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Från beslut till broschyr. Intertextualitet, äldre och kultur i texter inom en statlig satsning

Doctoral thesis
Authors Malin Sandberg
Date of public defense 2020-02-14
ISBN 978-91-87850-77-6
Publisher Göteborgs universitet
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Swedish
Language sv
Keywords critical discourse analysis, institutional texts, intertextuality, intertextual chain, recontextualization, cultural policy, the elderly, senior citizens
Subject categories Swedish language


The overarching purpose of this study is to map out how intertextual relations are manifested in texts produced within a government initiative on arts for the elderly, and to shed light on how discourses on the elderly and the arts are articulated in texts from the initiative. This purpose is addressed with qualitative research methods, and with a focus on three themes: intertextual relations, representations of the elderly, and constructions of the purposefulness of the initiative. The study is regarded as a case study, which at a more general level can contribute to an understanding of texts in institutional contexts as well as public discourses on the arts and the elderly. The study draws on data consisting of a collection of texts produced within the three-year initiative called 'Kultur för äldre' ('Arts for the elderly'), which was launched in 2011 and aimed to increase elderly peoples’ access to the arts. The texts are written by different authorities and professionals: the Swedish government, the Swedish Arts Council, local project organizers, and an external consultant. They vary by genre, ranging from government decisions to information brochures, and fill various purposes in different, but related, contexts. The results show that there are both explicit and implicit intertextual relations between the texts in the data, and that three main intertextual chains can be defined. These are traceable from explicit markers of intertextuality, as well as contextual information and by following certain phrases that are recontextualized between texts. Analyses of representations of social actors, constructions of purposefulness, and visual resources in the data, show that discourses on the elderly as dependent and in need of health care tend to be both reflected and reproduced in the data. The arts, finally, tend to be framed within a social welfare discourse, and reproduced as important, first and foremost through utilization rather than in its own right.

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