Humanism in Swedish political debate A discourse analysis of the Swedish elections 2014

DSpace Repository

Humanism in Swedish political debate A discourse analysis of the Swedish elections 2014

Show full item record

Files for download

ComDev Degree ...

Simple item record

Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Humanism in Swedish political debate A discourse analysis of the Swedish elections 2014
Author(s) Karnebäck, Magdalena
Date 2015
English abstract
In the run-up to the Swedish national election 2014, humanism became a central concept in the debate. Foreign policy is normally not very prominent in Swedish election debates, but ongoing developments in the surrounding world and intensified domestic polemics regarding immigration, generated focus on aid and refugee reception. In this debate, political parties as well as other key representatives repeatedly used words such as human, humane, humanity and humanitarian in order to describe a situation or to motivate a certain position. This thesis seeks to answer questions about how these concepts are used in the debate, what they mean and how the discourse forms policy and politics. The investigation is guided by a critical constructivist theory, and the analysis consists of four parts: Quantitative mapping of how the words are utilized; Semiotic analysis of the meaning of certain elements in the discourse; Analysis of representation; Discussion about how discourse forms reality. The results indicate that humanism is unanimously accepted as holding a positive meaning, or at least something that parties want to be associated with, which ought to differ it from other isms. There is a strong connection between discourse, political action, and reality. The study identifies a number of contexts where humanism occurs, namely: 1) Description of the Swedish society; 2) Support for Human Rights; 3) Sweden's responsibility to provide support; 4) Labelling certain politics, policies or reforms; 5) Description of situation in another country; 6) Description of another party; 7) Without direct reference to politics. In all categories of utilization of humanism, there were layers of meaning in the word choice or way a certain language was used. Differences in total frequency of humanism including all related key words can neither be explained by size of the party nor by the left-right political scale. There are however a number of factors that appear significant to understand variations in frequency, word choice and underlying norms and messages, including: normative context, political position (opposition/government), political color, media format, development norms, preconceived stereotypes, power-relations.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 68
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanism
Election debate
Political parties
Handle (link to this page)

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record



My Account