Poliittinen kansalaisuus intersektionaalisena identiteettinä vaaliesitteissä

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (monograph) | Defence date: 2013-11-22
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Business Communication
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236 s.
Aalto University publication series. DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 175/2013
In recent years the Finnish political field has been in a state of flux. This research is interested in examining how these changes impact the formation of political citizenship. Political citizenship is understood as an intersectionally constructed identity and studied in the context of election advertising. According to intersectionality theory, identity is constructed situationally in the intersection of different cultural, discursive categories. The general purpose of the study is to take part in the discussion concerning the discursive conditions of possibility with which political citizenship is defined. Thus it is possible to picture the boundaries that shape the negotiation on what kind of values and attitudes our society is based, or on which we would like it to be based. This research belongs to the field of media and cultural studies and takes part in the discussion on political citizenship. The empirical materials show how the public and private are mixed, and how they jointly determine the norms of a proper citizen. The research question is: Through what kind of categorizations of gender, family status, ethnic group, and age is political citizenship defined? Political citizenship is also approached from the view of gender research. The empirical materials consist of election advertising brochures from two elections: the European parliamentary elections in 2009 and the Finnish national parliamentary elections in 2011. The materials are organized and interpreted by using member categorization analysis and qualitative matrices. The research contributes theoretically and methodologically to the discussion of the need to redefine political citizenship by showing how the changing and multifaceted concept of political citizenship can be better understood by intersectional analysis in the context of election advertising. At the same time, the research presents solutions to some analytical problems in intersectionality research. On the societal level, this work contributes to discussion on gendered politics and the state of the gender contract in society: how the possibilities to access public spaces are still different for women and men, and what kind of potential there is to expand these spaces. This study shows that the themes that emerge in societal debates are linked to the formation of citizens' identities through membership in different cultural categories. The themes that arise from the private field, such as family status or ethnic group, justify the distinctions that are used to determine categories that define citizenship. Thus, belonging to or not conforming to particular categories determines which kinds of identities are possible. Furthermore, as new identities are sought, they are constrained by boundaries of the gender contract and acceptable forms of portraying national identity
Supervising professor
Moisander, Johanna, professor
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