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  • 1.
    Berge, Kjell Lars
    et al.
    University of Oslo, Norway.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Texts as Cultural Artefacts: Theoretical Challenges to Empirical Research on Utterances and Texts2023In: Nordic Perspectives on the Discourse of Things: Sakprosa Texts Helping Us Navigate and Understand an Ever-changing Reality / [ed] Nyström Höög, Catharina; Rahm, Henrik; Thomassen Hammerstad, Gøril, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023, p. 17-44Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter presents a theory of texts often used in Scandinavian “sakprosa” research. In the chapter, the constitutive features of any text are presented. It is shown how the text as a cultural artefact has the quality of and at the same time being a unique utterance and instantiating a text norm. In the text theory presented, text is part of a text culture, to which other text sharing similar norms belong. Thus, a “text” is conceived as an utterance that competent participants in a specific cultural time and space assign a certain cultural value.

  • 2.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
    Why digital administrative systems create extra work and demoralize us: A study of performativity and decontextualization caused by Unikum in Swedish preschools2021In: Discourse, Context & Media, ISSN 2211-6958, E-ISSN 2211-6966, Vol. 40, article id 100469Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is now common for public institutions, and other organizations, to be administrated and managed through digital systems. Such systems are aligned with a discourse of positivity, of doing things better, more effectively. In this paper, using multimodal critical discourse analysis, we analyze one digital system used in Swedish preschools called Unikum, built around the national targets in the new national curriculum. Our analysis considers the affordances of the digital system, the uses to which these are put, and the designs of its interfaces. Such systems set up a kind of information infrastructure where things and processes are coded and classified, providing locked-down positions, infused with power, where there is only one way of construing the world. We show how Unikum brings a marketized, customer oriented, ideology of teaching and learning into preschools, displaying a bright and optimistic world where all children are developing. This leads to incredible levels of performativity as teachers must communicate constantly using the codifications carried by the system as if everything was improving. The process comes at a cost of side-lining professional skills and also the very children themselves.

  • 3.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Introduction to Multimodal Analysis2020 (ed. 2)Book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Koola Oatly utmanar mjölken2020In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 3, p. 26-31Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 5.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Replacing actual political activism with ethical shopping: The case of Oatly2020In: Discourse, Context & Media, ISSN 2211-6958, E-ISSN 2211-6966, Vol. 34, article id 100344Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There has been an increase of food products marketed through buzzwords like organic, ‘local’, ‘recyclable’, ‘Fair-trade’. These have been described as part of a newer kind of ethical or emotional capitalism,where consumers can align with political issues through acts of shopping. The problem is that such actsreplace or shape what we know about, and how we act towards, actual socio-political matters. In thispaper, we look at one example of such a product: Oatly, a milk alternative, which brands itself as sustainableand anti-corporate. Taking a Multimodal Critical Discourse Analytical approach, we want to learnmore about how such brands do not actually state details of the socio-political issue alongside which theyalign (its causes, process, solutions) yet successfully communicate a compelling sense that buying theproduct is a form of social activism in a way which cleverly implicates consumers to internalize its valuesand give them a powerful sense of being part of a political moral order. And this is a form of activismwhich is fun, chic and rather easy.

  • 6.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
    The misleading nature of flow charts and diagrams in organizational communication: The case of performance management of preschools in Sweden2020In: Semiotica, ISSN 0037-1998, E-ISSN 1613-3692, Vol. 2020, no 236-237, p. 405-425Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has become common to find diagrams and flow-charts used in our organizations to illustrate the nature of processes, what is involved and how it happens, or to show how parts of the organization interrelate to each other and work together. Such diagrams are used as they are thought to help visualization and simplify things in order to represent the essence of a particular situation, the core features. In this paper, using a social semiotic approach, we show that we need to develop a much more critical sense of how these diagrams and flowcharts can easily abstract, conceal and substitute actual causalities, work roles and relationships. We demonstrate this using the example of a series of interrelated flows-charts used to implement a new system of target-based learning in preschool/kindergartens in Sweden – a system which works highly in favor of a rapidly privatizing education sector. Here, the flow charts shape how school processes and learning are presented to devalue the former system and value the new.

