SOCIAL IDENTIFICATIONS IN THE FACE OF CRISIS – THE CASE OF FINNISH TELEVISION DISCUSSIONS ON 9/11

H. Rautajoki, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Tampere, Finland

Abstract

In my PhD I study the formation of participation framework in socio-political television discussions on 9/11. My data consists of three discussion programmes broadcast within weeks after the terrorist attacks in USA in 2001. My focus is on empirical investigation of the emerging field of relations in facing and dealing with a societal crisis situation. Live multiparty television discussions represent a long-established programme format in the Finnish media. They constitute an institutionally regulated arena on which current political affairs are discussed and intermediated to the wider public. 9/11 was an event which indeed shook the order of everyday life worldwide. Exploring three different kinds of programmes I will look at how this disturbing international news event was domesticated in Finland. How it was made ‘something for us’ and who was involved in trying to solve the crises? The framework for the study is provided by ethnomethodology, the analytic focus being on the situated accomplishments of actions and identities, manifested in the details of interaction. It turns out that the crisis is met with layered membership categorizations which mark political boundaries and regulate moral standards for being a Finn and a European.

Key words: television discussion, crisis, participant framework, institutional interaction

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