Er du OK, LO?

Lin Bagge Gyldenkærne

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

It is gradually an indisputable condition for the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) that their member unions are losing members and has been losing members since 1994. Furthermore, the general level of unionization is decreasing. There has been a lot of speculation and different analyses regarding LO’s loss of members. Some of the most prominent proposals include challenges on a structural level and rising individualism. The primary goal of this dissertation has been to investigate how LO and their member unions articulate the concept of being a confederation of trade unions. To address this the thesis first examines the communication of LO and the member unions. The discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe provide the analytical framework and thereby highlights the essential nodal points; welfare society, community, equality and solidarity. Secondly the dissertation examines how a specific statement of trade union values can have consequences for the members and their ‘behavioral room’. Michel Foucalts governmentality theory and the focus on subject formation provides the framework for the second analysis. The last analytical point will be based on interviews with selected union representatives of LO's federation. The purpose is to look into how the official discourse and strategy of the trade union movement is expressed in practice. Finally, this thesis will investigate whether there is a correlation between the various analytical parts and the impact of the trade union movement. The concluding remarks state that there is a variety of different ideas and meaningful expressions regarding the trade union movement. LO and its member unions articulates a strong official discourse through which they seek to control the behavior of their members to obtain specific values. In practice, it does not always apply to the mindset of the union representatives of LO’s federation. As the analysis uncovers there are different views on the core values of LO and its member unions both across the representatives and across the member unions which the thesis sets as a challenge for the cohesion of the trade union movement and for its political impact as a hole.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2018
Number of pages89
SupervisorsChrista Breum Amhøj