Branding Sweden: A study of social media driven democracy and its implications
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The general purpose of this qualitative study is to investigate the implications in regard to power, structure and control connected to the project Curators of Sweden. The study looks at nation branding through the use of social media. The idea with the project Curators of Sweden is to invite citizens to participate at the official Twitter platform to project a multi-faceted image of Sweden. Through granting citizens access to an official channel some power and control is relinquished.The empirical data is collected through ten semi-structured interviews with curators and stakeholders. In addition a netnography is conducted based on historic secondary data in the form of tweets from the @sweden Twitter account. The data is analyzed through qualitative content analysis with coding inspired by grounded theory. The thematic codes from the analysis of the Stakeholders and Curators are then compared in regard to concepts that could be related.The themes that emerge from the analysis of data generated from the interviews of stakeholders and curators include: invisible hand, asymmetry in relations, national identity, tied hands and crisis as defining moment, self-censorship, bias, empowerment, social control and self-establishing format.The findings suggest that in the context of building national identity through social media incidents prove both challenging and rewarding. The incidents test the project, attract a lot of attention and confirm the Swedish core values of progressivity. When inviting citizens to participate in creating the content a blurring of accountability is evident since ownership over channel and content is separated. The account becomes self-establishing when locus of control is unclear and no one has full ownership.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nation branding, national identity, control, power, structure, democracy, social media, branding
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98965OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98965DiVA: diva2:685984
L'Espoir Decosta, Patrick, PhD