Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Emotional expressions in crime policy discourse: An exploration of the 2018 Moderate and Social Democratic election campaigns in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4236-9773
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the criminological tradition, the emotional tone of crime policy discourse has predominantly been understood by being contrasted with an assumed rational response to crime. However, there are also limits and norms that circumscribe this ‘emotional discourse’ and different emotions direct our perceptions in distinct ways. Drawing on sociological research on emotions, the present article illustrates how the emotions of worry, (dis)trust and anger are organised in the electoral campaigns of the Moderate Party and the Social Democratic Party in the 2018 Swedish general election. The article thereby aims to illustrate how the Swedish public is encouraged to engage emotionally in crime policy discourse. Lastly, the article addresses the question of the potential political effects associated with the parties’ use of emotions, pointing to the need to distinguish between different emotions as well as explore the relationship between them.

Keywords [en]
Sweden, crime policy, elections, emotions, worry, trust, distrust, anger
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175305DiVA, id: diva2:1362129
Available from: 2019-10-18 Created: 2019-10-18 Last updated: 2019-10-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Symbols and emotions in Swedish crime policy discourse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Symbols and emotions in Swedish crime policy discourse
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general public has assumed an increasingly prominent position in crime policy discourse, both in Sweden and internationally. Nowadays crime policy initiatives often acknowledge and respond to the presumed concerns of the general public, for instance through the promise of safety. This thesis analyses how political parties encourage the public to engage emotionally in crime policy matters. Since public involvement is crucial in elections, the election campaigns of political parties have served as the empirical basis of my studies. The three articles included in the thesis together examine the election campaigns in Sweden from 2006 to 2018.

In this body of work, it is assumed that the emotional address of the political parties can be analysed by paying specific attention to the political use of symbols and the discursive organisation of emotions. The thesis illustrates how the welfare context influences the ways in which crime policy is communicated and legitimised in Sweden. Values and ideals associated with the welfare state and with the related notion of a ‘Nordic exceptionalism’ – such as equality, benevolence, social cohesion, trust and safety – permeate the Swedish crime policy discourse. By interpreting these values and ideals as a system of symbols, I stress the need to explore them in relation to the general public and with regards to the emotional appeal these symbols might have.

In my work, I emphasise variation and contradiction regarding emotional tones and I explore the norms circumscribing emotional expressions in crime policy discourse. I have treated emotions as being present in all political communication. This suggests that emotions are not only being encouraged in the ‘hot’ emotional climate, but also in the more emotionally restrained discourse and when politicians allude to the utility of political measures. The results point towards the need to distinguish between emotions and to the exploration of the relationship between them since different emotions are associated with their distinct consequences and they influence how we are encouraged to perceive and feel for different crime policy measures.

The thesis concludes that the political use of symbols and emotions should be understood as having a reassuring function. It is further suggested that symbols and emotions can be used politically both in order to limit and to promote change with regards to Swedish crime policy discourse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 84
Series
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 41
Keywords
Crime policy, Sweden, symbols, emotions, Nordic exceptionalism, welfare state, elections, political parties
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175319 (URN)978-91-7797-871-8 (ISBN)978-91-7797-872-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-12-06, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-11-13 Created: 2019-10-18 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hermansson, Klara
By organisation
Department of Criminology
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 75 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf