Browsing by Subject "5142 Social policy"

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  • Unal Abaday, Didem (2022)
    This article examines young Muslim women's dissident mentalities, practices, and subjectivities that confront the epistemological conditions whereby right-wing populist (RWP) gender politics operates in Turkey. Relying on frame theory in social movement research and the Foucauldian approach to resistance, dissent, and protest, it explores Muslim feminist critique of RWP gender discourse mainly with a focus on the following issues: (i.) Instrumentalization of the headscarf, (ii.) familialist policies, and (iii.) violence against women and the Istanbul Convention (the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence). As a result, it demonstrates that young Muslim women's dissident mentalities and subjectivities generate a new "political project", i.e., a set of new meanings and social goals directed at bringing about social change, which comes into being through the act of resistance against RWP gender grammar and carves out new forms of knowledge reclaiming the Islam-gender nexus for a progressive feminist agenda.
  • Tarkiainen, Laura (2020)
    This article provides a rhetorical discourse analysis of constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness. Data consist of transcripts from Finnish parliament members debating the ‘Activation Model for Unemployment Security’, from December 2017. In the analysis, three discursive constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness were identified: an ‘effortful citizen lacking control’, a ‘needy citizen deserving the welfare state’s reciprocal acts’ and an ‘undeserving freeloader in need of an attitude adjustment’. Analysis focuses on how deservingness and undeservingness are rhetorically accomplished and treated as factual in parliament members’ accounts. The analysis pays particular attention to the question of how speakers build factuality through the management of categories, extreme case formulations, ‘truth talk’ and maximisation and minimisation strategies. The results reflect the negotiated nature of deservingness as well as varying constructions of unemployed people’s responsibility in the contemporary Nordic welfare state context.
  • Isoaho, Karoliina Laila Hannele; Moilanen, Fanni Sofia; Toikka, Arho Ilmari (2019)
    The Energy Union, a major energy sector reform project launched by the European Commission in 2015, has substantial clean energy and climate aims. However, scholarly caution has been raised about their feasibility, especially with regards to accommodating climate objectives with other closely related yet often competing policy goals. We therefore investigate the policy priorities of the Energy Union by performing a topic modelling analysis of over 5,000 policy documents. A big data analysis confirms that decarbonisation and energy efficiency dimensions are major building blocks in the Energy Union's agenda. Furthermore, there are signals of policy convergence in terms of climate security and climate affordability policies. However, our analysis also suggests that the Commission is not actively prescribing trajectories for renewable energy development or paying close attention to declining incumbent energy generation technologies. Overall, we find that the Energy Union is not a 'floating signifier' but rather has a clear and incrementally evolving decarbonisation agenda. Whether it further develops into an active driver of decarbonisation will largely be determined by the implementation phase of the project.
  • Isoaho, Karoliina Laila Hannele; Karhunmaa, Kamilla Mari Amanda (2019)
    This article critically reviews the use of discursive approaches in studies of sustainable energy transitions. The review is motivated by calls to further incorporate social scientific methodologies into energy research and assess their contribution to policy. We strive to answer three questions: (1) which discursive approaches have been used to study sustainable energy transitions; (2) what thematic topics and issue areas have been covered and (3) what is the added value of discursive research designs? Our analysis is based on a review of 77 articles from the years 2004–2016. Our findings show that discursive approaches were mostly used to analyse institutional change and policy strategies at the national level and to examine energy choices through political ideology and the perceptions of publics. Nuclear power received most coverage, while renewable energy technologies were mainly studied through conflicts and opposition. We demonstrate discursive research designs to examine four distinct policy areas and discuss the added value of these approaches for energy policy and research. Discursive methodologies enable scholars to enrich policy discussions through accounting for transitions as complex and dynamic processes of change.
  • Järvensivu, Paavo; Räisänen, Helmi; Hukkinen, Janne (2021)
    Urban policymakers of the 2020s must act within various types of wicked socio-ecological disruptions. Under deep uncertainty and time pressure, they must make decisions which will define the scope of possible actions in the future. Our aim was to develop a research instrument that would enable researchers and practitioners to learn about such policymaking. We designed and ran a half-day simulation exercise, the Policy Operations Room (POR). The participants were the top politicians and a group of senior experts from the City of Helsinki, Finland. The design of the exercise was based on a review of simulation and gaming research literature. The exercise managed to integrate - albeit imperfectly - the utilitarian and emancipatory dimensions in futures studies: it gave the participants the utilitarian possibility to practice decision-making and the emancipatory possibility to critically reflect on decision-making in wicked, science-based scenarios. It also gave the researchers a chance to witness urgent decision-making in action. Issues deserving further attention include the inclusion of social-political complexity in the scenarios and practitioner involvement in the design process of the exercise. All in all, the POR constitutes a unique way of integrating science-based assessment of future path dependencies into science-policy research and interaction.