  • 7.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Att rädda planeten genom konsumtionsval: Oatlys antagonistiska och lekfulla marknadskommunikation2019In: Språk och stil, ISSN 1101-1165, E-ISSN 2002-4010, no 29, p. 99-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There has been an increase of food products marketed through buzzwords like ‘organic’, ‘local’,‘recyclable’, ‘Fairtrade’. These have been described as part of a newer kind of ethical or emotionalcapitalism, where consumers can align with political issues through shopping. In this paper, welook at the brand Oatly, a Swedish milk alternative that has had global success. Oatly brands itselfas sustainable and offers us the chance to save the planet by buying their oat milk. We carry out acritical multimodal discourse analysis of their value-based marketing communication. The resultsshow that Oatly mixes the antagonistic and the playful and utilizes various semiotic materials inrefined ways. We find signifiers of clear and direct political action from former times, for examplein film clips and packaging design. The playful runs through many poster campaigns with postersthat refer to each other, where we should engage in a kind of hide and seek. The meta-communicationthat arises when Oatly says it is not advertising presents the company as an underdog thatgoes against the milk industry. Overall, this is a form of activism which is fun, chic and rather easy.Our critique of this kind of marketing communication is that acts of consumption shape what weknow about, and how we act towards, actual socio-political matters. If global large companies areto control our money and feelings and decide how environmental problems are defined, we mightnot be able to save the planet.

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  • 8.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Nyström Höög, Catharina
    Högskolan Dalarna, Uppsala universitet.
    Tønnesson, Johan
    Universitetet i Oslo, Norge.
    Westberg, Gustav
    Örebro universitet.
    Den  multimodala sakprosan2019In: Sakprosa, ISSN 1502-6000, E-ISSN 1891-5108, Vol. 11, no 4, p. 1-50Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Alla sakprosatexter är multimodala, och denna artikel diskuterar relationen mellan sakprosaforskning och multimodalitetsforskning. Artikeln adresserar två frågor: Hur kan forskning om multimodalitet och sakprosa stimulera varandra? och Hur förhåller sig nordisk sakprosaforskning till en vidare multimodal forskningstradition? För att besvara dessa frågor tecknar artikeln multimodalitetstraditionens utveckling samt härleder sakprosabegreppets ursprung. I ljuset av såväl äldre som nutida sakprosaforskning argumenterar artikeln för att sakprosabegreppets multimodala potential huvudsakligen ligger i förledet sak eftersom det riktar ljuset mot textens roll som ett yttrande om verkligheten inom en institution. Således argumenterar artikeln att samspelet mellan verbalspråket och andra semiotiska resurser bör stå i centrum vid studiet av sakprosa, oberoende av om det handlar om ett samspel mellan verbalspråk och t.ex. visuella, rumsliga eller auditiva resurser. Detta pekar slutligen på nödvändigheten i att uppmärksamma hur olika affordanser – dvs. möjligheter och begränsningar – i olika semiotiska material används i olika kontexter. Därmed blir också efterledet prosa relevant, eftersom de riktar uppmärksamheten mot kvaliteter i uttrycket.

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  • 9.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Doing critical discourse studies with multimodality: From metafunctions to materiality2019In: Critical Discourse Studies, ISSN 1740-5904, E-ISSN 1740-5912, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 497-513Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) and in other linguistics oriented scholarly journals we now see more research which draws upon multimodality as part of carrying out analyses of how texts make meaning, in order to draw out the ideologies which they carry. However, much of multimodality is itself based closely on one theory of language called Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). And despite calls from some scholars there has been no real interrogation of the concepts and models drawn from this theory as regards how suitable they are both for analyzing different forms of communication and for answering concrete research questions of the nature asked in CDS. In this paper we assess the core principles, taken from SFL into multimodality. Using examples we consider which are more or less suitable for the kinds of work we do in CDS. We make a case that SFL has a narrow notion of ‘texts’ and a weak notion of context. We show how we can address such problems to deal with what we call the ‘materiality’ of multimodal communication.

