Chapter 5: Discursive strategies in economic texts
The international financial crisis that burst out with the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 was of course first and foremost a real-life crisis for individuals, groups of people, enterprises, institutions and nation states. Many people lost their jobs and had to leave their homes. Enterprises had to close down. Banks were given huge subsidies in order to keep the economic system going, and some nation states were brought to the edge of bankruptcy. These are facts that have to be acknowledged by everyone. But the financial crisis was also a discursive construction, brought about by countless texts by authors who from different perspectives and with a myriad of different aims proposed descriptions, explanations and consequences in order to position themselves and their interests in the most favourable way. What we meet in the texts – no matter what texts we choose to analyse – are reflections of these social constructions. Thus it is reasonable to engage not only in social, historic or economic analyses of the crisis, but also in analyses of the texts related to the crisis – that is, to do discourse analysis. This chapter is an example of that, with focus on the discursive patterns in texts from the Swedish public sphere.
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