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Nurturing Romanian Socialists

Reading Primers Before, During and After the Second World War

Simona Szakács-Behling and Mihai Stelian Rusu

Drawing on a sample of children’s reading primers published between 1938 and 1953 in Romania, this article explores ways in which both the monarchic and the communist regimes used primary education to fashion political subjects before, during, and after the Second World War. Theoretically grounded in a sociological approach and empirically grounded in textual and visual thematic content analysis, the findings reveal significant semantic shifts in understandings of the “nation” in relation to internal and external anchors, including religion, monarchy, and work, but they also indicate important continuities relating to an ethos of political submission (toward God and king, or the party and the Soviet Union) and patriotic solidarity (with the Romanian Orthodox nation or the workers’ proletarian nation).

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Erin K. Anderson and Autumn Behringer

The Girl Scout organization has played an important role in the lives of many girls in the United States and around the world. Despite its prominence and popularity, relatively little is known about how this organization has circulated notions of gender and how it has defined the girlhood experience for its members. Taking a longitudinal approach, we performed a content analysis of Girl Scout badges and badge requirements from 1913 to 1999. Our findings indicate that over the past century the Girl Scout organization has reduced its insistence on traditional femininity, maintained its support of members participating in traditionally masculine domains, and increased its backing of a more androgynous socialization of female youth. These changes reflect the rise of a more fluid and dynamic understanding of girlhood within the Girl Scout organization.

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The Girl

Dead

Fiona Nelson

ABSTRACT

The dead girl genre of Young Adult (YA) literature is characterized by dying or recently deceased female narrators and/or central characters who embark on exciting new adventures once dying or dead, often find that they are now listened to and taken seriously, and generally find true love and satisfying sexual experiences. My concern is with these books as artifacts of a culture that allows little to no sexual agency or subjectivity for (living) teenaged girls and young women. In addition, we increasingly hear of cases of young women being harassed and bullied for their sexual activity, sometimes to the point of suicide. Based on a content analysis of these books, I consider the questions of how it is that dead has come to be promoted as a viable sexual subject position for young women, and how these books might actually nurture a culture of bullying and suicide.

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Between the Old and the New World in Poland

Marian Falski’s <em>Elementarz</em>

Joanna Wojdon

Marian Falski’s “Reading Primer” (Elementarz) was the first textbook to be published in Warsaw in 1945 by the newly established State School Publishing House (Państwowe Zakłady Wydawnictw Szkolnych). It was officially approved by the Ministry of Education and by the Censorship Office, but nevertheless had an interim character, unlike other editions published before, during and after the war, both in Poland and abroad. The core of the book was reprinted from the prewar edition. However, in his depictions of war trauma and postwar circumstances the author was apparently trying to comply with the propaganda model developed during the Stalinist period. These findings are empirically grounded in a content analysis of the primers following archival research conducted in the files of the Ministry of Education and the Censorship Office, both of which are housed in the Modern Records Archive (Archiwum Akt Nowych) in Warsaw.

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Just War

The Metaphysics of Police Vigilantism in India

Beatrice Jauregui

This article describes and explains “police vigilantism” as a mode of authoritative extralegal coercion performed by public police officials conceived as doing their duty to realize justice in the world. Based on ethnographic observations, interviews, and content analysis of news and entertainment media as well as official government reports, this essay examines a specific form of police vigilantism in contemporary India known as “encounter killings”. Demonstrating that encounter killings are widely constituted as a form of ritual purification and social defense by self-sacrificing police, it theorizes a metaphysics of police vigilantism in India that combines generalized experiences of insecurity with shared cosmologies of just war. Comparing this metaphysics with justifications of state violence in other Global South contexts, this study sheds light on how such violence may be legitimated through the conceptual inextricability of law and war as embodied in a uniquely constituted human figure: the police vigilante.

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Alison Fyfe

Early twenty-first century North American journalists often claim that social changes such as women's liberation and civil rights have had a dark side for girls. For supposedly abandoning the safety of their traditional role in the home, girls are disproportionately characterized as being at risk of victimization, while also being increasingly cast as risks to themselves and others. Using mixed-methods content analysis, this article demonstrates that the social construct of risky girls crystallized for Toronto news after the 1997 murder of Reena Virk in British Columbia through a raced, classed, and gendered moral panic over bad girls. Discourses changed from talk of youth violence before the murder to talk of risky girls after it. By conflating victimization with offending, risky girl discourses prioritize risk management over needs. This conflation results in the increased policing and incarceration of girls and youth of color, ultimately reinforcing social inequalities like racism and patriarchy.

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Tension between Fast and Slow Mobilities

Examining the Infrastructuring Processes in Brussels (1950–2019) through the Lens of Social Imaginaries

Claire Pelgrims

This article analyzes the dialectic of fast and slow mobilities as a continuous tension, since the mid-twentieth century, characterized by three evolutions of the functional, phenomenological, and social dimensions of mobility infrastructure and practices in Brussels, Belgium. It is based on the content analysis of diverse “embodiments” of social imaginaries: mobility infrastructures, narratives and sensory-motor behaviors, and images, movies, and photographs. It casts light on the great triple evolution of (1) the scale of the designed city; (2) the limits between spaces devoted to speed, slowness, and overlaps; and (3) the promoted aesthetics in terms of atmospheres and urban experience. These developments strongly relate to the changing meaning of slow and fast mobilities and to a broader change in the societal relationship to space and time.

