'Effortful', 'needy' and 'freeloader' Constructions of unemployed people's deservingness in Finnish parliamentary discussions

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Tarkiainen , L 2020 , ' 'Effortful', 'needy' and 'freeloader' Constructions of unemployed people's deservingness in Finnish parliamentary discussions ' , Journal of Language and Politics , vol. 19 , no. 2 , pp. 290-310 . https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.19056.tar

Title: 'Effortful', 'needy' and 'freeloader' Constructions of unemployed people's deservingness in Finnish parliamentary discussions
Author: Tarkiainen, Laura
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Social Work
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: Journal of Language and Politics
ISSN: 1569-2159
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/314729
Abstract: This article provides a rhetorical discourse analysis of constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness. Data consist of transcripts from Finnish parliament members debating the ‘Activation Model for Unemployment Security’, from December 2017. In the analysis, three discursive constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness were identified: an ‘effortful citizen lacking control’, a ‘needy citizen deserving the welfare state’s reciprocal acts’ and an ‘undeserving freeloader in need of an attitude adjustment’. Analysis focuses on how deservingness and undeservingness are rhetorically accomplished and treated as factual in parliament members’ accounts. The analysis pays particular attention to the question of how speakers build factuality through the management of categories, extreme case formulations, ‘truth talk’ and maximisation and minimisation strategies. The results reflect the negotiated nature of deservingness as well as varying constructions of unemployed people’s responsibility in the contemporary Nordic welfare state context.
Subject: unemployment
deservingness
parliamentary debates
rhetorical discourse analysis
PERCEIVED DESERVINGNESS
WELFARE
DISCOURSE
POLICY
POVERTY
STRATEGIES
POLITICS
REFORMS
SUPPORT
LOGIC
5145 Social work
5142 Social policy
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