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Irene Sywenky

This article examines post 1989 Polish literary production that addresses German-Polish history and border relations in the aftermath of World War II and participates in the German-Polish dialogue of reconciliation. I consider the methodological implications of border space and spatial memory for the analysis of mass displacements in the German-Polish border region with particular attention to spatiocultural interstitiality, deterritorialization, unhomeliness, and border identity. Focusing on two representative novels, Stefan Chwin's Death in Danzig and Olga Tokarczuk's House of Day, House of Night, I argue that these authors' attention to geospatiality, border space, and displacement forms a distinct characteristic of Polish border narratives. Chwin's and Tokarczuk's construction of interstitial border spaces reflects a complex dynamic between place, historical memory, and self-identification while disrupting and challenging the unitary mythologies of the nation. With their fictional re-imagining of wartime and postwar German-Polish border region, these writers participate in the politics of collective memory of the border region and the construction and articulation of the Polish perspective that shapes the discourse of memory east of the border.

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Charlotte Galpin

The European Union has been in its biggest ever crisis since the onset of the Greek sovereign debt crisis in 2010. Beyond the political and economic dimensions, the crisis has also sparked discussions about Germany's European identity. Some scholars have argued that Germany's behavior in the crisis signals a continuation of the process of “normalization” of its European identity toward a stronger articulation of national identity and interests, that it has “fallen out of love” with Europe. This article will seek to reassess these claims, drawing on detailed analysis of political and media discourse in Germany—from political speeches through to both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. It will argue that the crisis is understood broadly as a European crisis in Germany, where the original values of European integration are at stake. Furthermore, the crisis is debated through the lens of European solidarity, albeit with a particular German flavor of solidarity that draws on the economic tradition of ordoliberalism. Rather than strengthening expressions of national identity, this has resulted in the emergence of a new northern European identity in contrast to Greece or “southern Europe.”

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Understanding Germany’s Short-lived “Culture of Welcome”

Images of Refugees in Three Leading German Quality Newspapers

Maximilian Conrad and Hugrún Aðalsteinsdóttir

The German government’s response to the refugee crisis in the late summer and autumn of 2015 has puzzled observers. Despite initially positive reactions to Angela Merkel’s policy, her position has weakened domestically, contributing to the sudden rise of the Alternative for Germany, but also alienated a number of Germany’s European partners. While the German government’s approach may be difficult to explain from a purely rationalist perspective, this article highlights the role of ideational factors, in particular Germany’s self-understanding as an international actor and a sense of moral obligation drawn from the continued relevance of Germany’s twentieth-century history. We demonstrate that the long shadow of the crimes committed under National Socialism played a key role in shaping German public discourse on the refugee crisis—underlined by a frame analysis of the images of refugees in three leading German daily newspapers between August 2015 and March 2016. Although the inflow of refugees was also framed as a challenge and a potential security risk, the material emphasizes Germany’s moral obligation to provide shelter to those fleeing from war and persecution.

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Emma Short

The rapid expansion of international travel networks toward the end of the nineteenth century resulted in a dramatic shift in women’s access to travel. As Sidonie Smith highlights in Moving Lives, her comprehensive study of women and the technologies of travel in modernity, “large numbers of women began to leave home for the lure of the road as a result of the emergence of faster, safer, cleaner, and more comfortable machines of motion” (2001: xi). This shift in the availability of travel to a much broader spectrum of the general public—and crucially to women—coincided with the impact of first wave feminism as the women’s suffrage movement gathered momentum, 1 and the figure of the New Woman appeared across literature and culture. 2 The subsequent surge in women’s written representations of travel was highlighted by Sara Mills in her seminal Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writing and Colonialism, in which she observed “the sheer volume of writing” by women on travel during this period (1991: 1), and asserted the importance of further research on these accounts. Following Mills’s call, feminist scholarship has since worked to understand the complexities of women’s travel writing. Like Mills, many of these critics—including Nupur Chaudhuri and Margaret Strobel (1992), and Mary Louise Pratt (1992)—explore the ways in which such travel accounts were involved in colonialism and implicated in the discourses of imperialism. Others, such as Smith (2001), Avril Maddrell (2009), and Alexandra Peat (2010), have focused particularly on women’s written representations of travel published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Central to much of this scholarship are questions concerning the difference between travel writing by men and that produced by women—whether or not such difference exists and, if it does, how this difference manifests in women’s written representations of travel. Susan Bassnett notes that these “basic questions … continue to occupy feminist scholars” (2002: 227), and indeed, they underpin many of the articles included in this special issue. However, the articles collected here in this special issue also move beyond these questions significantly in their consideration of the ways in which women’s written representations of travel can reshape our understandings of the gendered experience of the spaces of modernity, and thus make a vital contribution to both the cultural and literary history of the period.

