"Hej på er alla ungdomar" : Lokala polismyndigheters språkanvändning i sociala medier
The aim is to study how the Police build relations by publishing Facebook posts and how relation building is expressed in the form and content of the texts. More specifically, the study examines the picture that the writing police and the police authorities paint of their activities, and the effect that the posts can be envisaged to have on the receivers.
The material consists of four posts from two police authorities, Växjö/Alvesta and Kalmar. This is analysed with a method borrowed from systemic-functional linguistics (SFL) and close reading. The results are then interpreted on the basis of SFL and traditional stylistic theory.
The result shows that the Facebook posts bring both opportunities and risks in building relations. The studied posts consist mostly of declarative sentences, with only a small proportion of exhortations and offers. No questions occur at all. The posts display a large stylistic breadth and varied content from the spheres of police activity, such as combating violence and drunkenness or dealing with missing persons and property.
There seems to be a will among the Police to establish contact with the general public, toning down the image of a strict authority with a monopoly on violence, and the officers working for the authority appear as empathetic human beings. The conclusion is that the communication of the Police with the general public via Facebook is a balancing act between, on the one hand, seeming good-humoured and human, and on the other hand the risk of seeming less serious and authoritative. In texts with a serious content presented in a light-hearted form with ironic undertones, the Police risk undermining their own authority. Despite this, the Facebook posts from the Police can be said to be in line with the catchwords of their activity: engaged, efficient and accessible. The Police also try to adjust the style of the posts to what is generally found on Facebook.
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