Browsing by Subject "Master's Programme in Contemporary Societies"

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  • Ranta, Hertta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Mental health problems are a major public health concern globally. Many developed countries are facing the challenge of ageing populations and simultaneously an increase in labour market inactivity due to mental health problems among the working-age population. To be able to prolong working careers, it is important to pay attention to the work ability of young adults. As working life has become more psychosocially demanding while the burden of adverse physical working conditions has diminished, it is important to gain a better understanding of the association between working conditions and mental health functioning among younger workers in order to find ways to enhance work ability and alleviate the social and economic burden of mental health problems. The aim of this study was to examine the association between adverse working conditions and poor mental health functioning among under 40-year-old employees of the City of Helsinki. The data (n=4 315) was collected in 2017 through survey questionnaires for the Helsinki Health Study. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to analyse the association of psychosocial working conditions (job control and job demands) and physical working conditions (physical workload) with mental health functioning. Mental health functioning was measured with the SF-36 measurement and was dichotomised from the lowest quartile. Sociodemographic characteristics and health behaviours were used as covariates in the analysis. The results showed that after full adjustments, respondents with high job demands were nearly twice as likely (OR=1.9; 95% CI=1.6-2.3) and those with low job control 1.5 times as likely (OR=1.5; 95% CI=1.2-1.7) to have poor mental health functioning than others. Adjusting for covariates did not affect the OR for job control, but adjusting for adverse health behaviours decreased the OR for high job demands slightly. High physical workload had a weak association with poor mental health functioning, which slightly decreased after adjusting for adverse health behaviours and was not statistically significant in the full model (OR=0.9; 95% CI=0.8-1.1). The results of this study highlight the significance of adverse psychosocial working conditions for poor employee mental health functioning. Thus, in order to increase individual wellbeing and work productivity, work organizations could consider ways to decrease employees’ job demands and enhance employee job control. As the present study was cross-sectional, further research is needed to investigate the long-term effects of adverse working conditions on mental health functioning among younger employees.
  • Heinonen, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Refugees and asylum seekers and their employment is critical, contemporary topic and challenge in majority of European countries. The employment rates of refugees and asylum seekers are relatively low, yet refugees simultaneously face considerable structural challenges in attaining employment. Their large-scale unemployment is problematic both in political and economic terms, and crucially needs alleviation. Various factors significantly influencing refugees’ employment have been identified in previous academic research, but the role of social networks in relation to likelihood of employment is not clear despite research. Therefore, this study aims to provide statistical viewpoint on how social networks, particularly networks to Finnish-born people, are connected to the employment probability of refugees, and how strong and statistically significant the association is. This study uses data from Migrants’ health and wellbeing (Maahanmuuttajien terveys- ja hyvinvointitutkimus, Maamu) by Finnish Institute of health and welfare (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, THL), surveyed in 2010-2012. Maamu study was conducted to examine the living conditions, health, wellbeing and use of services of three immigrant groups of Somalis, Kurds and Russians, and covered 1846 respondents. Refugee group in this study consists mainly of Kurds and Somalis (99,5%), and non-refugee control group mainly of Russians (95%). Association between social networks and employment was analyzed with logistic regression analysis. Sociodemographic factors and measures of physical and mental health, length of residence, language skills, previous education, and ethnicity were used as covariates. Main results of the study indicate that bridging networks are positively and statistically significantly correlated to employment (OR 1.50, CI 95% 1.12-2.01, p 0.006) when refugee status, demographic factors and refugee-specific variables are controlled for. Networks to co-ethnic or other immigrants are not statistically significantly associated to employment. Interaction analysis (p 0.015) revealed that bridging networks are positively associated to employment among both non-refugees (OR 1.07) and refugees (OR 0.80), as without bridging network the likelihood of employment is considerably lower (OR 0.38). Therefore, bridging networks do seem particularly relevant in employment of refugees. Regression analysis examining associations with bridging networks showed especially strong connections to local language skills, and surprisingly, networks to other immigrants. These findings suggest that in Finnish context, immigrants’ bridging networks to Finnish-born people are positively and statistically significantly associated to employment, and the association is especially strong among refugees. Therefore, better enabling refugees to create ties to Finnish-born people could in turn improve their likelihood of employment. However, due to the cross-sectional nature of the study, further studies are needed to examine the causality of bridging networks and employment among refugees and other immigrants.
