Discourses Of Cohesion

The research unit Discourses of Cohesion investigates how social cohesion is negotiated and constituted in different discourses in civil society. For this purpose, interactions and relationships between civil society actors as well as their communication with the public are examined. The focus is therefore on the online and offline communication of selected civil society organizations in discourses that negotiate issues of community and cohesion.

What are the central structural and procedural characteristics of civil society communication in relation to social cohesion? The main focus of the research unit is on semantic, pragmatic and persuasive aspects in the public and internal communication of civil society actors. The research focus is therefore on the analysis of concrete discourse elements: Which interpretive frames are foregrounded in the communication of political ideas? Which metaphors are dominant in relation to core concepts such as social cohesion or resilience?

The aim of this research unit is to answer the following questions:

  • How do civil society institutions constitute a “we” or a community? Who should or needs to be held together?
  • How are these conceptualizations of social cohesion articulated? Are certain scripts and frames or metaphor complexes salient? How are these acts of inclusion and exclusion realized linguistically?
  • What narratives are dominant in discourses around social cohesion? Are these related to crisis or disaster narratives?
  • What is the relationship between discourses of cohesion in society as a whole and in civil society?
  • Does civil society take up narratives and patterns of argumentation from public discourses and to what extent does civil society influence public discourse?

To address our research questions, we will combine qualitative and quantitative discourse and content analytical methods, including automated text analyses, such as sentiment mining, topic modeling, and topical network analysis.

Project participants

The Team

The people behind the INTERACTION IN CIVIL SOCIETY project