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At the nexus of destruction and creation: Pirate and anti-pirate discourse in Swedish online media
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2010 (English)In: International conference of New Media and Interactivity: April 28-30, 2010 / [ed] Gökhan Nalbant, Tolga Kara, Istanbul: Marmara University , 2010, 229-236 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to map and compare discursive themes relating to pro- and anti-piracy sentiments in Swedish online public discourse. The data comes from major news media sites as well as from expressions of user-generated content, citizen journalism, and counter-discourse in the form of blog posts. The analysis employs web mining tools, and relies on quantitative as well as qualitative approaches to written discourse. In the light of the tension between the judicial system (piracy is illegal in Sweden) and the very large number of people who commit acts of piracy, it is of interest to investigate how different opinions are expressed and how they interact. Sweden, home to The Pirate Bay as well as the first parliamentary „Pirate Party‟, is an especially interesting case as regards how arguments from pirates and anti-pirates play. The analyses show that news discourse on piracy revolves around dilemmas posed by file sharing to capitalist institutions, legislators, lawmen and rights-owners. In this context piracy, is conceived of as a tool of destruction, of economic value, of markets, and of morality. In contrast, blog discourse is more focused on morality and ethics than on law and policing, and it emphasizes the potential of pirate culture for radically transforming capitalism. In this context − even though seen as a force tearing down previously dominating structures – piracy is seen as a tool of creation of new avenues for cultural expression, of a new economy, and of a better society. The clash between these two discourses is discussed from the perspective of discourse theory (Laclau & Mouffe) and cultural sociology (Bourdieu).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Istanbul: Marmara University , 2010. 229-236 p.
Keyword [en]
online piracy, discourse, news media, blogs, symbolic power
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37747ISBN: 978-975-400-330-7OAI: diva2:369853
NMIC April 28-30, 2010
Available from: 2010-12-07 Created: 2010-11-12 Last updated: 2010-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, Simon
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