  • Pousi, Matti August Oskari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The ecological crisis is ravaging the planet. Governments and businesses have set carbon neutrality targets as part of a necessary green transformation. One promising negative emission technology is based on biochar, which has created excitement in the voluntary carbon markets. However, the voluntary carbon markets and carbon sequestration with biochar both stand at a crossroads. There is currently no regulation that would govern the markets. Only voluntary standardizations and the sellers and buyers’ conscience provide directions for the quality of offsets and real carbon cuts achieved. In addition, the production of high-quality biochar remains at a low level. This thesis contributes to the research on green transformations by examining critically the expectations and promises related to biochar and voluntary carbon markets. The focus of this study is on the framings and discourses related to the role of biochar and the voluntary carbon markets in low-carbon pathways. The main research question is: What are the different narratives and perspectives on the role of biochar and voluntary carbon markets in sustainable low-carbon pathways? To answer this, I have identified and interviewed the main actors and stakeholders in the supply chain of biochar-based offsets as well as analyzed key policy and research documents that take part in the biochar offset related discourses. The research approach draws from two theoretical frameworks: the sustainable pathways approach developed by Melissa Leach, Ian Scoones, and Andy Stirling and Maarten Hajer’s critical discourse analysis on environmental policy. These frameworks are used to analyze the informant interviews and policy and research documents. It is found out that there are five discursive patterns shaping the discourses related to biochar and the voluntary carbon markets: biochar as a magic bullet, market-led low-carbon pathway, techno-managerialism, traces of more transformative greening, and climate-centrism. Techno-managerialism is the most distinctive feature of the biochar and voluntary carbon market discourse. Together, the five patterns shape the way in which biochar and the voluntary carbon markets are perceived, how policy problems related to them are defined and framed, and finally, what type of policy solutions are formulated.
  • Kitaba, Yuri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Female migration has been widely studied in Europe. Previous studies had found that migration is gendered, thus, the experience of migrants differs depending on issues such as gender, class and ethnicity along with career and familial relations. The position of the migrants in the post-migration time period is influenced by the recognition of their skills and the assessment of human capital they possess in the host society, which has a considerable effect on the position of immigrant women. Thus, I employ a feminist extension of Bourdieu’s forms of capital in migration studies as a theoretical framework to examine the position of immigrant women and to better understand their experience in a host society. In addition, I utilize the ideas of emotional capital to discuss the importance of studying caring practice, including everyday activities and the caring work done for other family members, and its interactions with the outside of the household, the local community and, possibly, with integration. My focus is on the position of immigrant woman in Finland, a country where the Nordic welfare regime, which is built on egalitarian practices, creates a paradox for immigrant integration, as national belonging is built on labour market participation and the idea of gender equality. I pay specific attention to the Cash for Care scheme in relation to high female labour participation and the choices of childcare provision. Thus, my intention is to explore immigrant women’s decision making on childcare, what kind of activities the women engage in while taking care of their child, and their progress in integration. My research questions are: 1) do immigrant women utilize caring practice in capital accumulation; and if so, how? and 2) how do they generate various forms of capital and transform them into other types of capital and, ultimately, into economic capital? The sub-questions include: how does the notion of national belonging related to labour market participation and gender equality in Finnish society intertwine with individuals’ decision making with regards to the process of capital accumulation and transformation? I employed a feminist standpoint to conduct 6 in-depth interviews using a narrative approach. The interviewees are all from outside of the European Union, are highly skilled, have at least one child whose age is under three years old, have experienced staying at home with a child and currently live in the Helsinki metropolitan area. I utilized thematic analysis to explore the experiences of the immigrant women. The results show the potential for immigrant women to be subjects of capital accumulation, as well as objects where their capital is utilized in supporting and enhancing the lives of other family members. First, the results establish the importance of a local and neighbouring context in capital accumulation in relation to how caring for a child goes beyond the household, and is linked to the generation of social and cultural capital. The choice on the length of stay with one’s child at home intertwines with the social and economic statuses of the interviewees, but remains primarily a matter of individual preference. Second, two of the cases demonstrate the transformation of accumulated capital into economic capital through caring for other members of the family, which works as a resource of emotional capital. At the same time, the position of these women is constrained by social and cultural barriers, as they lack appreciated capital, the most important of them being a sufficient knowledge of Finnish language and culture along with relevant social networks. The position of immigrant mothers can also be observed from an objective viewpoint: there are limitations on the women’s ability to accumulate capital for themselves due to them taking care of the child. However, at the same time, the women can engage in transmission of capital and enhancing their children’s capital development. This thesis shows that the caring work of mothers goes beyond the household, contributing to the generation of capital in their integration process as well as for their children. Caring practice in research demands further investigation to better understand the paths of immigrant women and, possibly, the involvement of their spouses in this practice, in order to improve the women’s social and economic positioning in Finnish society.
