Verkkokeskustelujen kansa

Korpusavusteinen diskurssianalyysi Suomi24-keskustelupalstasta

  • Marjut Johansson Turun yliopisto, Kieli- ja käännöstieteden laitos
  • Jarmo H. Jantunen Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Anne Heimo Turun yliopisto
  • Mirka Ahonen Turun yliopisto
  • Veronika Laippala Turun yliopisto


People 'kansa' in digital discourses. 

Corpus-assisted discourse analysis on Suomi24 discussion forum. 

 In this paper, our objective is to analyze how participants use the word kansa 'people' on the largest discussion forum in Finland, called Suomi24 (Finland 24). Our main research questions are the following: 1) What kinds of discourses the forum participants relate to kansa 'people' and 2) what kinds of representations the writers attach to kansa and what kinds of meanings they construct for the term on the discussion forum.  

 Our theoretical and methodological approach is based on corpus-assisted discourse analysis and on digital discourse analysis.  Studying the data from two different perspectives with two different methods will give two complementary views on the discourses of kansa. In the first part of the study, we analyzed the 2,4-billion-token Suomi24 data in its entirety applying corpus-assisted discourse studies and keyword analysis in order to analyze the discourses and representations that the discussion participants attach to kansa.  To this end, we extracted all paragraphs were the lemma kansa was used. Alltogether, the data contain about 829 000 occurrences of the lemma.  

In the second phase, we executed qualitative digital discourse analysis in which we focused on the positioning of the word kansa (people) by examining the type of linguistic action in the utterances where it was used, what kind of relation and agreement/isagreement  writers expressed in relation to the topic and object of talk they were writing about. 

The first analysis showed that the most frequent discourses attached to kansa were religion, politics and power, ethnicity and society. In particular, these indicate that kansa is often represented through religion and that the discourses relate kansa strongly to nation-state, that is, independence, government and ethnic groups. Furthermore, kansa is often associated with inequality in the society, where parts of the kansa are seen as disfavoured.  

The second analysis, based on digital discourse analysis, reveals that the word people is used in the following five ways. First, kansa is positioned as either in the biblical sense or as religious people who blames others. Second, writers describe stupid people and they complain and blame while showing their disregard towards people. Third, people was described as victim, betrayed, and oppressed without access to power. Here, the writers complain and accuse. Forth, the people was described as social actor through the use of cognitive verbs and speech act verbs showing intelligence of this people to which the writers belonged. The last category was a mixed one that contained people as representative of a nation or described with some quality, such as sisukas kansa (persistent people, or people with guts).   

The results show that kansa (people) are used in very familiar and stereotypical ways. This word functions as part of an ideological discourse in the discussions in this forum that allow writers to build their self-image, distinguish themselves from the people or in order to legitimate their own position in a way that other writers recognize the shared and reproduced representation of people. In this way, this representation is part of this new kind of public vernacular discourse in various platforms of social media produced by ordinary people. However, these representations of the kansa (people) did not present any novel ways of understanding people. 

Avainsanat: verkkokeskustelu, korpusavusteinen diskurssintutkimus, avainsana-analyysi, digitaalinen diskurssianalyysi, representaatio


Avainsanat: verkkokeskustelu, korpusavusteinen diskurssintutkimus, avainsana-analyysi, digitaalinen diskurssianalyysi, representaatio
joulu 17, 2018
Johansson, M., Jantunen, J., Heimo, A., Ahonen, M., & Laippala, V. (2018). Verkkokeskustelujen kansa. Sananjalka, 60(60.), 96-117.