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  • 10.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Final reply2019In: Critical Discourse Studies, ISSN 1740-5904, E-ISSN 1740-5912, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 540-548Article, review/survey (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Forty years of IKEA kitchens and the rise of a neoliberal control of domestic space2019In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 165-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article uses a social semiotic approach to look at the representations and designs of kitchens in the IKEA catalogue from 1975 until 2016. The authors find a shift from function to lifestyle of the order observed by scholars of advertising. But using Fairclough’s concepts of ‘technologization’ in Discourse and Social Change (1992) and Van Leeuwen’s New Writing (2006) concept, they are able to dig deeper to show that there are four stages of kitchen that become, they argue, more and more codified, with increasing prescription over the meaning of space and also regarding what takes place there. Such coding aligns with the ideas, values and identities of neoliberalism: ‘flexible’, ‘dynamic’, ‘creative’, ‘solutions’ and ‘self-management’. The authors show how the features of New Writing allow a suppression of actual causalities and context, and permit symbolic and indexical meanings to take over. Domestic life itself becomes technologized, coded and stripped down to a number of symbols and indexical meanings which assemble easily into the requirements of the neoliberal order.

  • 12.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis: How to reveal discourses of health and ethics in food packaging2019In: The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods / [ed] Luc Pauwels & David Mannay, London: Sage Publications, 2019, 2, p. 500-512Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Doing Visual Analysis: From Theory to Practice2018 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet, Sverige.
    Ett statuskök i en nyliberal tid: Köket i IKEA-kataloger från 1975 till 20162018In: Kritiska text- och diskursstudier / [ed] D. Wohjan, C. Seiler Brylla & G. Westberg, Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2018, no 6, p. 123-142Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article uses a Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis approach to look at the communication of kitchens in the IKEA catalogue from 1975 until 2016, where we see a predictable shift from function to lifestyle. Using Fairclough’s (1992) concept of ‘technologization’ and van Leeuwen’s (2008) concept of ‘New Writing’, we are able to dig deeper to show that there are four stages of kitchens, which become more and more codified, with increasing prescription over the meaning of space, and also regarding what takes place there. Such coding aligns with the ideas, values and identities of neoliberalism: ‘dynamic’, ‘creative’, ‘solutions’ and ‘selfmanagement’. The features of New Writing, we show, allow a suppression of actual causalities and context and permit symbolic and indexical meanings to take over. Domestic life itself becomes stripped down to a number of symbols and indexical meanings which assemble easily into the requirements of the neoliberal order.

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    Ett statuskök i en nyliberal tid
  • 15.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    The neoliberal definition of "elite space" in IKEA kitchens2018In: Elite discourse: The rhetorics of status, privilege and power / [ed] C. Thurlow & A. Jaworski, London and New York: Routledge, 2018, 1, p. 81-92Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Hort, Sofia
    et al.
    Örebro universitet.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Att lyckas med examensarbetet: Grundlärarstudenters skrivprocesser2017In: Tolfte nationella konferensen i svenska med didaktisk inriktning / [ed] B. Ljung Egeland, C. Olin Scheller, M. Tanner & M. Tengberg, Karlstad: Nationella nätverket för svenska med didaktisk inriktning , 2017, p. 217-239Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den elfte artikeln tar upp lärarstudenter med inriktning förskoleklass till årskurs 3 och deras skrivprocesser. Mer exakt tar sig författarna an examensarbeten, som ställer krav på vetenskaplighet samtidigt som de ska vara relevanta för lärargärningen. Att lyckas med det besvärliga examensarbetet innebär inte minst att kunna hantera skrivandet, som sker under lång tid och utanför lektionssalar och seminarierum. Hort och Ledin tar avstamp i forskningsfältet academic literacies (ACLITS) för att visa hur de komplexa skrivprocesserna kan se ut. Det innebär att de utgår från ett situerat perspektiv och från de sociala praktikersom studenterna förhåller sig till. Författarna betonar materialiteten i skrivandet och låter de tre framgångsrika studenter som följts i studien till största delen själva skapa empirin och delge den till forskarna. Särskilt utgår Hort och Ledin från det de kallar olika textverktyg. De skiljer mellan den framväxande måltexten (uppsatsen) och stödtexter, vilka är de textverktyg som tas i bruk för att reflektera och skriva vidare.Ett huvudresultat är att studenterna skiljer sig åt. Eli använder många stödtexter, vilket främjar ett kritiskt-analytiskt perspektiv. Sanna och Benji använder inte stödtexter lika mycket, även om Sanna i delar av arbetet låter måltexten fungera som stödtext. Eli och Benji utmärks av tydliga globala skrivstrategier, dvs. de har blicken riktad mot slutprodukten, medan Sanna oftare fastnar i det lokala, i vissa formuleringar. Resultaten visar sammantaget att skrivandet av examensarbeten, även för framgångsrika skribenter, tar tid och kräver enstrategiskt upplagd skrivprocess.