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Place of Birth and Concepts of Wellbeing

An Analysis from Two Ethnographic Studies of Midwifery Units in England

Christine McCourt, Juliet Rayment, Susanna Rance and Jane Sandall

This article is based on analysis of a series of ethnographic case studies of midwifery units in England. Midwifery units1 are spaces that were developed to provide more home-like and less medically oriented care for birth that would support physiological processes of labour, women’s comfort and a positive experience of birth for women and their families. They are run by midwives, either on a hospital site alongside an obstetric unit (Alongside Midwifery Unit – AMU) or a freestanding unit away from an obstetric unit (Freestanding Midwifery Unit – FMU). Midwifery units have been designed and intended specifically as locations of wellbeing and although the meaning of the term is used very loosely in public discourse, this claim is supported by a large epidemiological study, which found that they provide safe care for babies while reducing use of medical interventions and with better health outcomes for the women. Our research indicated that midwifery units function as a protected space, one which uses domestic features as metaphors of home in order to promote a sense of wellbeing and to re-normalise concepts of birth, which had become inhabited by medical models and a preoccupation with risk. However, we argue that this protected space has a function for midwives as well as for birthing women. Midwifery units are intended to support midwives’ wellbeing following decades of professional struggles to maintain autonomy, midwife-led care and a professional identity founded on supporting normal, healthy birth. This development, which is focused on place of birth rather than other aspects of maternity care such as continuity, shows potential for restoring wellbeing on individual, professional and community levels, through improving rates of normal physiological birth and improving experiences of providing and receiving care. Nevertheless, this very focus also poses challenges for health service providers attempting to provide a ‘social model of care’ within an institutional context.

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Edith Kauffer

[Full article is in Spanish]

English: Presently, international development organizations have adopted gender perspectives in all policy spheres as a transversal approach as a result of a process that has transited through different foci since the 1950s. Nonetheless, different studies have highlighted the fact that implementation is limited beyond the recurring discourses of governments, non-governmental organizations and funding agencies. We can speak of a discrepancy between rhetoric and practice around gender in development policies, a subject that lies on the edges of power. Furthermore, there is another discrepancy between policy analysis and a gender perspective, where we find little research that achieves a theoretical articulation between two traditions that somehow seem irreconcilable. This article aims to initiate a reflection on that which it identifies as a double discrepancy between gender and policies focused on the edges of power: the failure to integrate gender in development policies and the difficult theoretical articulation of gender within policy. Faced with this double discrepancy, the article proposes some points of convergence around an inclusion of power relations both as a goal of development policies and a policy analysis.

