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  • Public defence: 2024-08-23 13:00 hörsal 9, hus D, Stockholm
    Savola, Kristiina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch, and German.
    Rajanvetoja ja vastakkainasetteluja: Diskursiiviset strategiat suomalaisten poliitikkojen blogiteksteissä vaalivuonna 20152024Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this monograph thesis, I examine political confrontations, their actors, conflict lines, discursive strategies, linguistic means, and related topics in Finnish politicians’ blog texts. Additionally, I analyse the occurrences of populist communication styles within these politicians’ blog discourses.

    The data consists of blog texts from nine ideologically diverse politicians from the Finnish parliamentary election year of 2015. The study is grounded in Critical Discourse Studies (Reisigl & Wodak 2016) and employs methods of rhetorical-performative discourse analysis (Palonen & Saresma 2017), along with political theories of politics and populism (Laclau 2005; Moffitt 2016; Mouffe 2005, 2013; Palonen 2020).

    The first part of the analysis explores the core topics in the data: economic politics and immigration politics, along with their related discourses. Discourses on economic politics in the blogs of government politicians include defending the welfare state, and advocating for citizens’ equalisation, viewing citizens as a socio-economically homogeneous group. Additionally, they address confrontation as a political obstacle and the necessity of economic measures. Opposition politicians' blogs, on the other hand, feature a discourse defending citizens against the government’s planned and implemented economic cuts.

    Discourses on immigration politics in government politicians’ blogs frame asylum seekers as a threat and migration as a cause of societal polarisation in Finland, while also opening up a human right discourse that views asylum seekers from a humanitarian perspective. In opposition politicians’ blogs, the predominant discourse defends asylum seekers.

    These topics are linked to ongoing global crises, such as the so-called refugee crisis and the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. Government politicians focus on their impacts on Finland and Europe, while opposition politicians emphasise Finland’s role as a responsible actor and mediator in international politics.

    The second part of the analysis examines conflict lines, discursive strategies, and linguistic means involved in confrontations. Strategic dimensions of the confrontations include a populist division between ‘the people’ and ‘the elites’, as well as between ‘the people’ and media and researchers. Strategies also involve affective defence of socially vulnerable groups, ideological opposition, equalisation of citizens, consensus-seeking, holding citizens accountable, and community building.

    Confrontations occur at the level of discursive strategies, lexical, metaphorical, rhetorical, and structural choices in the blog texts, and in the intertextual relations between the texts. Linguistically, these confrontations are produced through negative labelling of opponents, actor-distancing generic constructions (passive verbs, and the Finnish zero person), metaphors like water, war, sport, and the nation as a body, as well as empty and floating signifiers, euphemisms, antitheses, and irony.

    In summary, confrontation is a political positioning strategy used to legitimise politicians’ positions and agendas, create and maintain in-groups and out-groups, and defend them from hypothetically threatening actors and forces, who in turn are delegitimised. Additionally, confrontations are utilised to shape perceptions of political reality, criticise, and highlight other actors’ responsibilities.

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    Rajanvetoja ja vastakkainasetteluja
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  • Public defence: 2024-08-26 13:00 hörsal 7, hus D, våning 3, Stockholm
    af Edholm, Kristoffer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
    Ascetic poetry in ancient India: The ideal renouncer and the path to liberation, according to independent verses in early Brahmanic, Buddhist, and Jaina literature2024Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The dissertation identifies the ideal renouncer and the path to liberation on the basis of nearly 3500 “independent verses”, i.e. one-strophe stanzas (gāthās, ślokas), in early Brahmanic, Buddhist, and Jaina literature, including Mahābhārata, Suttanipāta, Dhammapada, Saṃyuttanikāya, Uttarajjhayaṇa, Sūyagaḍa, Isibhāsiyāiṃ, and other texts. It is argued that this genre of poetry is important for our knowledge about the ascetic milieu in Northern India around the 5th century BCE.