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  • 17.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Nyström Höög, Catharina
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Från sats och mening till form och färg: Språkvetenskaplig textforskning och dess samtida utmaningar2017In: Varför språkvetenskap?: Kunskapsintressen, studieobjekt och drivkrafter / [ed] D. Håkansson & A.-M. Karlsson, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2017, 1, p. 75-90Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Samuelsson, Robin
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Södertörn University, Teacher Education.
    Lekande lätt!2017In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 3, p. 56-61Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 19.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    Multi-Modal Critical Discourse Analysis2017In: The Rouledge Handbook of Critical Discourse Studies / [ed] J. Flowerdew & J. Richardson, London: Routledge, 2017, 1, p. 60-76Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    New codifications, new practices: The multimodal communication of CrossFit2017In: Advancing multimodal and critical discourse studies: Interdisciplinary research inspired by Theo van Leeuwen's social semiotics / [ed] S. Zhao, E. Djonov, A. Björkvall & M. Boeriis, New York: Routledge, 2017, 1, p. 147-163Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Samuelsson, Robin
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Södertörn University, Teacher Education.
    Play and imitation: Multimodal interaction and second language development in preschool2017In: Mind, culture and activity, ISSN 1074-9039, E-ISSN 1532-7884, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 18-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper targets the multimodal character of children’s play and its potential for scaffolding second language development. We follow children who are newcomers to a Swedish preschool, and analyze their interactions. Play is, we argue, based on rules or tacit agreements between children, originating in the human capacity of imitation, and creates an opportunity to test out cultural patterns. Despite their limited language abilities, the children naturally engage in bodily play interactions where different objects are deployed. This can potentially underpin second language development, not least when a child or teacher with better Swedish language proficiency participates.

  • 22.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    The neoliberal definition of “elite space” in IKEA kitchens2017In: Social Semiotics, ISSN 1035-0330, E-ISSN 1470-1219, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 323-334Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper carries out a social semiotic analysis of an IKEA commercial to show how their contemporary kitchens, despite being market for those on a more modest budget, present an aspirational form of elite space, constructed on the basis of ideas, values and priorities favored by a neoliberal ideology. Using the notions of new writing and technologization, and carrying out an analysis of form, texture and color, we show how the kitchen, its occupants and their actions are designed and represented as a tightly coded and functional whole into which the ideas and values of neoliberalism can be realized. The designs erase personal difference and actual context and in the commercial allow performances which mark aspirational values according to neoliberalism. Here the kitchen space itself, as is usual across IKEA commercials, allows the protagonist to be “creative,” improve his performance, be “dynamic” and “flexible.” Yet these, like the objects and textures in the kitchen, are merely symbolic components which appear reasonable in the context of the tightly coded system.