  • Kehn, Carolyn (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Gender in the military is a critical yet controversial topic both socially and scholastically. However, in review of the literature regarding servicemembers’ transitions out of the military organization, the experience of women is often excluded or generalized from the experience of their male peers. This thesis applies a gender constructivist lens to military sociology and explores the narratives of women officers who have served in the Finnish Defence Forces. It adapted the Critical Incident Technique, as well as graphic elicitation, to conduct qualitative interviews with five respondents. Subsequent analysis revealed four types of critical events that illustrate entry into and exit from the Finnish Defence Forces during a career: prompting, retaining, bridging, and affirming events. These events, as well as participants’ descriptions of identity work, cannot be understood merely through factors relating to the Institutional/Occupational Thesis, but necessitate an understanding of the negotiation of gender throughout a career in the Finnish Defence Forces. The conclusions of this work refute the simplified perspective of gender equality in Finland and demand a gender-nuanced approach to future theoretical conceptualizations of military organizations, as well as the identities of individual servicemembers.
  • Glushkova, Tatiana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The number of older migrants has been increasing in the world. Immigration to Finland has also been growing with Russia as one of the biggest nationalities. Older migrants are one of the most vulnerable groups since they might receive less attention than younger migrants, feel more insecure in a new environment, and deal with age-related processes, such as retirement, loss of a spouse, and declining health. Additionally, migration leads to relocation to a new society and adjustment to it, a language barrier, separation from family and friends, and other difficulties. A sense of belonging is crucial for migrants since it provides a feeling of comfort and affects their well-being, and negotiating cultural identity and belonging remains relevant even for those who lived in the country of settlement for decades. Creating a sense of belonging in the receiving society may be challenging for older people due to difficulties in learning a language, declining health, and socialization into origin ethnic culture long before migrating. That is why older migrants’ sense of belonging is a primary interest of this study. This thesis focuses on belonging through identity, which is defined as identification with a certain community, and on individual-level factors of belonging. In addition, the association between cultural orientations and types of belonging is examined. The thesis uses a quantitative approach and data from CHARM research. CATPCA is used to identify types of belonging and cultural orientations, and regression analysis is employed to examine the association between factors and types of belonging. Three types of belonging were found among older Russian-speaking migrants (50 years and above) in Finland : national belonging to Russians and Russian-speaking people in Finland, emotional belonging to communities of colleges, friends, neighbours in Finland, and belonging to Ingrian Finns. Worth noting that a core element of belonging to Ingrian Finns is a religion since it is one of the indicators of Ingrian Finns' identity. Similar to previous studies, local language may be one of the barriers to emotional belonging. However, “poor” Finnish or Swedish skills contribute to national belonging to Russians. Other significant predictors for all types of belonging health, religion, and economic situation. Additionally, orientations to Russian and Finnish culture are moderately and positively correlated, which indicates that migrants may orientate to both Finnish and Russian cultures simultaneously, and their cultural identities may be compatible. Orientation to Russian culture contributes to national belonging and belonging to Ingrian Finns. On the other hand, orientation to Finnish culture and belonging to Ingrian Finns are negatively associated. This thesis shows that older Russian-speaking migrants in Finland may have multiple types of belonging, and some of the most significant factors of national and emotional belonging as well as belonging to Ingrian Finns include language, health, and religion. Furthermore, the concept of cultural orientations is significant for migrants' sense of belonging, and the association between cultural orientations and a sense of belonging should be investigated in more detail
