New Research Alert: Tolerants versus traditionalists: making sense of online conversations on the new Finnish flagship library Oodi

INVENT members Riie Heikkilä and Ossi Sirkka from the Finnish team have published a new article in the International Journal of Cultural Policy. The article builds on data scraping research conducted by INVENT and its abstract reads as follows:

Public libraries play a unique role in preserving, maintaining, and distributing cultural capital freely. Currently, public libraries are said to be undergoing a change: from public spheres offering culture selected and curated by legitimated experts, libraries are seen to have shifted more towards social hubs. However, little is known about how potential library users perceive these alleged changes. In this article, we explore which topics emerge in online conversations about Oodi, Helsinki’s new central library, and what kinds of symbolic boundaries are drawn in them. Our data consist of tweets and comments on newspaper articles (N = 2,342). Using structural topic modelling and a qualitative thematic analysis, we identify eight different topics that appear to be highly polarised. We interpret the online conversations on Oodi as negotiations of the ownership of publicly funded culture and cultural capital. These negotiations are organised around two opposing poles: tolerant, cosmopolitan views versus traditional, conservative attitudes.

Read the full article here:

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