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Medborgarskap och globalisering: den diskursiva konstruktionen av politisk identitet
Örebro universitet, Humanistiska institutionen.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study takes as its point of departure the theorizing on citizenship and globalization. Today it is common to discuss a “flexible” citizenship beyond the paradigm of the nationstate, which, besides its legal aspects of rights and obligations, also includes identification with and participation in various communities, primarily political ones. “Politics”, in this context, is considered to be constituted on the micro-level, discursively between individuals (e.g. Laclau and Mouffe 1985).

The aim of the study is to, through the study of collective meaning making, contribute to the theory building about citizenship and globalization. The study consists of three cases, each of which attracted much media attention, with varying degrees of proximity and distance. The construction of political community, on various levels on the globalization scale (subnational, national, transnational) within the collective meaning making, is studied.

The aim of the study also includes the analysis of the discursive resources that are used for the making of meaning. “External” discourses such as media messages and interpersonal communication are analyzed as well as “internal” ones: e.g. values, norms, identifications and experiences. In addition, the study aims at localizing the construction of meaning and community within the structural context , and relating it to current structures of power. The thesis is concluded with a suggestion of how to relate the discursive construction of political identity to deliberative democracy theory.

The empirical material is collected by means of focus-groups interviews, including 2–5 people, with a total of 133 respondents. The transcribed material is analyzed by means of critical discourse analysis, CDA.

The study identifies two different types of identity constructions: processes of nationalization, where the experienced Swedish identity and community function normatively in the making of meaning, and processes of subnationalization, among those groups that somehow felt excluded from and mistreated by the national (Swedish) environment. The thesis concludes that the collective making of meaning within an assumed national community contains ideological elements and works to a large extent in the service of power. However, the subnationally compressed communities create meaning in an oppositional manner, compared with the nationalized community and in relation to structures of power.  Active citizenship is thus best located in conflict, among groups that experience exclusion and oppression in different situations (Mouffe 1995b). If this is right, the focus must shift from consensus to communication, efforts to open up discursive bridges between the hegemonic community and dissident voices should be made (c.f. Aronowitz 1995). An important space for transgressing communication is of course the media. However, the study shows that the media must deal with some problems before they are ready to serve as discursive bridges, for instance the tendency to make the factual antagonisms subordinate to homogenizing emotional reporting. In addition, there seems to exist a need for the political institutions to move beyond the paradigm of the nation-state, and find other frameworks for the democratic processes, not least at the subnational level. Thus, instead of discussing either a global or a national citizenship one could, with Habermas (2001), reflect on a postnational citizenship relating to the reflexive transformation of national civic sovereignty into subnational and supranational citizenship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsförlag , 2005. , 284 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Media and Communication, ISSN 1651-4785 ; 3
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-22273ISBN: 91-7668-431-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-22273DiVA: diva2:652698
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-01 Created: 2013-10-01 Last updated: 2013-10-01Bibliographically approved

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