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Browsing by Author "From, Tuuli"

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  • From, Tuuli (2013)
    Aim. The idea of a Finnish-Swedish bilingual school has been a popular topic in the Finnish media since September 2011. The aim of this study was to analyse the construction of cultural identities in the discourses emerging in the debate and thus to increase comprehension of the cultural context of the debate. Identity was examined as a cultural and discursive construction in a post-structural framework. Cultural identity was defined in relation to memberships in ethnic, linguistic and national cultures. The construction of identities was examined in relation to difference and representations of otherness and, moreover, as connected to the descriptions of a postmodern society. Methods. The data consisted of 127 texts in four different newspapers and was analysed within a critical discourse analytical framework influenced by Foucault and combined with elements of Laclau's ideology and discourse analysis and Derrida's deconstructive reading. Conclusions. The link between language and identity was mainly comprehended as straightforward. Belonging to the Swedish minority was linked to an essential, collective identity that can be considered as an essentialist strategy for increasing the cohesion within the minority. Cultural identities were constructed in a discourse based on an established dichotomy, by producing difference and otherness. The dichotomy was however challenged in a discourse that stood up for bilingualism by talking back .