  • 23.
    Krzyżanowski, Michal
    et al.
    University of Liverpool.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Uncivility on the web: Populism in/and the borderline discourses of exclusion2017In: Journal of Language and Politics, ISSN 1569-2159, E-ISSN 1569-9862, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 566-581Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the connection between the rise of new types of online uncivil discourses and the recent success of populism. While discussions on the upsurge of populism have centred on institutionalised politics and politicians, only limited attention has been paid to how the success of the former and the latter was propelled by developments outside of the political realm narrowly conceived. Our interest is therefore in the rise of uncivil society, especially on the web, and in its ‘borderline discourse’ at the verge of civil and uncivil ideas, ideologies and norms. Those discourses – showcased here on the example of the language on immigration/refugees in Austria and Sweden – have been using civil-to-uncivil shifts in the discursive representations of society and politics. They have progressively ‘normalised’ the anti-pluralist views across many European public spheres on a par with nativist and exclusionary views now widely propagated by right-wing populist politics in Europe and beyond.

  • 24.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    A discourse–design approach to multimodality: The visual communication of neoliberal management discourse2016In: Social Semiotics, ISSN 1035-0330, E-ISSN 1470-1219, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper takes a discourse–design approach to communication, providing a framework as to how this should be done. Design here is how individuals and institutions realize their interests in the world. We show how it is fruitful to link design more closely to the way discourse has been used in critical studies which draws attention to the motivated use of design, for thinking about design in terms of socio-political context. Due to their affordances, semiotic modes such as photography, graphics, layout, colour, numbers and writing will be deployed and co-articulated. The aim, using a discourse–design approach, is to show how we can best identify the very different affordances of such modes and how they rely on the principled design of a discourse. We illustrate this using examples from management documents at a university which draw on these different affordances in different ways to communicate the same discourse. Through this analysis we see how a neoliberal discourse based on a general design principle of coordination enters everyday practices and become very difficult to challenge.

  • 25.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Management discourse in university administrative documents in Sweden: How it recontextualizes and fragments scholary practices and work processes2016In: Pragmatics: Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association, ISSN 1018-2101, E-ISSN 2406-4238, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 653-657Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies in CDA have revealed the nature of the marketized language that now infuses universities and other public institutions, but there is no comprehensive study as to how this language enters the everyday practices of the university through different levels of steering documents and meetings. In this paper, taking one example from a corpus of data from a larger project on New Public Management in Sweden, we show how successively more detailed documents are created by professional administrators in order to present vision statements, that are first operationalized into strategies and then into more concrete ‘activities’ for the subject level that are related to bundles of performance indicators. These documents re-contextualize practices of teaching and research in line with marketized goals, yet do so through consistent lack of clear agency, causality and process. A number of linguistic and multimodal resources are deployed in a chain of interrelated documents legitimizing this process as one made by careful, technical, management expertise, although the result is a fragmentation of the actual interconnected processes that comprise university work.

  • 26.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    Performance management discourse and the shift to an administrative logic of operation: a multimodal critical discourse analytical approach2016In: Text & Talk, ISSN 1860-7330, E-ISSN 1860-7349, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 445-467Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper, using multimodal critical discourse analysis, explores a chain of performance management documents in a university which aim to meet the goal of increasing output and excellence. A system of performance management developed by Kaplan and Norton in the 1990s, which enables both tangible and also “intangible assets” such as “quality” and “excellence” to be monitored and measured, is now used fairly universally to structure the running of public institutions. Looking in detail at one case, we show that the result is an abstraction and de-contextualization of processes and agents, through a series of interlocking texts, lists and tables that follows an administrative, rather than task led, logic of operation. We show how the discourse is legitimized on the one hand by the very impenetrable nature of the resulting interlocking documents and by the Web of Science database on the other. We give reasons why the database itself is highly problematic and also show the abstract ways in which it is communicated and how it leads to research in all subject areas being codified and standardized in a “one-size-fits-all” way. This, we argue, serves the purposes of naturalizing and justifying notions of “quality,” “excellence” and “value for money” that have been promoted in service of neoliberal politics.

