Browsing by Subject "Master's Programme in Intercultural Encounters"

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  • Pohjonen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Tässä tutkielmassa tarkastellaan reaktioita Akavan puheenjohtajan Sture Fjäderin kommenttiin maahanmuuttajien palkasta Twitterissä vuonna 2018 vastadiskurssin ja hegemonisen kamppailun näkökulmasta. Tarkastelen, mitä hegemonioita ja antagonistisia kilpakumppaneita keskustelussa syntyy. Tutkielmassani käytän pääteoriana Ernesto Laclaun ja Chantal Mouffen teoriaa hegemonisten vastadiskurssien luomisesta. Lisäksi käytän Stuart Hallin länsimaisen hegemonian kritiikkiä maahanmuuttajien rooliin ja asemaan liittyvässä kappaleessa. Pyrin analysoimaan merkitysten rakentumista kielellisesti. Aineisto koostuu 225 twiitistä, jotka kommentoivat tai ottavat kantaa Akavan puheenjohtaja Sture Fjäderin lausumaan matalammasta palkasta kouluttamattomille maahanmuuttajille. Aihe valikoitui aiheeksi, sillä siihen sekä siitä käytävään keskusteluun tuntui kulminoituvan monta yhteiskunnassa vaikuttavaa ja vaikuttanutta ilmiötä, kuten globalisaation ja pakolaisuuden tuoma maahanmuutto sekä neoliberalismin tuoma markkina- ja tehokkuusvetoisuus ja toisaalta sen vastavoimat. Lisäksi taustalla vaikuttavat myös Suomen kontekstille ainutkertaiset historialliset tapahtumat ja konteksti sekä ammattiyhdistyliikkeen valtasuhteet työmarkkinoilla. Molemmat käsittelykappaleet keskittyvät tarkastelemaan keskustelussa ilmeneviä vastakkainasetteluja, jotka ovat osittain limittäisiä ja päällekkäisiä. Ensimmäisessä käsittelykappaleessa keskityn erityisesti siihen, millaisia eri merkityksiä maahanmuuttajat saavat ja miten keskustelun eri osapuolet kuvaavat kohderyhmää sekä heidän oletettua rooliaan suomalaisessa yhteiskunnassa ja suomalaisilla työmarkkinoilla. Toisessa käsittelykappaleessa tuon esiin keskustelun taustalla piileviä ristiriitaulottuvuuksia, jotka näkemykseni mukaan osaltaan vaikuttavat Fjäderiin kohdistettuun kritiikkiin. Vastadiskurssista löytyvät Laclaun ja Mouffen teorian mukaisesti epäsymmetrinen vallanjako sekä sen nimittäminen sorroksi, yhteisesti jaettuun arvoon, tasa-arvoon, vetoaminen sekä ratkaisun ehdottaminen. Keskustelusta löytyy perinteisiä niin luokkaan, ammattiin ja koulutukseen kuin puoluepolitiikkaankin viittaavia vasemmisto-oikeisto ristiriitaulottuvuuksia, mikä saattaa osaltaan heijastella reaktioita tuolloin vallassa olleeseen oikeistohallitukseen sekä maailmanlaajuiseen neoliberalistiseen ajatteluun.
  • Foudila, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    There has been a vivid public debate in Finland about the women and children who have been staying at al-Hol camp in Syria after the collapse of the ISIS caliphate. This thesis investigates the public debate in the media about these Finnish women and children. Using the method of qualitative content analysis, I examine 117 articles from Helsingin Sanomat from the period from May 1st to December 31st, 2019. My aim is to analyze the key issues that are raised in the debate; how the women and children are depicted; and the linkages between this debate and the changes taking place in the larger Finnish context. These changes involve on the one hand the society becoming more multi-religious, and on the other hand the rise of right-wing populism, anti-immigration, and Islamophobia. The theoretical basis of my analysis is the concept of othering in social sciences, namely the act of creating and using oppositional categories of ‘us’ versus ’them’, which are, for example, based on religion or race. The results show that the women are depicted as ’the dangerous Muslim other’ who could pose a security threat if they are brought back to Finland. These depictions are also shaped by the larger Finnish context, where there are contestations especially around religious diversity that is increasingly becoming a characteristic of society, about Finnishness as a modern identity, and about the challenges of Muslim communities today. My analysis also shows that while children’s rights and wellbeing remain an important goal of Finnish policies and legal obligations, the rights of the Finnish children in the camp have been contested in this debate. This is partly because of legal complexities regarding their repatriation to Finland, and partly because of a security-oriented perspective that sees some of the children as suspects and their relationship with their mothers as a problem. Overall, the analysis shows that the debate about these women and children at al-Hol is not just about whether the people should be repatriated, but about the current changes in Finnish society and the anxieties related to these changes.
