När isomorfismen kom till stan: En kritisk diskursanalys av Helsingborgs stads hållbarhetskommunikation
Sammanfattning: The aim of this study is to increase the knowledge of how communicative standardisation between institutions upholds established notions about sustainable development in society. With a social constructionist approach, we analyse how sustainability discourses are constructed within the Agenda 2030, and if these discourses are reproduced in the sustainability communication of the city of Helsingborg. We examine how sustainability discourses are used by the city to legitimise their urban renewal project, and whether or not isomorphism is influencing that legitimisation. The empirical material of the study consists of documents on sustainability communication from both the UN and Helsingborg. These are complemented with articles from the local newspaper which criticise the city. Through a content analysis, three sustainability discourses are identified: Social, economical and environmental. Fairclough's three dimensional model for critical discourse analysis is implemented, and the empirical material is contextualised through neo-institutional theory, discourse analysis theory and the theory of aspirational talk. Results show that the vagueness of the UN Agenda 2030 leaves room for interpretation, which enables other organisations to copy the communication and thereby utilise the legitimacy of the UN for themselves. The study also shows that Helsingborg has cherry-picked aspects of the UN sustainability communication, and that both coercive and mimetic vertical isomorpism exists between the organisations. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the isomorphism in itself does not have to be regarded as a problem, but that the mindless mimetic communication between the organisations can be harmful. This is manifested through the way the legitimacy of the urban renewal project in Helsingborg is left exposed to the criticism of the local newspaper.
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