  • 27.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    Strategic diagrams and the technologization of culture2016In: Journal of Language and Politics, ISSN 1569-2159, E-ISSN 1569-9862, Vol. 15, no 3, p. 321-335Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Strategic diagrams are becoming ubiquitous across all forms of social practices, used to map out core elements and processes in private and public institutions and also for more localized and individual activities — where, for example, so that it reads: where, for example, early years school children can manage attitudinal goals. These are easy to produce with cheap software providing templates and tools to do so. This paper shows how these diagrams must be placed in the ideological shift to neoliberal governance with its emphasis on the market, flexibility and competition. All things and processes, however intangible, are viewed as assets with simple cause-effect relations, to be converted into tangible outcomes and maximised outputs. Taking a multimodal critical discourse analysis approach, we analyse two cases, from a university and an early-years school.

  • 28.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    The evolution of performance management discourse in corporate strategy diagrams for public institutions2016In: Discourse, Context & Media, ISSN 2211-6958, E-ISSN 2211-6966, Vol. 13, no B, p. 122-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A specific kind of performance management model called ‘Balanced Scorecard’ has come to dominate the way institutions are run around the world, oriented to increasing outputs and to ‘quality assurance’. Strategic diagrams emerged out of this model, claiming to break down all institutional parts and processes into a flow-chart forming a sort of road map of the role played by all parts of an organization in reaching targets. Drawing on Fairclough׳s (1992) notion of the ‘technologization’ of discourse and Van Leeuwen׳s (2008) notion of ‘the new writing’ this paper applies multimodal critical discourse analysis to a sample of diagrams from a wider corpus showing how they have changed over time, becoming more abstracted and symbolic, as the performance management discourse itself has become naturalized.

  • 29.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    A multimodal critical discourse analytic approach to university rebranding2015In: Handbook of Brand Semiotics / [ed] George Rossolatos, Kassel: Kassel University Press GmbH, 2015, p. 328-363Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University.
    How lists, bullet points and tables recontextualize social practice: A multimodal study of management language in Swedish universities2015In: Critical Discourse Studies, ISSN 1740-5904, E-ISSN 1740-5912, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 463-481Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In critical discourse analysis, we have learned much about the nature of the marketized language that now dominates public institutions such as universities, playing a role in changing their identities. But less is known about the processes whereby this language enters the everyday practices of these institutions through documents that are used to manage teaching and research. What is the role of language in the shift to the way these activities are internally organized, managed, run and evaluated in terms of productivity and market-based principles? In this paper we analyse a chain of documents taken from a wider corpus of management documents in Swedish universities to show how this language recontextualizes the practices of teaching and research. Our focus is on the important role played by lists, bullet points and tables and how these are central to decoupling language from work processes and so legitimizing this marketized discourse. The affordances of these multimodal structures allow complex processes and social relations to be abstracted, fragmented and treated as things. They are also important in allowing documents to form a complex self-referential information infrastructure.

  • 31.
    Ledin, Per
    Örebro universitet.
    Listans och tabellens semiotik2015In: Sakprosa, ISSN 1502-6000, E-ISSN 1891-5108, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article has a theoretical aim and explores the semiotics of lists and tables. It takes a his­torical perspective and looks at both the invention of writing (phylogeny) and the writing deve­lopment of the child (ontogeny) in order to uncover how meaning-making evolves through the use of semiotic and material resources. Lists on clay followed the invention of writing and were used for bureaucratic purposes, to plan and take control over e.g. food, persons and words, which we recognize in today’s grocery lists, participant lists and word lists. When literacy grows and elaborated classification systems are codified, the table becomes an impor­tant semiotic tool that enables detailed and systematic comparisons by its use of materiality, where columns and rows intersect and linguistic and numerical signs can be combined. At the end of the article, I synthesize my observations in a model that shows what kind of meaning-making lists and tables are apt for.

  • 32.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    The semiotics of modernist space in the branding of organisations: A multomodal critical discourse analytic approach2015In: International Journal of Marketing Semiotics, E-ISSN 2195-2280, Vol. 3, p. 19-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is common to find the extensive use of modernist type space in corporate branding: across visual designs of documents; in images that show clean airy spaces; and in building design. In this paper, we look at this use of space as a communicative tool in the rebranding of Örebro University in Sweden, as it was reorganized around marketized principles. By drawing on the perspective of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis, we examine the semiotic use of space in externally and internally targeted documents, with a view to showing how this plays an important role in connoting, both to the publi and internally to staff, a very specific set of priorities, processes and employee identities. By using Bakhtin’s (1981) concept of the chronotope we show how space is fused with time. In these documents time tends to be highly compressed and erases the more complex and inter-related details of long-term, and deeply inter-connected activities both within the university and in society at large. While this might ultimately be detrimental to the core mission of a research/education institution, it serves the purpose of communicating the effectiveness of the university brand’s transition.