  • Etola, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Encouraging work-based immigration as well as international talent attraction and retention are high on the agenda of many national governments. This master’s thesis analyses the intersection of nation branding and international talent mobility by exploring the ways in which the nation brand is directed towards talent attraction and the vision drivers and themes that are communicated in nation branding documents and on international talent attraction websites of Finland and the Netherlands. In addition to reviewing relevant literature on nation branding, international talent attraction and retention, this thesis provides the case study contexts of Finland and the Netherlands by describing the local policies and the administrative processes regarding work and residence permits. Contextualizing the study is important to understand the local premise and the reality behind the communication. The empirical research material of this thesis consists of Finnish and Dutch nation branding documents and international talent attraction platforms, publicly available online. The material is interpreted utilizing qualitative, theory-driven thematic analysis. The thesis’ empirical analysis is based on Silvanto and Ryan’s (2014) strategic framework for relocation branding and international talent attraction, and the 936 identified empirical data extracts are coded according to their five vision drivers, the preliminary themes for the analysis. The research findings indicate that issues relating to innovation, career opportunities and quality of life in host nations are emphasized in nation branding and international talent attraction communication, while immigration policies receive substantially more limited attention. As a conclusion, Silvanto and Ryan’s (2014) framework is modified to better reflect the contents of the communication. In the light of this thesis’ Finnish and Dutch research material, the following modified and renamed vision drivers seem to be relevant for building an attractive relocation brand: Innovation, competitiveness and career opportunities; Cultural diversity and inclusiveness; Clear immigration policies, services and incentives; Concentration of talent, co-operation, (ethnic) and expatriate networks; and Quality of life and lifestyle.
  • Nekhay, Ekaterina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The objective of the study was to shed light on the Chinese soft power in France, and, in particular, on such a political tool as panda diplomacy. In the following thesis I am answering the research questions of the role the soft power is playing in the Chinese foreign policy aimed at France, what is its image in the news outlets and among readers of those articles, and how and when panda diplomacy is carried out. As the following thesis deals with the role of Chinese soft power in France, the information about the emergence and meaning of the term “soft power” is provided to the reader for a better understanding of the content. Moreover, the theoretical background of the concept of panda diplomacy itself, the development of the concept of “soft power” in China, the France-China Relationship, and the position of Chinese soft power in the world are presented in the paper. For the research, the articles and readers’ comments retrieved from 3 different politically orientated news outlets (Le Monde, France 24, and Le Figaro) were used. A total of 15 newspaper articles and 286 readers’ comments were analyzed. This Master thesis presents the research findings primarily based on the content analysis of reader comments and newspaper articles. The first finding is that soft power and panda diplomacy, as a tool, plays an important role to signify the positive China-France relationship and economic achievements between the two countries. Secondly, panda diplomacy has a controversial image in the French news outlets. Some news outlets are positively evaluating the practice, while others doubt it. The readers are mostly putting in negative comments accusing authorities of the unnecessary expenses of money for pandas. Lastly, Panda diplomacy is carried out to celebrate the economic achievements of its partner country. In France, according to the articles, the rental contracts of pandas were signed following the successful deals and supported by the government, Zoo facilities, foundations, and sponsors.
  • Henriksen, Sofie Malm (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis investigates the affective economies present in Danish-Greenlandic encounters when the Danish-Greenlandic relationship is discussed, in order to understand how certain feelings are constitutive of Danish colonial aphasia. Moreover, inspired by Indigenous research ethics and methodologies, the author employs a reflexive research approach to scrutinize her positionality and to start a discussion about epistemic injustice within Danish academia. In the study, colonial aphasia is theorized as an occlusion of knowledge and a conceptual dissociation with coloniality, which results in the inability of previous colonial powers to link present postcolonial issues with colonialism. The sources consist of namely a recorded conversation as well as autoethnography produced throughout the thesis process. By employing analytic autoethnography, the study shows how feelings of protectiveness, entitlement, shame and guilt are circulated by the author, a Dane, vis-à-vis Greenlandic people when discussing the Danish-Greenlandic relationship. The study concludes that feelings of protectiveness, entitlement and shame are present as coloniality, but that the Dane perceives coloniality as existing through the struggles of the Other, or as structural, but not as present within us as individuals. Consequently, these feelings are constitutive of colonial aphasia. Finally, the study suggests that the absence of researcher reflexivity in Danish research focusing on Danish-Greenlandic contexts is ultimately sustaining epistemic injustice. Concludingly, the study argues that employing reflexivity and introspection to investigate the particular is not only apt in understanding Danish colonial aphasia, but also in scrutinizing our own colonial complicity as Danish students and researchers investigating Greenlandic or Danish-Greenlandic contexts.
