This paper addresses the political dimensions of nanotechnology and related nanophenomena, by conducting a systematic and detailed analysis of the linguistic practices in Swedish government documents. A total of 180 documents (1985–2011) referring to nano are analysed with regard to the types of phenomena referred to in terms of nano and what is said about these nanophenomena. More precisely, the lexical and grammatical context of nano in sentences is explored. Based on these linguistic patterns, general themes are identified, for example, knowledge, support, innovation, benefits, competence and competition, application, risk, and regulation. Based on the findings, the conclusion is drawn that government discourse on nano is political in three senses: it is articulated by politicians; it formulates matters of collective concern; and it expresses and promotes specific social interests, rather than others, namely, government support of an allegedly uniform nanofield.
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap (hsv//swe)
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Annan samhällsvetenskap (hsv//swe)
HUMANIORA -- Språk och litteratur (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Media and Communications (hsv//eng)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Other Social Sciences (hsv//eng)
HUMANITIES -- Languages and Literature (hsv//eng)
nano; nanotechnology; government documents; linguistic analysis; linguistic patterns; politics