  • 33.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.
    Machin, David
    Örebro universitet.
    Universitetet som en multimodal marknadsplats: Designen av en nyliberal managementdiskurs2015In: Språk och stil, ISSN 1101-1165, E-ISSN 2002-4010, Vol. 25, p. 5-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper targets the language through which New Public Management (NPM) is implemented at universities. It is a multimodal language based on a neo-liberal market logic and used for monitoring and steering work processes of research and teaching. We do a case study of one university (Örebro University) using Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis with the aim to reveal how this language threatens to undermine research practices. Our data consist of different but interrelated documents. We have vision statements, which are first operationalized into strategies and then into more concrete ‘activities’ for the subject level that are related to bundles of performance indicators. Due to their affordances, different semiotic resources are deployed and co-articulated. The multimodal structures allow complex processes and social relations to be abstracted, fragmented and treated as things through a recurring design built on coordination. We get a profound recontextualization of research practices in different subject areas, which are handled in an one-size-fits-all way. Through the design this is communicated as a process made by careful, technical, management expertise. We thus meet a multimodal NPM language that is decoupled from actual work practices. We argue that this language threatens professional judgment and has profound effects as to how the control over work practices gets more and more in the hands of the management.

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    Ledin Machin
  • 34.
    Borgström, Eric
    et al.
    Örebro universitet.
    Ledin, Per
    Örebro universitet.
    Bedömarvariation: Balansen mellan teknisk och hermeneutisk rationalitet vid bedömning av skrivprov2014In: Språk och stil, ISSN 1101-1165, E-ISSN 2002-4010, no 24, p. 133-165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is well known from studies of inter-rater reliability that assessments of writing tests vary. In order to discuss this rater variation, we depart from two research questions: 1. How can rater variation be conceived of from a professional, i.e. teacher, perspective? 2. What characterises Swedish (mother-tongue) teachers’ assessments of writing tests? The first question is addressed in a meta-study of previous research, and the second question is answered in a study of 14 Swedish teachers’ rating of texts from a national written composition test in upper secondary school. The results show that teachers in the same subject assess better, i.e. have less rater variation, than other groups. It is also clear that writing tests are notoriously difficult to rate. It is very rare that the correlation coefficients reach the desirable 0.7, a number that means that 50 % of the variance could be explained by shared norms. Another main result concerns criteria and tools for assessment. Such tools should be grounded in teachers’ professional expertise, in their expectations for different levels of performance. Our study reveals several situations where teachers’ professional expertise clashes with assessment criteria. The article concludes that valid assessments of tests that are high-stakes must handle both a technical rationality, i.e. the grading should be predictable from rater to rater, and a hermeneutic rationality, i.e. the grading must be based on teachers’ professional judgment.

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    fulltext
  • 35.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Örebro universitet.
    Så funkar arga lappen2014In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 2, p. 40-43Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 36.
    Ledin, Per
    Örebro universitet.
    Den kulturella texten: format och genre2013In: Viden om Læsning, ISSN 1902-3472, E-ISSN 2245-2761, no 13, p. 6-18Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den kulturella texten är utgångspunkten för denna artikel. En sådan text medierar världen på ett sätt som tillskrivs värde i en kultur. Jag argumenterar för att en kulturell text vilar på en materialitet som är beroende av teknologier och som låter sig beskrivas i termer av ett retoriskt verksamt format. Jag kommer att diskutera format i relation till genre, som tar fasta på typifierade retoriska handlingar och ser dessa som realiserade i texters inre struktur. Som en länk mellan format och genre lyfter jag fram texters yttre form, som kodar textens gränser. Dessa textegenskaper knyter jag till intentionalitet, som gör att en kulturell text i princip uppfattas som meningsfull, att den har en riktadhet som möjliggör samhandling.