  • Yoon, Sangwon; Speyer, Renee; Cordier, Reinie; Aunio, Pirjo; Hakkarainen, Airi (2021)
    Aims: Child maltreatment (CM) is a serious public health issue, affecting over half of all children globally. Although most CM is perpetrated by parents or caregivers and their reports of CM is more accurate than professionals or children, parent or caregiver report instruments measuring CM have never been systematically evaluated for their content validity, the most important psychometric property. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the content validity of all current parent or caregiver report CM instruments. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in CINAHL, Embase, ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Sociological Abstracts; gray literature was retrieved through reference checking. Eligible studies needed to report on content validity of instruments measuring CM perpetrated and reported by parents or caregivers. The quality of studies and content validity of the instruments were evaluated using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments guidelines. Results: Fifteen studies reported on the content validity of 15 identified instruments. The study quality was generally poor. The content validity of the instruments was overall sufficient, but most instruments did not provide high-quality evidence for content validity. Conclusions: Most instruments included in this review showed promising content validity. The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Child Abuse Screening Tool for use in Trial appears to be the most promising, followed by the Family Maltreatment-Child Abuse criteria. However, firm conclusions cannot be drawn due to the low quality of evidence for content validity. Further studies are required to evaluate the remaining psychometric properties for recommending parent or caregiver report CM instruments.
  • Treanor, Charlene J; Kouvonen, Anne; Lallukka, Tea; Donnelly, Michael (2021)
    Background: Mental ill-health presents a major public health problem. A potential part solution that is receiving increasing attention is computer-delivered psychological therapy, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic as health care systems moved to remote service delivery. However, computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (cCBT) requires active engagement by service users, and low adherence may minimize treatment effectiveness. Therefore, it is important to investigate the acceptability of cCBT to understand implementation issues and maximize potential benefits. Objective: This study aimed to produce a critical appraisal of published reviews about the acceptability of cCBT for adults. Methods: An umbrella review informed by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodology identified systematic reviews about the acceptability of cCBT for common adult mental disorders. Acceptability was operationalized in terms of uptake of, dropping out from, or completion of cCBT treatment; factors that facilitated or impeded adherence; and reports about user, carer, and health care professional experience and satisfaction with cCBT. Databases were searched using search terms informed by relevant published research. Review selection and quality appraisal were guided by the JBI methodology and the AMSTAR tool and undertaken independently by 2 reviewers. Results: The systematic searches of databases identified 234 titles, and 9 reviews (covering 151 unique studies) met the criteria. Most studies were comprised of service users with depression, anxiety, or specifically, panic disorder or phobia. Operationalization of acceptability varied across reviews, thereby making it difficult to synthesize results. There was a similar number of guided and unguided cCBT programs; 34% of guided and 36% of unguided users dropped out; and guidance included email, telephone, face-to-face, and discussion forum support. Guided cCBT was completed in full by 8%-74% of the participants, while 94% completed one module and 67%-84% completed some modules. Unguided cCBT was completed in full by 16%-66% of participants, while 95% completed one module and 54%-93% completed some modules. Guided cCBT appeared to be associated with adherence (sustained via telephone). A preference for face-to-face CBT compared to cCBT (particularly for users who reported feeling isolated), internet or computerized delivery problems, negative perceptions about cCBT, low motivation, too busy or not having enough time, and personal circumstances were stated as reasons for dropping out. Yet, some users favored the anonymous nature of cCBT, and the capacity to undertake cCBT in one's own time was deemed beneficial but also led to avoidance of cCBT. There was inconclusive evidence for an association between sociodemographic variables, mental health status, and cCBT adherence or dropping out. Users tended to be satisfied with cCBT, reported improvements in mental health, and recommended cCBT. Overall, the results indicated that service users' preferences were important considerations regarding the use of cCBT. Conclusions: The review indicated that "one size did not fit all" regarding the acceptability of cCBT and that individual tailoring of cCBT is required in order to increase population reach, uptake, and adherence and therefore, deliver treatment benefits and improve mental health.
  • Peura-Kapanen, Liisa Hannele; Jallinoja, Piia Tuuli; Kaarakainen, Minna Susanna (2017)
    Independent living in their own home is currently an ideal shared by many older people. However, weakening physical strength and illness are often associated with nutritional risks. Convenience food is one option to ensure that nutritional needs are met, but convenience food itself and its packaging face negative attitudes. This article analyzes the factors connected to acceptability of and obstacles to using convenience food among older people in Finland. The analysis was done by using three sets of data gathered using a qualitative research method for examining how older people relate to convenience food and food packaging. The methods used were empathy-based stories (2011 n = 114) and two rounds of focus group discussions (2012 n = 22, 2014 n = 32). By and large, the study participants associated negative meanings with convenience food. Some saw convenience food as an easy solution in certain situations. Our study showed that elderly individuals valued healthiness of food, freedom of choice, and right of self-determination in eating. Acceptability of convenience food requires an availability of meals matching taste preferences and sensory capabilities. Moreover, healthiness of food and easy-to-use and environmentally friendly packaging were valued by many interviewees.
