DescriptionCapital regions are functionally and symbolically distinctive parts of nation-states. In the course of nation-building, they acquire a special role through spatialization of difference, a process through which specific traits are assigned to particular regions (Johnson & Coleman 2011). This process usually involves the deployment of urban myths and discourses for the purpose of national identity-(re)construction and management of “otherness” (Short 1996: 414-438). While the special role of capitals in nation-building has been acknowledged in many studies, much less is known about spatialization of difference within capital regions. In the era of rapid urbanization, such knowledge is important, because it enables understanding the spatial dynamics of meaning-making in cities, as well as the ways in which urban discourses are entangled with social processes that are transforming cities. This presentation focuses on digital discourses surrounding Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the three biggest municipalities in Finland’s capital region. The data is from the Suomi24 online discussion corpus, which is compiled from Finland’s biggest online discussion forum. The corpus (nearly 3 billion words), covers discussions from the years 2001-2016. We analyze this data in order to find out how place-based meanings and stigmas are articulated and negotiated in digital discourses. Our ultimate goal is to discuss the implications that these discourses have for the imagined geographies of the capital region, as well as related practices of urban planning and city branding. The analysis is carried through applying methods of corpus assisted discourse studies (CADS), including keyword analysis, which is the most essential method. Preliminary results show that people related discourses are more common in data covering Helsinki than Espoo and Vantaa. These observations will be completed with qualitative analysis. We will discuss whether the data reveals identity categories attached to these three cities and differences between the cities and their inhabitants.
|Aikajakso||22 lokak. 2020|
|Tapahtuman otsikko||The Second International Conference on Internet Pragmatics|
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