    Verses from the three traditions are compared with one another, the verse-material is compared with selected texts belonging to other genres, and the literature is placed in its historical context. Attention is given to vocabulary, formulas, similes, and recurrent themes. Hypotheses about the early history of the renouncer-traditions are tested against the verse-material.

    Part 1 discusses aim, theory, method, terminology, previous studies, earliness and authenticity of the verses, origins and characteristics of the genre, and relevant texts. Part 2 treats the debated origins of emancipatory askesis, brāhmaṇa and śramaṇa, authority and founder-figures, and female ascetics. Part 3 proceeds along an ideal path to liberation: from reasons for giving up mundane pursuits, to going forth into homelessness, practise of austerity, itinerancy, solitude, seclusion, mendicancy, purification, non-harm, restraint, heroic overcoming of obstacles, and meditation, to attainment of gnosis and awakening, and finally liberation from saṃsāra. Part 4 is the conclusion. The Appendices contain the entire verse-material, as well as defining sentences in final pādas, shared whole verses, and key-terms.

    It is concluded that in the three verse-corpora one can identify a shared outlook, which is world-rejecting, autocentric, and telos-oriented, and a shared renouncer-ideal, which is male, heroic, and austere. The same outlook and ideal are found in narrative accounts about Śākyamuni, Mahāvīra, and others who attain the highest goal. Differences between the three traditions concern mainly the use of certain terms, formulas, and similes, less so doctrine, but the differences are not reducible to a divide between Brahmanic and Buddhist/Jaina.

    Generally speaking, each tradition has composed its own verses that promote a renouncer-ideal and a path to liberation, rather than having borrowed verses from another tradition or from a common source. The many similarities between the three traditions are primarily due to their common origin in the ascetic milieu, in which the one-strophe gāthā was an established literary medium for making authoritative statements.

    It is argued that the shared outlook and ideal were established before the introduction of two-step ordination, nuns’ order, fourfold community, devotion to an exalted founder-figure, and the building of monasteries. The verse-content points to a rural environment and a stratified society rooted in late Vedic culture. The renunciant movement of the 5th century BCE can be seen as the culmination of a centuries-old ascetic tradition in ancient India.

     

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    Ascetic poetry in ancient India: The ideal renouncer and the path to liberation, according to independent verses in early Brahmanic, Buddhist, and Jaina literature
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  • Public defence: 2024-08-30 13:00 Pärlan, hus 1, plan 6, Albano, Stockholm
    Schmidt-May, Alice Frederike
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
    State-Resolved Mutual Neutralization Experiments on Atomic Hydrogen Anions: H- with Li+, O+, N+, and C+2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis presents experimental studies of mutual-neutralization reactions between H- and the cations 7Li+, 16O+, 12C+ and 14N+ at the double electrostatic ion-beam storage ring DESIREE. By overlapping two keV ion beams, with corresponding speeds of ca. 1000 km/s, and matching their velocities with applied electric fields, the center-of-mass collision energies are reduced to a few tens of meV. Time- and position-sensitive detectors allow the measurement of the  separation of the two formed neutral products, which depends on the kinetic-energy release in the charge-transfer reaction. The branching fractions into the different quantum states are extracted by binning or modelling of the measured product-separation distributions.

    Due to the difficulty of merged-beams experiments with high mass ratio between the ions, 1H- is often replaced with 2H-. We were able to merge beams with a mass ratio of up to 16 between the ions, which allowed us to use 1H- in all studies presented here. For H-+7Li+ and H-+16O+, we included both hydrogen isotopes, and found a significant isotope effect. The lighter hydrogen isotope leads to an increased population in lower excited states in both cases.

    Our data constitute important benchmarks for theoretical calculations that are needed in the modelling of stellar photospheres.We compare our experimental findings to different theoretical models and discuss their strengths and shortcomings.

    In order to achieve these scientific results, the thesis work involved the development of data preparation and analysis for a frame- and an event-based detector, as well as the development of experimental methods.

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    State-Resolved Mutual Neutralization Experiments on Atomic Hydrogen Anions: H- with Li+, O+, N+, and C+
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