrants as the ‘other’ in both newspapers. Canadian media ‘othered’ immigrants half the amount as Finnish media, which ‘othered’ immigrants in nearly all codes examined. The findings of this research suggests how a further understanding of complex identities and visual literacy is key to understanding diversity and culture and disintegrating a sense of the ‘other.’
  • Sumiala, Johanna; Räisä, Tiina (2020)
    This article investigates the ritual work in terrorist news events, using the Berlin truck attack as a case in point. The article connects with the larger cluster of anthropologically inspired communication research on media events as public rituals in news media and applies digital media ethnography as its method. Fieldwork is conducted in 15 online news sites. The article identifies three key phases through which the ritual work was carried out: the rupture in the news event (ritualised as the strike), the liminal phase (ritualised as the manhunt) and the reconstitution of order following the attack (ritualised as the mourning). The article concludes with an interpretation of the broader social implications of the ritual work and related naturalisation of ‘friends’ and ‘foes’ and suggests that this type of ritual work contributes to a collective mythologisation of terrorism in news media and society at large.
  • Warius, Johanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Since begging East European Roma became a common view in the streets of larger Nordic cities, vivid discussions about their presence and activities have been carried out in the mass media. This thesis examines the public debates in Finland and Norway through a discursive analysis and comparison of press content from the two countries. The aim of the study is firstly to identify the prominent discourses which construct certain images of the beggars, as well as the elements and internal logics that these discourses are constructed around. But in addition to scrutinizing representations of the Roma, also an opposite perspective is applied. In accordance with the theoretical concept of ‘othering’, debates about ‘them’ are assumed to simultaneously reveal something significant about ‘us’. The second research question is thus what kind of images of the ideal Finnish and Norwegian societies are reflected in the data, and which societal values are salient in these images. The analysis comprises 79 texts printed in the main Finnish and Norwegian quality newspapers; Helsingin Sanomat and Aftenposten. The data consists of news articles, editorials, columns and letters to the editor from a three-month period in the summer of 2010. The analysis was carried out within the theoretical and methodological framework of critical discourse analysis as outlined by Norman Fairclough. A customized nine-step coding scheme was developed in order to reach the most central dimensions of the texts. Seven main discourses were identified; the Deprivation-solidarity, Human rights, Order, Crime, Space and majority reactions, Authority control, and Authority critique discourse. These were grouped into two competing normative stances on what an ideal society looks like; the exclusionary and the inclusionary stance. While the exclusionary stance places the begging Roma within a frame of crime, illegitimate use of public space and threat to the social order, the other advocates an attitude of solidarity and humanitarian values. The analysis points to a dominance of the former, although it is challenged by the latter. The Roma are 'individualized' by quoting and/or presenting them by name in a fair part of the Finnish news articles. In Norway, the opposite is true; there the beggars are dominantly presented as anonymous and passive. Overall, the begging Roma are subjected to a double bind as they are faced with simultaneous expectations of activity and passivity. Theories relating to moral panics and ‘the good enemy’ provide for a deepened understanding of the intensity of the debates. Helsingin Sanomat, Aftenposten, Norman Fairclough