Finding the Voice of a Protest: Negotiating Authority among the Multiplicity of Voices in a Pro-Refugee Demonstration

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Sammanfattning

The idea of organizations as polyphonic sites, where the voices of heterogeneous members are articulated to become the voice of their organization, has been widely addressed by scholars taking a discursive approach to organizations. In this study, we investigate the multivocality of organizational decision-making and meaning-making in the context of a sit-in demonstration called the Right to Live. The seven-month long demonstration was held in Helsinki, Finland, as a response to government politics during the so-called European refugee crisis. The protest collective consisted of three groups with diverging ethnolinguistic backgrounds: Afghans, Iraqis, and Finns. Using interviews, ethnographic field notes and public statements communicated by the protest, we examine the interplay between the different voices within the protest. We explore processes of building an organizational voice that were involved in the constitution of Right to Live ( as an organization: formulating demands and external statements, and communicating about the protests online. The negotiations by which the voicing processes were sustained highlight that the activists cherished the idea of multicultural polyphony, yet regarded it necessary to filter the multiplicity of voices into univocality in order to create a recognized entity and to communicate strategically and effectively. Our findings show how authority was established and negotiated in communication: in an organization in which no authority seemingly or allegedly exists, authority was revealed through the process of generating the voice of the organization and forming a textual representation of it. The more traditional forms of authority such as meritocracy become intertwined with communicative authority in the process of authoring the organization.
Originalspråkengelska
Titel på värdpublikationSpeaking With One Voice : Multivocality and Univocality in Organizing
RedaktörerChantal Benoit-Barné, Thomas Martine
Antal sidor23
UtgivningsortNew York
FörlagRoutledge
Utgivningsdatum24 sep. 2021
ISBN (tryckt)9780367264529
ISBN (elektroniskt)9780429297830
DOI
StatusPublicerad - 24 sep. 2021
MoE-publikationstypA3 Del av bok eller annan forskningsbok

Publikationsserier

NamnRoutledge Studies in Communication, Organization, and Organizing

Vetenskapsgrenar

  • 518 Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap

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