Identiteter i Ungdomshuset

Louise Knuth Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is the result of an integrated study between the two subjects Journalism and Geography. It focuses on how identities are constructed in media’s and young people’s representations about a place. The place in focus is Ungdomshuset, which was a youth house in Copenhagen, where young people had parties, played music, made dinners and hung out with their friends. In August 2006 the Danish Court decided that they had no right to keep on using the house, because it was owned by the Christian Free Church Faderhuset. The young people reacted by having a lot of demonstrations because they had no intensions to move out. And the media reacted by writing a lot about the case of Ungdomshuset. In this thesis I analyse how both the young people and the media represent the young people’s identities and attachment to the place, and I analyse the relation between their representations. My empirical material consists of 246 articles about Ungdomshuset brought in national newspapers and seven individual and group interviews with 12 young people from Ungdomshuset. I’m making discourse analysis inspired by Norman Fairclough because I believe that language is an irreducible part of social life and of the construction of meaning. With reference to Fairclough’s focus on intertextuality I discuss the relations between meanings constructed about Ungdomshuset in the media discourse and in the young peoples discourse. I believe all social practices have a spatial dimension and therefore I develop my analytical themes from the geographical theorists Manuel Castells, Tim Cressweell, Doreen Massey and Kirsten Simonsen. To get a better understanding of how identities are constructed within and not outside representations I draw in Stuart Hall. One of the main conclusions is that there is a huge gap between the meanings in the two discourses. The meanings of Ungdomshuset are much more nuanced in the young people’s discourse than in the media discourse. The young people create a reality where the house is safe, they feel at home, it’s creative, there are no expectations about a specific lifestyle, it’s different from everywhere else, and they feel attached to the house because it is a part of their life. In the media discourse the primary meaning of the house is that it is a part of a conflict with politicians, the police, Faderhuset and other parts of society. It is an unsafe place which contains illegal activities and the place is not worth to feel attached to. It is also concluded that within the discourses there are different meanings, and that the young people’s discourse is more influenced of the media discourse than the other way around.

EducationsJournalism, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) GraduateGeography, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date23 Nov 2007
SupervisorsHanne Jørndrup


  • identitet, stedstilknytning, sense of place, diskurs, diskursanalyse, socialkonstruktivisme, nyhedskriterier