Spanish: En la actualidad, las instituciones internacionales de desarrollo han adoptado la perspectiva de género en las políticas públicas en todos los ámbitos a través de la noción de transversalización y como resultado de un proceso que transitó por diversos enfoques desde los años 1950. Sin embargo, diversos estudios han puesto en evidencia que su concreción es poco real más allá del discurso recurrente de gobiernos, organizaciones no gubernamentales y agencias de financiamiento. Podemos hablar de 34 Regions & Cohesion • Summer 2016 una discrepancia entre el discurso y la práctica del género en las políticas de desarrollo cuya problemática radica en las aristas del poder. Además, existe otra discrepancia entre el análisis de políticas públicas y la perspectiva de género, donde encontramos pocos trabajos que logran una articulación teórica entre dos tradiciones que parecen en cierto modos irreconciliables. Este artículo pretende iniciar una refl exión acerca de lo que se propone identifi car como un doble discrepancia entre género y políticas públicas centrada en las aristas del poder: el fracaso de la inserción del género en las políticas de desarrollo y la difícil articulación teórica entre género y políticas públicas. Ante esta doble discrepancia, propone algunos puntos de convergencia en torno a una inclusión de las relaciones de poder a la vez como objetivo de las políticas de desarrollo y en el análisis de las políticas públicas.

French: Les institutions internationales ont adopté à l’heure actuelle la perspective de genre dans tous les domaines des politiques publiques via la notion de transversalisation du genre qui est le résultat d’un processus qui a transité par diverses approches depuis les années 1950. Cependant, diverses études ont mis en évidence que sa concrétisation n’est guère réelle au-delà des discours récurrents des gouvernements, des organisations non gouvernementales et des agences de financement. Nous pouvons dès lors parler d’une divergence entre le discours et la pratique du genre dans les politiques de développement dont le choeur du problème réside dans les barbelés du pouvoir. De plus, il existe une autre divergence entre l’analyse des politiques publiques et la perspective de genre dans la mesure où nous trouvons peu de travaux qui proposent une articulation théorique entre deux traditions apparemment irréconciliables. Cet article prétend ouvrir une réfl exion sur cett e double divergence entre genre et politiques publiques centrée sur les barbelés du pouvoir et qui s’exprime par l’échec de l’insertion du genre dans les politiques de développement et par l’articulation diffi cile entre genre et politiques publiques. Face à cett e double divergence, la contribution propose quelques points de convergence autour d’une inclusion des relations de pouvoir en tant qu’objectifs des politiques de développement et dans l’analyse des politiques publiques.

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Social cohesion beyond borders

Does management of mining resources promote social cohesion and regional integration? Lessons from Canada and Mexico

Angeles Mendoza Sammet

This contribution analyzes whether the transboundary use of mineral resources by Canadian companies contributes to local and regional cohesion. The analysis is based on documental reviews, a field visit, and conversations with stakeholders of Canadian mining projects in Mexico. The results strongly suggest that, despite the bene fits that are advertised in the discourses of the Canadian and Mexican governments, this economic relationship is not fostering social cohesion as would be expected. Rather than helping dispossessed sectors of Mexican society satisfy their basic needs, the lack of social responsibility on the part of national governments and some transnational mining companies is generating numerous environmental and social impacts and is resulting in violations of human and indigenous people's rights. This situation, however, is fostering social cohesion through shared values among dispossessed communities in Mexico, and between them and various civic, human rights, and environmental organizations in Canada.

Spanish Esta contribución analiza de qué forma el desarrollo de recursos mineros en México por empresas canadienses influye en la cohesión social local y regionalmente. El análisis se basa en revisión documental, visitas de campo y conversaciones con informantes clave. Los resultados fuertemente sugieren que esta relación comercial no está contribuyendo a mejorar la cohesión social como sería de esperarse si la minería contribuyera al desarrollo sustentable según lo promocionan los gobiernos de México y Canadá. En vez de contribuir a reducir la pobreza, se han generado diversos impactos sociales y ambientales debido a la falta de responsabilidad social que prevalece en el sector minero. Estos incluyen violaciones de derechos humanos y gentes indígenas. Sin embargo, estas consecuencias negativas están favoreciendo la cohesión social entre las comunidades afectadas por la minería en México y las organizaciones civiles en Canadá que están ejerciendo presión en Canadá para que haya cambios en el sistema político y legal para asegurar que las empresas canadienses operen de manera social y ambientalmente responsable.