  • Engström, Olivia Emelie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In my thesis, I investigate how the allyship between UN Women and HeForShe Champions - male leaders, representatives of different countries and communities, make a significant shift in the universal UN gender equality discourse. I show how such allyship helps to modify the abstract UN gender equality rhetoric into change in cultural practices. My data is the UN documents representing gender equality discourse and is chosen within chronological frame between 1945 and 2018. My research answers questions What impact does the HeForShe movement has on the UN gender equality discourse? How does rhetoric of the UN gender equality discourse changes when male leaders are invited to participate as allies in efforts to solve gender inequality issues? I apply Kevin C. Dunn’s and Iver B. Neumann’s post-structuralist discourse analysis to trace the development of the rhetoric of men’s agency and to detect significant shifts in the UN gender equality discourse. I utilize Peter Hedström’s and Richard Swedberg’s analytical mechanism-based approach to explain the possibility of social change through the application of specific social mechanisms. I show how situational, action-formation and transformational mechanisms initiate the change in cultural practices, which further spread by means of social network diffusion effect, described by James S. Coleman. My findings show that the Champions interpret the UN global universal rhetoric of gender equality into the local cultural contexts. UN Women utilizes the knowledge and the positions of local leaders in order to implement the UN gender equality strategies in a way that they would work in the local contexts of different communities. New set of the ideas and the values incorporated into the exemplary actions of HeForShe allies, modifies patterns of attitudes and behavior. It spreads further through the next level of social networks, through social contacts. Such allyship approach transforms the rhetoric of men’s role in the UN gender equality discourse into practices. UN Woman strategy to leverage social and cultural capital of local leaders makes a significant shift in the UN gender equality discourse from the rhetoric to the path of cultural change.
  • Pulliainen, Merja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Homelessness has been described as a wicked problem due to its complexity and persistence. In the past few decades, Finland has implemented strategies and measures to tackle homelessness and to prevent it. The results have been effective, and homelessness has decreased significantly. However, despite the success of these implementations, there are still thousands of homeless people in Finland who lack a place to call home. As it remains, homelessness is one of the most challenging problems facing Finnish society. In Finland the explanations for the homeless phenomenon have usually wavered between individual characteristics and structural factors. Substance abuse and mental health problems, divorce or a break-up, rent arrears and over-indebtedness are usually highlighted as individual factors for homelessness. In Finland, the most significant structural factor for homelessness is the inadequacy and shortage of affordable rental housing. There is a shortage of affordable housing especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area, where homelessness nationally is concentrated. This ethnographic study approaches the homeless phenomenon in Finland by exploring the daily lives of two homeless men who also suffer from substance use problems. The study is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the men’s pathways to homelessness and factors that have contributed to these. This is followed by the men’s conceptualisations of home, what it means to them, and how they make home as homeless people. The second part of the results shed light on the men’s survival strategies, daily activities and their encounters with fellow street people. The data, which consists of fieldwork observations and unstructured interviews, were collected between autumn 2015 and winter 2016. Thematic analysis was applied to analyse the data. The results show that the men’s pathways to homelessness are complex, stemming from both individual and structural factors. Troubled childhoods, lack of education and employment, low levels of income, bad credit, lack of supporting social networks and addiction problems contribute to the men’s situations as homeless people. However, this study shows that many of these factors that are usually considered as individual, are actually more connected to structural factors such as insufficient level of social security and inadequate access to social and health care. The study illustrates that people who are in vulnerable positions to begin with, are more likely to be exposed to these structural factors, the main factor being the lack affordable housing. The participants’ conceptualisations of home show that not all housing is considered home. In adverse circumstances home can be for example a staircase or prison. Furthermore, the research findings show that the everyday life of a homeless person is occupied with attempts to meet basic needs such as eating, washing and finding a place to stay. Much of the men’s daily lives are also devoted to making money, which is usually acquired by stealing. The results indicate that the men’s social contacts consist mainly of people who use substances or are otherwise in similar situations, though encounters with fellow people are not always positive and the threat of violence is often present.