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Simulating Events as They Happen

Spectacle, Ideology, and Readymade Boogeymen—The 2011 August Riots and the Media

Christian Garland

The 2011 August riots that combusted with the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London, (Laville, 2011; Vasagar, 2011) spread literally like wildfire to cities and towns across England in the space of a matter of hours. At the time, much was written about the supposedly ‘nihilistic’ and ‘opportunistic’ nature of the events, and how, unlike previous urban rebellions, they could not be considered to have any ‘political’ dimension, although there were some notable exceptions to such blanket dismissals, which were offered en bloc from even ‘radical’ quarters, not say media and academic ones. The article seeks to offer an analysis and critique of the media narrative of the events in English cities that August, with the aim of contributing to their demystification and better understanding, more than three years on. The article is written from a Marxist perspective, heavily drawing on Critical Theory and using content analysis and an ideological critique of the media to develop its argument. In the three years since the riots of 2011, the production of literature on those events has been fairly continuous, but largely oblivious to their significance, or just why they received such blanket and unequivocal condemnation. This article, in keeping with its origins as one of ‘the notable exceptions’ at the time makes an interrogative critique of the media’s part in ‘simulating events as they happen’.

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Volunteering as Protest

Against State Failure or the State Itself?

Jan Křeček

Although the Czech Republic (CR) is not a favorite destination nor even a transit country for migrants through Europe, the refugee crisis has materialized into a strict state policy of rejection. The CR rejects proposals for European solutions and detains and imprisons immigrants, most of whom are inadvertently arrived there. This preliminary refusal strategy is peculiar to both the political and media spheres (and public opinion) and is described in the opening sections of this work. However, the CR, is also a country in which the tally of immigrants is less than the number of Czechs citizens traveling beyond their national borders to help refugees congregating along the “Balkan Route”, where they frequently outnumber volunteers from other countries. This paper goes on to describe the development of these grassroots Czech volunteer organizations and activities in 2015. From the beginning it was characterized by spontaneity and a lack of hierarchy, with the Internet and social media playing a vital role during mobilization and organization. The methodological section defines how this sample was analyzed and the manner in which it was dealt. Section five summarizes the most important findings of the case study: (1) the results of a questionnaire survey among volunteers, (2) the results of a qualitative content analysis of their communication in social networks. Besides basic mapping steps (features of volunteer’s participation), the analysis attempts to capture motivations for volunteer’s participation. Comparison with selected motivation typologies emphasizes the protective (later the normative) motivation, on which the hypotheses are based regarding the dispute about the national identity of volunteering as an ideological, and therefore foreseeable, dispute.

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Local cross-border cooperation at the European Union's external border

The meaning of local in the European Neighbourhood Policy

Andrey Demidov and Sara Svensson

English abstract: The article examines a key priority in European Union policy toward the east and south: the effort to turn the external border areas into secure, stable, and prospering regions via support for cross-border cooperation. This features highly in a range of policies brought together under the European Neighbourhood Policy and in the partnership with Russia. The main question asked by the article is if these policies live up to the goal of involving local actors. Based on a content analysis of program documents and a categorization of project partners by actor type, the article argues that the notion of "local" can be subject to various understandings, but if we understand local versus regional along the lines of the European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) classification, the policy in practice is undoubtedly tilted toward regional rather than local cross-border cooperation. In addition, the article argues that the four objectives of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument-Cross Border Cooperation (ENPI-CBC) do not match what could realistically be achieved with the resources available.

Spanish abstract: El artículo examina una prioridad clave en la política de la Unión Europea hacia el este y el sur: el esfuerzo de convertir las zonas fronterizas exteriores en regiones seguras, estables y prósperas a través del apoyo a la cooperación transfronteriza. Este tema es fundamental en una serie de políticas públicas reunidas en la Política Europea de Vecindad y en la asociación con Rusia. La principal cuestión planteada en el texto es si estas políticas alcanzan el objetivo de involucrar a los actores locales. Con base en un análisis de contenido de los documentos del programa y en una categorización de los socios del proyecto por tipo de actor, el artículo sostiene que la noción de "local" puede ser objeto de diversas interpretaciones, pero si entendemos lo local frente a lo regional en la clasificación NUTS (Nomenclatura de las Unidades Territoriales Estadísticas) Europea, en la práctica la política está indudablemente inclinada hacia la cooperación transfronteriza regional más que a la local. Además, el artículo sostiene que los cuatro objetivos del IEVA-CT (Instrumento Europeo de Vecindad y Asociación - Cooperación transfronteriza) no coinciden con lo que realísticamente se puede lograr con los recursos disponibles.

French abstract: Cet article examine une priorité clé dans la politique de l'Union européenne vis-à-vis de l'Est et du Sud: l'effort de transformer les zones frontalières extérieures en régions sûres, stables et prospères via un soutien à la coopération transfrontalière. Cet objectif figure au centre des priorités de la Politique européenne de voisinage et de partenariat avec la Russie. La principale question posée dans ce texte est celle de savoir si ces politiques sont en mesure de faire participer les acteurs locaux. Fondé sur l'analyse des documents et du contenu des programmes, ainsi que sur la catégorisation des projets de partenariat et du type d'acteurs, l'article affirme que la notion de «local» peut être sujette à diverses interprétations, mais que si nous analysons le terme à l'échelle régionale suivant les critères dé finis par la nomenclature européenne NUTS (Nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques), nous verrons que dans la pratique, la politique européenne semble plus axée vers la coopération transfrontalière régionale que locale. En outre, l'article affirme que les quatre objectifs du IEVP-CTF (Instrument Européen de Voisinage et de Partenariat- Coopération transfrontalière) ne cadrent pas réellement avec les ressources disponibles.