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How a Brazilian Public University Understands Sustainability: A Study Based on Sociological Discourse Analysis

José Florentino Vieira de Melo, Ana Lúcia de Araújo Lima Coelho, Guilhardo Barros Moreira de Carvalho and Nicolle Sales da Costa

Journal of Management and Sustainability, 2021, vol. 11, issue 1, 187

Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the sustainability discourse manifested by a public institution dedicated to higher education located in the northeastern region of Brazil, the Federal University of Paraiba, during the time interval between the years 2009 and 2020. It used Sociological Discourse Analysis as a research method. It also used the documentation produced by the institution as a data source, in particular its Institutional Development Plans and Management Reports, as well as the media content produced and broadcast by its television channel and magazine. The research also used conversations held with employees linked to organizational management and observations recorded through photographs. Some questions were the basis for the data analysis- Who is the speaker; What is the position of the speaker; Which audiences did the speaker target; What did the speaker silence in the discourse; How did the speaker organize the speech; The research discovered discursive positions, narrative configurations, and semantic spaces that revealed an institution focused on its social function. It used teaching, research, and extension activities to be active in contact with society but placed its internal challenges in the background. It emerged that, despite understanding the importance of sustainability, internal actions to transform the organization into a laboratory for experimentation in this sense decreased due to the prioritization of combating recurrent socio-economic problems.

Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:ibn:jmsjnl:v:11:y:2021:i:1:p:187