  • Mesimäki, Sakari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    For decades, Japan has experienced growing political disengagement. Political apathy is particularly pronounced among the youth, who see politics as quarrelsome, difficult and irrelevant to their lives. This thesis explores a movement by a community of young Tokyo creatives to counter such negative meanings by making politics a normal and ‘cool’ part of youth culture and everyday life. It focuses on three media projects through which this effort is pursued: NEUT Magazine, HIGH(er) Magazine and Making-Love Club. They represent continuities with an earlier effort to normalise political participation by the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs) protest movement, which emerged briefly in 2015-2016 amidst what has been described as a resurgence of contentious politics following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. This thesis argues that political apathy in Japan is the result of a decades long process where confrontational partisan politics has been stigmatised, and where civil society has been depoliticised and made subservient to the agenda of the neoliberal state. It doubts whether the post-2011 resurgence of protest movements truly represents a renewal for popular political participation and argues that closer attention to how ordinary citizens perceive politics can produce a better understanding of political disengagement in Japan. It asks: How, in practice, does the creatives’ movement seek to normalise politics? What kind of political subject is presupposed by this process? And what is its significance for the political participation of youth in neoliberal Japan? Drawing on linguistic anthropology, the effort to normalise politics is conceptualised as a ‘metapragmatic project’ aiming to change the negative image of politics through ‘metapragmatic strategies’ that recontextualise political discourse to establish new meanings. The analysis is based primarily on data collected during approximately three months of field work in Tokyo, through interviews, participant observation at public events, and from print and online content published by the three media. The movement’s strategies avoid the marginalisation of its political discourse by accommodating existing language ideologies that privilege neutral and non-confrontational styles of discussion. By integrating political discourse within youth culture and everyday life, it makes politics attractive and accessible as a signifier of ‘cool’ to be consumed for constructing one’s identity and establishing social distinction. Appealing to the values of diversity and inclusion, and presenting everyday life contexts and experiences as grounds for political participation, the movement seeks to expand notions of legitimate political agency. The subject interpellated through these meanings and strategies is a liberal, individualist political consumer who sees politics as a field for pursuing self-actualisation and social distinction. It is a subjectivity that represents, effectively, a politicisation of how young, individualist neoliberal subjects already engage the world through consumption. In interpellating such subjects, the project to normalise politics creates a new space for critical political discourse. In politicising the consumptive practices of previously apolitical subjects, it demonstrates how neoliberal logics can provide the grounds for expansions of political agency, not only its curtailment. Continuing attention to the development of this discursive space, and how subjects come to engage with politics within it, can enable a more sophisticated understanding of political participation in Japan.
