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380MC Scandinavia Group

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Rebecca Auguste

on 16 May 2016

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Transcript of 380MC Scandinavia Group

The refugee’s crisis in Denmark could be analysed in relation to Foucault’s theory regarding power as Foucault stated, “changes of public ideas precede changes in private individuals’’ which can been seen through the Danish media which is highly constructed by the government. The Danish government portrays refugees negatively feeding public opinion highlighting how refugees will take from the people who need it the most within society.
(McHoul and Grace, 1997: 7).
What is SPACE?
“There is no theory of space that is not an integral part of general social theory.”

In Foucault’s opinion, what seems to be problematic, is the fact that citizens offer their help for refugees in ways that state will not, even though these forms of political engagements should provide help for people in such situations. His concern involves the way knowledge was put to work through discursive practices in specific institutions to regulate the conduct of others as government tries to change the public opinion regarding refugees using media resources such as newspapers and TV programmes where they present the situation as being really bad. What is more, government creates newspapers where they present the situation of their country as being really poorly and they try to influence refugees to stop coming to Denmark, as the country cannot provide anything for them because of the lack of resources. As Foucault argues, this represents the way power operates within what he called “an institutional apparatus and its techniques”. Foucault’s opinion is that in order to produce a change, people should put pressure on those who abuse power as “the act of embarking on a perilous journey across miles of land and water is not the “residue of politics” nor a romantic politics but one that exposes the impossibility of doing nothing”

https://www.opendemocracy.net/jen-bagelman/foucault-and-current-refugee-crisis ).
In Denmark, it seems that the state represents a political power that has been established and tries to exercise an unconditional right of life and death over the people of another country but what seems interesting is that, as Foucault states, “This power excludes part of population, which does not want it anyway “ as citizens understood the fact that refugees are in a situation by no fault of their own, where they must seek the uncertain chance of survival through an exodus by sea rather than by staying in their own country.

https://progressivegeographies.com/2015/09/29/michel-foucault-on-refugees-a-previously-untranslated-interview-from-1979/ ).

Also, by representing the refugees as a “sick bodies, terrorists, threat to identity”, Foucault suggests that this plays out in the governmentality of the state in order to control the population through “diverse techniques of achieving the subjugation of bodies”. These scare methods are then applied to the media encouraging the public to be less supportive of refugees.

Also Foucault notes, “discourse constructs the topic” and “it governs the way a topic can be meaningfully talked about and reasoned about and also influences how ideas are put into practice and used to regulate the conduct of other” (Wetherell et all, 2001: 72). Therefore, this represents the relationship between knowledge of the government that tries to change public opinions regarding refugees.

McHoul, A. and Grace, W. (1997) A Foucault Primer: Discourse, power and The Subject. Melbourne University Press: New York

Wetherell, M.; Taylor, S. and Yates, S.J. (2001) Discourse Theory and Practice: A Reader. Sage Publications: London

1. Interviews

2. Observation

Why use and What is Observation?
- Aiming to look at the ideas of liberalism in Denmark by exploring different narratives of archives on refugee issues compared with news media

- NON-participant observation
- it is 'observation with limited interaction with the people one observes. For example, some observational data can be collected unobtrusively' (Cohen D, Crabtree B. 2006)
1. CAMP Documentaries

2. Malmo Museum

3. Freetown Christiania
- enable us to easily go through the information of refugee issue during the short trip
- understand the archives to which people generally would not have interest to access
- enhance objectivity through the vision of other side contrary to the news media which provide what ruling class want us to see

2. Malmo Museum
- Centre of Art on Migration Politics

- Documentaries of how immigrants and refugees from various places escaping fighting in hometown and striving for their ideal new lives in Europe.

- Different from narratives of new media which present the voices of European governments, revealing hidden

- media authenticity? Selective? Archives responsibility?
1. Refugees in Sweden in WWII
- stories of refugees wherever they came from fled to Sweden during WWII and began their new life with freedom in there
- "Memory is part of our identity." - collective memory(Olick and Robbins 1998))
- repsonsibility of archiving (pass memory by generations to generations)
2. Swedish Dads
- portraits of dads who choose to stay a home with their children at least six months
- standpoints of parenting by MALE
- blur binary opposition of gender
3. Freetown Christiania

As stated by Olick and Robbins (1998) ‘memory is a central, if not the central, medium through which identities are constituted’.

Also Halbswach (1925) argues that memory is collective as much as it can be individual. Collective memory is produced by objects, people , places and dates.

And so it is considered that memory is constructed through discourses.

There are 3 dimensions of Space :

1) First space – realities that structure space
2) Second space – representations and discourses that surrounding space
3) Third space – both realities and discourses contributing to the construction of space.

''it is necessary to supplement the grammar of interaction that underwrites mainstream media and communication studies with an analysis of the organisational, economic and politically determined production of the material infrastructures of space and time'' (Barnett 2004:66).

''Space is constituted by social relations and transformed along with them'' (Stalder, 2006)

‘Interviews are a systematic way of talking and listening to people and are another way to collect data from individuals through conversations.’ (Kajornboon 2005)
Jenson & Jankowski (1991), interview as an 'Interpersonal communication', the negotiation between interviewer and respondent.
Interview heavily depends on ‘preparation’ (Lamerichs 2012)
- Set up a set of questions we need to ask and the topic (refugee & migration),
- Draft the questions and finalize all the questions
- Order the questions to a logical way
-Follow-up questions prepared for the interviewer,
in case needs any clarification
- Preference and nature of the interview (what we want the interview to be, the length of the interview).

How we do it?
10-15 Base questions+N
• Self-identity
( How does it mean to you to be Danish?)
• Migration
( Negative/positive, people’s perception towards refugees)
• Media representation
( How media represent refugee/migration crisis)
• Gender equality, sexual orientation
(International women's day)

How we do it?
N= follow-up/flexible questions
- a self-proclaimed autonomous region in Copenhagen
- have their own rules, disciplines, history and culture
- you are not in Copenhagen but you are still in Copenhagen (space difference)
- collective identity of Christiania citizens

have the flexibility to ask more questions for further clarification and explanation
Why is Interview?
Ask open questions & the interviewer can ‘pick up on non-verbal clues’
We can.........

control the context and the environment’
- make sure questions are asked
- answered in the correct order
- interview takes place in an appropriate setting which is conducive to accurate responses.
- how interviewees respond to different questions.
Why is Interview?
Interview is more personalized

- rather than focus group; interviewee feels more comfortable to speak up.

- interviewer as a moderator
- encourage respondent to illustrate more on certain topic or circumstances.
- face-to-face contact
Explore topic in depth
- Any topic/issue interviewer thinks it's important, he can ask for more!
could also be.........
takes time to prepare & gather information
Large volume of information?
difficult to transcribe and reduce uneccessary data
Shape their direction of thinking
Question is suggestive?
- unable to know what people perceptions are on the issues of refugees
- reduce subjectivity without communicating with locals and refugees as to Denmark social context
- too general, not particular enough in depth

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