French Ce e contribution entend voir de quelle manière l'utilisation transfrontalière des ressources minérales par des entreprises canadiennes contribuent à la cohésion locale et régionale. L'analyse se fonde sur l'examen des documents, une visite sur le terrain, et les interviews menées avec les parties prenantes des projets miniers canadiens au Mexique. Les résultats suggèrent fortement que, malgré les avantages formulés dans le discours des gouvernements canadien et mexicain, ce e relation économique ne conduit pas à la cohésion sociale comme on pourrait s'y attendre. Plutôt que d'aider les secteurs déshérités de la société mexicaine à satisfaire leurs besoins de base, le manque de responsabilité sociale de la part des deux gouvernements nationaux et certaines entreprises minières transnationales produit de nombreux impacts environnementaux et sociaux qui se traduisent par des violations des droits de l'homme des peuples indigènes. Ce e situation, cependant, favorise la cohésion sociale à travers des valeurs partagées entre les communautés dépossédées au Mexique, et entre eux et diff érentes organisations civiles défenseurs des droits de l'homme et environnementaux au Canada.

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Víctor De Currea-Lugo

Following media, academic, and public debates, it seems the Arab protests have sometimes been reduced to mono-causal narratives. Several analysts have produced limited interpretations by making parallels between current revolts and previous uprisings or, worse, by looking for explanations that suit their own political agenda. Another problem is a persistent black-and-white view, where different factions only recognize political actors that fit into their worldview. It is a difficult task to read the Arab revolts and even more difficult to establish their nature. Before we can understand these phenomena, we must first deconstruct several interpretations that only prevent us from recognizing their originality. This paper seeks to organize these tendencies, illustrating them with examples, and, thus, contribute to the discussion of the root causes of the revolts. It is not an analysis of the revolts, but a discussion related to the discourses most commonly used to explain them.

Spanish Siguiendo a los medios de comunicación, los académicos y los debates públicos, parece que las revueltas árabes han sido reducidas, a veces, a narrativas mono-causales. Varios analistas han producido interpretaciones limitadas al simplemente crear un paralelismo entre las revueltas actuales y levantamientos anteriores o, peor aún, en la búsqueda de explicaciones que se adapten a su propia agenda política. Otro problema es la persistencia de una mirada de blancos-y-negros, en la que las diferentes facciones sólo reconocen los actores políticos que se ajustan a su visión del mundo. Interpretar el significado de las revueltas árabes es una tarea difícil y es incluso más difícil caracterizar su naturaleza. Antes de que podamos comprender estos fenómenos, primero tenemos que deconstruir varias interpretaciones que sólo nos impiden reconocer la originalidad de las revueltas. Este trabajo pretende organizar esas tendencias, ilustrándolas con ejemplos, y de esta manera contribuir a la discusión de las causas últimas. No es un análisis de las revueltas, sino un debate sobre los discursos más comunes usados para explicarlas.

French En suivant les mass media, les académiques et les débats publics, il semble que les révoltes arabes ont été réduites parfois à des récits mono-causales. Plusieurs analystes ont produit des interprétations qui se limitent à créer un parallélisme entre les révoltes actuelles et les révolutions antérieures, ou pire encore, à rechercher des explications qui correspondent à leur propre agenda politique. Un autre problème est la persistance du point de vue blanc ou noir, selon lequel les différentes factions seulement reconnaissent les acteurs politiques qui correspondent à leur vision du monde. Interpréter les révoltes arabes est un travail difficile et il est encore plus difficile de caractériser leur nature. Avant que nous puissions comprendre ces phénomènes, nous devons d'abord déconstruire les interprétations diverses qui nous empêchent de reconnaître l'originalité des révoltes. Ce travail a l'intention d'organiser ces tendances, en les illustrant avec des exemples, et contribuer ainsi à la discussion des causes profondes. Ce n'est pas une analyse des révoltes, mais une discussion liée aux discours les plus couramment utilisés pour les expliquer.