  • Hattori, Mai (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study aims to identify diverse masculinities of fatherhood and the subject positions in Japanese news media. In post-war Japan, Japanese men upheld breadwinning masculinity, also called Salaryman masculinity, which positioned the domestic sphere as the domain of women. In contemporary Japan, men are socially expected to play the care roles instead of solo financial provider roles within the household. However, conventional patriarchal ideology has persisted, assigning men as breadwinners and women as primal caregivers as complemental partners. Hybrid masculinity that adopts caring role but upholds the dominating power over women has been also observed. Since masculinity reconstructs patriarchal power relations, this study attempts to investigate the complex discourses of constructed masculinities of fatherhood and the subject positions that men can adopt in contemporary Japan. As this study focuses on the power dynamics of masculinity, this study is situated within the field of critical social psychology and is grounded in social constructionism. This study applies the concept of Hegemonic masculinity developed by Connell (1987). Foucauldian discourse analysis is adopted to approach the discourses and subject positions. The research questions are: RQ1) What kind of masculinities of fatherhood are constructed in Japanese news media? and RQ2) What kind of subject positions are provided for Japanese fathers in the news media? In total, 31 articles, provided by 14 news medias, are collected from Yahoo! News online news platform, of which the range of published date is May 2019 to October 2019. As a result, this study identifies five discourses: Men work discourse, Men are not good at childrearing discourse, Time with family is precious discourse, Men participate in childrearing discourse, and Equal parenthood discourse. The subject positions attached to the discourses are suggested as: Breadwinner, Secondary caregiver, Involved father, In a higher status than women, and Equal partner of women. Whereas breadwinning masculinity still has upheld the domination over women, the masculinity that explicitly rejects the traditional gender role is also identified. In addition to the traditional hegemonic salaryman masculinity, hybrid masculinity that exploits the femininity to maintain the hegemonical power is identified. Within several discourses, emphasized femininity is constructed by women by positioning themselves as primary caregivers. With the help of the analysis framework of Foucauldian discourse analysis developed by Willig (2008), this study illustrates the practices and possible psychological experiences by men. This study proposes to the government and public institutions to constitute gender-neutral discourses within the policies and services. This study contributes to critical social psychology by adding to articulated knowledge of possibilities for making sense of the relation between masculinity and domestic sphere. Furthermore, this study proposes the possible shifts of gender relations towards equality by identifying gender-equal discourse that has not been observed in other current masculinity studies in Japan.
  • Barbashina, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study analyses the refugees’ activity during the integration period in Finland within the framework of acts of citizenship proposed by the British theorist Engin Isin. The purpose is to investigate what acts of citizenship refugees perform to constitute themselves as citizens and what factors prevent them from pursuing acts of citizenship as well as to examine the influence of moving to the Capital region on constituting refugees as citizens. The method of qualitative interview is used for this study. Thirteen interviews, including two paired ones, were conducted between June and October 2019. The interviewees were selected among the clients of the Immigrant Services of the city of Espoo on the criterion of moving to this city after living in another municipality outside the Capital Region of Finland. The results show that during their integration process, refugees are focused on performing the following acts that enable them to constitute themselves as citizens: Finnish language learning, job search, political activity and establishment of social relations. The analysis also shows that the lack of integration conditions outside the Finnish Capital Region and difficulties in obtaining available social services prevent refugees from constituting themselves as citizens during their integration. This research points to the differences in integration conditions in different regions of Finland and brings to the conclusion that although there are organizations providing guidance on access to the Finnish social security system, the understanding of Finnish bureaucracy among the refugee population remains a big challenge. The study also demonstrates that refugees are not passive, but rather put an effort to improve their situation, take the initiative, and thus change the common perception of a refugee.
