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This article aims to analyse the discourse about khat in the Swedish newspaper media and to present the concept of moral entrepreneurship as a useful analytical tool for…
This article aims to analyse the discourse about khat in the Swedish newspaper media and to present the concept of moral entrepreneurship as a useful analytical tool for understanding mobilisation against khat use in the Somali diaspora.
The material analysed consists of daily newspaper articles about khat published between 1986 and 2012. The method of analysis is inspired by the critical discourse analysis framework developed by Norman Fairclough. Drawing on Howard S. Becker's concept of moral entrepreneur, the article focuses on anti‐khat campaigners who speak out against khat in the media. These are often representatives from Somali voluntary associations or organisations, who sometimes employ moral entrepreneurship. The article discusses these actors' role in framing khat use as a tangible threat to the Somali community in Sweden.
When employing moral entrepreneurship, anti‐khat campaigners spread a certain type of knowledge about khat that is presented to the general public via the media. The key issues that repeatedly are of concern are how khat destroys Somali families and how the use might spread to other groups. In this manner khat use is constructed as a threat to Somali social cohesion. The knowledge produced could potentially influence policy makers to introduce stricter punishments for possession, sale and use of khat, thereby possibly increasing stigma and marginalisation in relation to the Somali immigrant community.
The literature about khat has pointed to the centrality of Somali organisations mobilising against khat in the diaspora. This article presents moral entrepreneurship as a theoretical tool to further the understanding of the mobilisation against khat and its use.