  • 37.
    Ledin, Per
    Örebro universitet.
    Därför är särskrivningar roliga2013In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 3, p. 14-19Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 38.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Örebro universitet.
    Jag gillar't2013In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 7, p. 30-33Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 39.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Örebro universitet.
    Klarspråk viktigare än enkelhet2013In: Klarspråk. Bulletin från Språkrådet, no 3, p. 1-1Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 40.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Örebro universitet.
    Lyngfelt, Benjamin
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Olika hen-syn: om bruket av hen i bloggar, tidningstext och studentuppsatser2013In: Språk och stil, ISSN 1101-1165, E-ISSN 2002-4010, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 141-174Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2012, efforts to launch hen as a gender-neutral pronoun in Swedish sparked a widespread and sometimes fierce debate. This article addresses the establishment of hen in actual usage, in particular in blogs, newspapers, and student essays. In general, the use of hen is fairly uncommon, and the majority of occurrences are meta uses, which means the word is discussed more than it is used. In certain areas, however, such as gender-oriented blogs and academic essays on Swedish, hen is somewhat more common. A comparison with alternative gender-neutral expressions is presented, based on different functions of hen, both generic and referentially specific types. Two functions unique to hen are distinguished, cross-gender specific reference and gender-neutral reference to subjects in scientific studies; with respect to other functions, hen is a stylistically marked alternative.

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  • 41.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Örebro universitet.
    Holmberg, Per
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Wirdenäs, Karolina
    Stockholms universitet.
    Yassin, Daroon
    Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.
    Skrivundervisning i skolan bör ha tydliga mål: TOKIS: En skrivpedagogisk modell för textaktiviteter och textsamtal i skolan2013In: Resultatdialog 2013 / [ed] Vetenskapsrådet, Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet , 2013, p. 89-101Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Projektet TOKIS visar att lärare varierar fokus på vad som ska skrivas, på hur det ska skrivas och på varför det ska skrivas, vilket ger olika slags skrivprocesser för eleverna. En insikt är att lärarens mål med skrivandet bör vara tydligt men att graden av språklig formalisering bör variera mellan olika skrivprojekt, beroende på vilket slags text och skrivande som är för handen. En annan insikt är att olika slags textsamtal leder till olika slags skrivande, vilket kan kopplas till olika typer av skrivpedagogiker.

    I projektet utgår forskarna från att det finns kulturellt givna sätt att skapa text, som beskrivs i termer av textaktiviteter och genrer, och att dessa sätt tas i bruk i undervisningssituationer där eleverna rör sig mot olika mål, vilket gör att olika textuella lösningar blir möjliga. Projektet har fokuserat på relationen mellan talande, skrivande och läsande i undervisningen genom en rad klassrumsobservationer.

  • 42.
    Ledin, Per
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Örebro universitet.
    Så blir älgskog en mumsbit2013In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 5, p. 14-19Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 43. Karlsson, Anna-Malin
    et al.
    Ledin, Per
    Stockholms universitet.
    Människor och ting: Om skriftens roll på äldreboendet och på bygget2004In: Svenskans beskrivning: 26, Förhandlingar vid Tjugosjätte sammankomsten för svenskans beskrivning, Uppsala den 25-26 oktober 2002 / [ed] Björn Melander, Ulla Melander Marttala, Catharina Nyström, Mats Thelander, Carin Östman, Uppsala: Hallgren & Fallgren , 2004, p. 134-145Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 44. Karlsson, Anna-Malin
    et al.
    Ledin, Per
    Cyber, hyper och multi: några reflektioner kring IT-ålderns textbegrepp2000In: Human IT, ISSN 1402-1501, E-ISSN 1402-151X, Vol. 4, no 2-3, p. 15-59Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 45.
    Hellspong, Lennart
    et al.
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Rhetoric.
    Ledin, Per
    Stockohlms universitet.
    Vägar genom texten: Handbok i brukstextanalys1997Book (Other academic)
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