  • Mankinen, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis explores social representations of nature and happiness in nature among Finnish youth. Even though the concepts of happiness and nature are common in daily exchanges, they remain difficult to define, and little is known of their usage among laypeople. Similarly, nature’s effects on well-being are well documented, but how happiness occurs in nature has not been examined through social representations. Finland is an interesting country to study these phenomena, as Finland is often portrayed through its unique nature, and has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for three consecutive years. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how Finnish youth discuss happiness in nature, and whether there are distinctive shared social representations. The study used Moscovici’s Social Representations Theory as a theoretical framework. The theory’s purpose is to explore laypeople’s conceptions of everyday phenomena, making it suitable for this research. The research was part of a bigger LUODE-project, funded by the European Social Fund. LUODE aims to develop multidisciplinary collaboration and service innovations for youth. University of Helsinki’s role was to better understand the everyday lives of the youth and this research contributes to the latter aim. The participants consisted of 15-16-year-old Lahti 9th graders (n=355). They first saw a marketing video of Finland aimed at foreign visitors, in which the main theme was the experience of happiness in nature. They were then asked to write their responses to a paper questionnaire, with questions like “What does the video say about happiness in your opinion? Discuss, whether nature makes you happy? Why yes? Why not?”. Responses varied in length from one word to lists, and from sarcastic comments to personal, even poetic, descriptions of happiness in nature. This research will focus on their personal accounts, and when combined, these created shared social representations. The research questions were: What are the shared ideas the youth have about nature, and of happiness in nature? How are these social representations objectified or anchored? Do the youth have shared social representations about nature, and more specifically about happiness in nature? As a result of the research questions, the analysis identified two main themes. First, nature was defined through shared lay perceptions, and nature in the societal context of Finland. It was clear that there was not just one simplistic definition of nature among the youth. Instead, their descriptions varied from common objectifications of nature, like cleanliness, forests, and summer cabins, to societal issues including the national welfare system, and global issues like climate change. Second, happiness in nature was experienced in a holistic manner: nature was a place for peace of mind, for activities, and for sensory engagement. These representations of happiness revealed holistic, and multisensory experiences of happiness when spending time in nature. The results show that Finnish youth go to nature to relax, be active, and be mindful and that their experiences in nature involve multisensory approaches, which all contributed to their experiences of happiness. Multisensory experiences as social representations may offer new insights for future research. These representations explicate how detailed and varying the everyday terms of happiness and nature are. Nature served as an important milieu for daily moments of happiness among the youth. Finnish youth also criticized the claims in the video and discussed the influence of the Finnish welfare system as well as climate change in their responses. The current study proposes that these holistic and multisensory methods to experience happiness in nature should be taken into account when planning well-being interventions, city planning, and nature preservation.
  • Jalomo, Dafne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis aims to identify and compare the portrayals of femicide victims between mainstream and feminist sources in Mexican Context. Femicide is viewed in this thesis as linked with structural inequalities between women and men, as well as the patriarchal ideas, which come along with gendered violence, a mechanism that is reproduced in order to oppress women. This is significant to highlight the power struggles that arise from these dynamics. Furthermore, the purpose of this thesis is to point out the social problematic that arises from the first set of discourses (mainstream media) which draws upon hegemonic views of women’s morality. simultaneously I am looking for a comparison with counter portrayals that arise from progressive and challenging discourses within feminist media. Foucauldian discourse analysis is utilized with the attempt of unravelling this power struggle, to approach discourses and identify subject positions of femicide victims and perpetrators, and lastly, in order to determine cultural and historical shifts in the discourses. The research questions are: RQ1) How have the Mexican media constructed the image of femicide victims and femicide perpetrators during 2017-2020? RQ2) How have feminist actors portrayed the image of femicide victims and femicide perpetrators in Mexico during 2017-2020? and RQ3) What are the similarities or differences between the portrayals made by the media and feminist actors during this period (2017-2020)? In total 48 articles, collected from the online portal of the newspaper “Reforma”, and the feminist sources of and were analyzed. The range of publishing date comprises January 2017 - December 2020. As a result, this thesis identifies four different discourses within the mainstream newspapers coverage: Empty vessels, Noteworthy and salient members of society, Innocent victims of the circumstances, and Self-inflicted violence as a result of her own wrong choices. The identified subject positions for the victims are: one more number, unanimated object or body, the beautiful woman, empowered woman, respected woman, good woman, good mother, pure child, neglected kid, innocent child, the sex-worker, irresponsible woman, blameworthy and immoral. Also, three discourses are identified within the media with feminist scope: Femicides are a preventable and a broader social issue, The failures committed by the State, and Non- binary community, invisible femicides discourse. The identified subject positions available for the victims are: neglected woman, multiply marginalized, neglected by the State and revictimized victim, invisible woman and non-binary. The analysis showed that mainstream media did not take into account structural influences, which in turn were highlighted by feminist portrayals. Derived from the presented results, this study provides future directions to reporters in general, for them to understand their role in this issue. I enlist a series of recommendations, partly my conclusions and finalizing with Marzabal’s ideas (2015). I conclude that it is imperative to break with the hegemonic narratives and also with the competition between the different mainstream sources, who seek exclusivity and news value by exposing and utilizing the femicide victims in different manners, instead of informing objectively the population about femicide and its causes. This thesis contributes to critical social psychology and gender studies. It shows how the feminist discourses disrupt the historically continuous hegemony of mainstream discourses. It also makes a contribution to feminist studies of gendered violence, and portrayals of femicide victims in the feminist media.