  • Hiilamo, Heikki (Routledge, 2021)
    The inclusive Nordic welfare model has facilitated economic growth, stable business environments and excellent living conditions as demonstrated by a number of scholars. The Nordic ‘happy democracies’ have been characterised by consensual decision-making procedures, corporatism, relatively high voter turnout, wide representation of various social groups, active membership in social organisations and remarkable levels of both institutional and social trust. The eradication of poverty is not merely a matter of expenditures and compensation. A convincing body of literature demonstrates that the level of trust in a society has consequences for economic performance as well as for individual well-being. Robert Putnam has identified two dimensions of social capital: bridging or inclusive, and bonding or exclusive social capital. Labour union membership has declined in Nordic countries with new forms of contracted work and other types of non-standard employment contracts.
  • Munck af Rosenschöld, Johan; Honkela, Nina; Hukkinen, Janne Ilmari (2014)
  • Sama, Thomas Babila; Konttinen, Ilkka; Hiilamo, Heikki (2021)
    Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the arguments used by the alcohol industry and actors aligning with it as a lobbying strategy on Twitter to influence the reform of the Finnish alcohol law during its preparation phase between 2014 and 2017, when the original purpose of the law reform was changed from reducing alcohol-related harm to liberalizing alcohol policy. Method: Primary data were collected on Twitter between 2014 and 2017 from six alcohol industry actors (n = 1,085 tweets). The Twitter data were analyzed by coding using Microsoft Excel and by content and thematic analyses using a modified version of the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing's (2011) seven key messages of the alcohol industry. Results: The findings identified three main arguments used on Twitter by the alcohol industry and actors aligning with it, namely: (1) application of liberal alcohol policies generates more revenue, (2) liberties should be generally prioritized above bureaucracy and control, and (3) education about responsibility is the best solution to alcohol-related problems. Conclusions: Social media applications such as Twitter offer the alcohol industry unlimited opportunities for promoting its traditional public relations arguments.
  • Sama, Thomas Babila; Hiilamo, Heikki (2019)
    Aim:The aim of this study was to investigate the strategies used by the alcohol industry to influence the reform of the Alcohol Act in Finland during the preparation phase between 2016 and 2017. The study answers the following research question: what strategies were used by the alcohol industry to change the original purpose of the reform on alcohol in Finland?Method:Primary data were collected through 16 expert interviews with experts who had participated in the preparation of the alcohol reform in Finland, while secondary data were collected from prior literature, journal articles and Google databases.Results:The results identified three main political strategies used by the alcohol industry to influence the reform of the law on alcohol in Finland during the preparation phase between 2016 and 2017: ?information?, under which the alcohol industry lobbied politicians in Parliament through Members of Parliament of the National Coalition Party due to the close ties between the two; ?constituency building?, under which the alcohol industry formed alliances with interest groups in the grocery-retail business in Finland, to advocate for liberalisation of the law, as well as the use of social media ? specifically Twitter ? to lobby the public; and lastly, ?policy substitution? to promote self-regulation.Conclusions:The results suggest that the involvement of the alcohol industry in political decision-making following Finland?s EU membership has given the industry legitimacy and new opportunities to influence alcohol policy, while limiting policies to protect the public from alcohol-related harms. The results may be useful to alcohol policy-makers.
  • McMinn, Megan A.; Gray, Linsay; Harkanen, Tommi; Tolonen, Hanna; Pitkanen, Joonas; Molaodi, Oarabile R.; Leyland, Alastair H.; Martikainen, Pekka (2020)
    Background: In the context of declining levels of participation, understanding differences between participants and non-participants in health surveys is increasingly important for reliable measurement of health-related behaviors and their social differentials. This study compared participants and non-participants of the Finnish Health 2000 survey, and participants and a representative sample of the target population, in terms of alcohol-related harms (hospitalizations and deaths) and all-cause mortality. Methods: We individually linked 6,127 survey participants and 1,040 non-participants, aged 30-79, and a register-based population sample (n = 496,079) to 12 years of subsequent administrative hospital discharge and mortality data. We estimated age-standardized rates and rate ratios for each outcome for non-participants and the population sample relative to participants with and without sampling weights by sex and educational attainment. Results: Harms and mortality were higher in non-participants, relative to participants for both men (rate ratios = 1.5 [95% confidence interval = 1.2, 1.9] for harms; 1.6 [1.3, 2.0] for mortality) and women (2.7 [1.6, 4.4] harms; 1.7 [1.4, 2.0] mortality). Non-participation bias in harms estimates in women increased with education and in all-cause mortality overall. Age-adjusted comparisons between the population sample and sampling weighted participants were inconclusive for differences by sex; however, there were some large differences by educational attainment level. Conclusions: Rates of harms and mortality in non-participants exceed those in participants. Weighted participants' rates reflected those in the population well by age and sex, but insufficiently by educational attainment. Despite relatively high participation levels (85%), social differentiating factors and levels of harm and mortality were underestimated in the participants.
