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Hansson, Emma, 2018. Which knowledge counts? : a critical discourse analysis of a conflict between a wind power development company and Sami communities. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Sweden has ambitious climate and energy policies, for example 100 percent fossil free electricity production by 2040. A central part of the policies are wind power developments. However, wind power is not unproblematic either in an environmental or a social perspective as it negatively affects the indigenous practice of reindeer herding in Northern Sweden. With a focus on traditional knowledge, I have studied power and knowledge relations in a conflict between a wind power company and indigenous Sami reindeer herding communities in Gabrielsberget, Nordmaling’s municipality. I have utilised the theoretical, as well as methodological, framework of critical discourse analysis, drawing on the work of Fairclough. Furthermore, Foucault’s work on power and knowledge is used to analyze the dominant discourses regarding knowledge claims and its implications for the environmental permit process. The analysis of legal documents and recordings of court hearings shows that traditional knowledge is seen as a secondary source of knowledge and that reindeer herding is commonly constructed as a business, hiding its cultural values and connection to traditional knowledge. To be viewed as legitimate actor and have their claims and stakes taken into account, the Sami communities had to align with discourses constructing reindeer herding as a business and build their arguments on science instead of traditional knowledge. As discourses are socially constitutive, this will have implications both for how environmental permit processes plays out in the future but also for the status of traditional knowledge and reindeer herding.

Main title:Which knowledge counts?
Subtitle:a critical discourse analysis of a conflict between a wind power development company and Sami communities
Authors:Hansson, Emma
Supervisor:Raitio, Kaisa
Examiner:Löf, Annette and Hallgren, Lars
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:traditional knowledge, wind power, Sami communities, critical discourse analysis, power and knowledge, science
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Nature conservation and land resources
Energy resources management
Deposited On:18 Jul 2018 06:46
Metadata Last Modified:20 May 2020 10:53

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