  • Lehtola, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate how race and racism are understood in the policy documents called Equality Plans of the Finnish language-based Universities of Applied Sciences. The research questions are 1) what is said about racism and other related concepts in the Equality Plans, and 2) where and in relation to what are they acknowledged? Moreover, the study examines how whiteness and other values of Finnish society are reflected in the Equality Plans and what types of solutions higher educational institutions offer to racism. The analytical reading of the Equality Plans is informed by the theoretical framework that includes perspectives of critical whiteness, intersectional postcolonial feminism, Nordic exceptionalism to racism and colonialism, and feminist and education policy studies that discuss interpretations and practices of equality in educational institutions. The research material includes Equality Plans in eighteen Finnish language-based Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. The analysis utilises the tools of the abductive content analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis in identifying the explicit and implicit meanings connected to race and racism. The results of the study indicate that the understanding of race in Finnish policy documents is vague, and the synonyms such as “ethnicity” are connected to ethnic and racialised minorities. The solutions for racism are abstract and appeal to the attitudes of the university community instead of challenging the structures that maintain and produce racism. According to this study, whiteness remains unrecognised and unquestioned in higher education institutions. Thus, resisting racism and promoting equality and justice requires a systematic and profound analysis of institutional whiteness in higher education structures and practices. The results align with the previous research on policy documents in Finnish education institutions, contributing to the discussion with Universities of Applied Sciences.
  • Needelman, Ona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Abstract Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences Degree programme: Master’s Programme in Contemporary Societies Study track: Sociology Author: Ona Needelman Title: “So it is… I don’t think that was racism either, but it was just a kind of ignorance.” – Providers’ perceptions on race, racism and addressing racism through School-based mental health support Level: Master’s Degree Month and year: December, 2021 Number of pages: 76 Keywords: Racism, white supremacy, mental health, education, critical race theory, anti-racism, critical discourse analysis Supervisor or supervisors: Elina Paju Where deposited: University of Helsinki Additional information: Abstract: This study explores how mental health providers at schools recognize, conceptualize and address racism and its impact on persons of colour (POC) students’ mental health. The aim was to produce knowledge on what kinds of challenges “white” structures of school-based mental health present for practicing and understanding anti-racism. The main research questions were: 1) How do mental health professionals in schools view the influence racism has on mental health and well-being of POC pupils? 2) How do school mental health professionals make sense of, and deal with, issues of racism faced by POC students and which challenges do they face in doing so? 3) How do school mental health professionals conceptualize anti-racism as part of their professional roles? The main goal for this thesis was to draw attention to and heighten awareness around the new ways in which both organizations and employees must develop and approach anti-racist student welfare services in schools. Knowledge on racism and mental health from Finland produced by POC writers and activists was utilized, as academic research of this topic in Finland is limited. Academic research on racism in Finnish society and schools, and on racism’s impacts on mental health from other countries are introduced in the literature review. The main theory used throughout the research process was critical race theory (CRT), including critical whiteness studies. Eight voluntary in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted, with five school psychologists and four social workers all working in basic education in the metropolitan area. Three main discourses emerged from conducting critical discourse analysis, which I labelled as follows: Equality and tolerance, personal awareness and belonging. Key findings were that colorblind ideology perpetuates white supremacy, anti-racism mainly relies on individuals’ awareness of racism, and reactive strategies surpassed proactive anti-racist practices Based on the findings, colorblind ideology and reliance on individual awakenings make anti-racism targeting both prejudice and structural racism vulnerable. Recognizing racism challenges all adults with power in schools. Anti-racism will require more activism and collective action within organizations to commit professionals practicing in the field to address racism through their work.