  • Venermo, Maarit; Manderbacka, Kristiina; Ikonen, Tuija; Keskimäki, Ilmo; Winell, Klas; Sund, Reijo (2013)
  • Katainen, Anu; Heikkilä, Riie (2020)
    Critical discussions on the focus group method have highlighted the importance of considering the forms of interaction generated in groups. In this empirical paper we argue that these forms of interaction are intimately linked to the ways participants interpret the study setting, and these interpretations are likely to differ significantly depending on participants' social backgrounds. In the light of our data consisting of 18 focus groups with 15-year-old school pupils from both affluent and deprived neighbourhoods of Helsinki discussing film clips about young people drinking alcohol, we ask what kinds of modes of participation are mobilised in focus group discussions in order to mark the social position of participants. We further analyse these modes in relation to situated identity performances, arguing that contextual factors of the study setting become especially important to consider when researching vulnerable groups and heterogeneous populations. The analysis yields three modes of participation: these are active/engaged, resistant/passive and dominant/transformative. We argue that these modes can be viewed as actively taken positions that reveal what kinds of identities and competences participants are able and willing to mobilise in the study setting, and that recognising these modes is important in all interview settings.
  • Lauronen, Juha-Pekka; Vehmas, Simo Pekka (Human European Consultancy, 2016)
  • Bosqui, Tania; Väänänen, Ari; Koskinen, Aki; Buscariolli, Andre; O'reilly, Dermot; Airila, Auli; Toivanen, Minna; Kouvonen, Anne (2020)
    Aims: Higher incidence of psychotic disorders in high-income countries for migrants compared with the settled majority has been well established. However, it is less clear to what extent different migrants groups have accessed and utilised mental health care. This study aimed to identify the hazard of antipsychotic medication use in the largest migrant groups in Finland, compared with a Finnish-born comparison group, using high quality datasets maintained by Statistics Finland and Social Insurance Institution Finland, and linking socio-demographic and -economic characteristics to antipsychotic prescription purchases. Methods: The study draws on a representative sample of 33% of the adult working-age population of Finland in 2005 (n = 1,059,426, 50.2% male, 2.5% migrant). The use of antipsychotic drugs was followed-up from 2005 to 2014. Results: The results show that the hazard of antipsychotic medication purchases differed between migrant groups, with a higher hazard for migrants from North Africa and the Middle East before socio-economic adjustment (men HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.04-1.37; women HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.12-1.66), and a lower hazard for all migrant groups after adjustment for socio-economic characteristics compared with the Finland-born population. Conclusions: The findings suggest that attention should be paid to the lower use of medication for psychotic disorders in some migrant groups, as well as the potential role of social disadvantage for migrants from North Africa and Middle East.
  • Ahonen, Pertti (2015)
    This article draws on neo-institutional theoretical ideas to empirically examine the institutionalization of evaluation in the national government of Finland. The results indicate ambiguity in the basic institutionalization of Finnish evaluation, and imprecision in the agency of the actors that carry out or commission evaluations or utilize the evaluation results. Some Finnish institutional practices of evaluation enhance formal rationality such as efficiency and effectiveness, some support legitimation, and others do both in combination. The strength of coupling of evaluation to decision-making varies greatly. For future research, the article suggests studies on the institutionalization of evaluation in other countries. For evaluation practice, the results highlight the position of evaluation along the rationality-legitimation axis, and the variable linkages of evaluation to decision-making.
  • Shin, Bokyong; Rask, Mikko (2021)
    Online deliberation research has recently developed automated indicators to assess the deliberative quality of much user-generated online data. While most previous studies have developed indicators based on content analysis and network analysis, time-series data and associated methods have been studied less thoroughly. This article contributes to the literature by proposing indicators based on a combination of network analysis and time-series analysis, arguing that it will help monitor how online deliberation evolves. Based on Habermasian deliberative criteria, we develop six throughput indicators and demonstrate their applications in the OmaStadi participatory budgeting project in Helsinki, Finland. The study results show that these indicators consist of intuitive figures and visualizations that will facilitate collective intelligence on ongoing processes and ways to solve problems promptly.