  • Ciesla, Robert (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Streaming, also referred to as vlogging, is the act of providing real-time video content over the internet. This activity encompasses numerous sub-genres such as video gaming and irl (”in real life”). Degenerate streaming is a new sub-genre often consisting of belligerent public behavior and drug abuse. Streamers sometimes receive monetary donations for their efforts from their audience. The actors taking part in this variety of streaming can be said to embody features of an antihero, a concept appearing in literature since antiquity. An antihero is a central character in a work of fiction who often lacks moral fortitude, resorting to dubious behavioral patterns in order to reach their goals. A dark triad personality is used in scientific literature to describe individuals with a history of psychopathic, opportunistic (i.e. Machiavellian), and narcissistic characteristics. This study frames the public personas of Finnish degenerate streamers as antiheroes in the context of the dark triad personality; their public communications are also analyzed within this framework. The topic is approached using a qualitative data-analysis of a total of 24 hours of degenerate streaming as well as with character typologies. The data-set consists of material created by five individual streamers. The main themes found in this material are identified and further categorized into sub-themes. In the analysis section of this study the life histories and potential root causes of degenerate streamers are discussed; a poor economical standing and mental health issues were identified as contributing factors. Some correlations with Finnish public political discourse are also suggested. This thesis contains descriptions of potentially upsetting events, such as domestic violence.
  • Latvala-White, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis investigates the transnational identities among current-day expatriate Finns around the world. It asks, what is the nature of transnational identity among these individuals who have emigrated from Finland? What is the level of their connectedness to their own Finnishness, on one hand, and to supranational identities such as Europeanness and internationality, on the other? The motivation to investigate the topic rises from the notion that the issues related to Finnish people in various expatriate communities, as well as their potential return migration, appears to have growing interest in Finland. The aim is also to contribute to the existing research literature by adding more contemporary theoretical approaches of migration studies to the investigations of expatriate Finns. The data (n=3195) was collected through a survey carried out in research project titled "The Changing Nature of Being an Expatriate Finn: Survey on Emigration and Expatriate Finns" (The Migration Institute of Finland, 2020-2021). Cluster analysis as an example of the so-called person-centered analyses was chosen as a method. The benefits of cluster analysis go hand in hand with the awareness that the focus group, expatriate Finns, is not a homogenous group but that the motivations of these people to move abroad as well as their lifestyles and circumstances vary greatly. Cluster analyses revealed three clearly different groups of people with respect to their Finnishness, Europeanness and internationality. In the first cluster, the three different identity markers were not seen as exclusionary, and a strong attachment to both the country of origin and the host country was not viewed to be incompatible. These individuals possessed the freedom to maintain and reject different sides of their identities depending on the context. The perspective of privilege was also considered, as their mobility was possible due to their relatively high quality of life and the social and human capital obtained over the years. Individuals in the second cluster gave high regard to Finnish identity which had often activated outside of Finland. Negative feelings, such as home sickness and disappointment in the life abroad, were also reported. These individuals also defined Finnishness in rather stereotypical ways and reduced the concept to a few well-known traits. This way, it was easy for them to emphasize their own belongingness to this homogenous category of Finns. Lastly, the individuals in the third cluster rejected the affiliation to the national identity of Finnishness altogether, their perceptions about Finland and other Finns varying from casual indifference to an apparent hostility. Instead, Europeanness and internationality were embraced as identities more inclusive and less particular.
  • Ayiwe, Emonie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Breakdance is a hip hop dance which originated in the South Bronx of New York City in the 1970s. Hip hop is a global phenomenon which values authenticity, community and individuality. Breakdancers often dance with others to develop their style and create a community of like-minded individuals. Dancers may travel to other countries to compete for titles and develop their skills by participating in workshops. The current study explored expressions of identity in South Korean breakers. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis served as the theoretical framework for the study. It is often used in identity research exploring how individuals make sense of their identity in a given situation, phenomena or context. Trough IPA, the embodied practice of dance can be assessed where one’s feelings, emotions and the body can be made salient. Five South Korean male breakdancers from five different cities were interviewed. With the use of semi-structured interviews, questions aimed to be non-directional and open to interpretation. The analysis showed that the dancers expressed their identity in breaking in different ways. Individuality was valued through developing one’s own dance style and having a nickname. Some dancers indicated using their body to express themselves and experiment with different styles of dancing. Music acted as a way to introspect, to identity feelings and emotions in oneself. For a few of the dancers, the clothes they were while dancing were the same as their everyday clothes. Further, the breakdancers placed importance in dancing and learning from others to develop their dancing style. Importantly, for all of the dancers, it was crucial to acknowledge and understand the roots of hip hop. The dancers explored their journeys in breaking and continuously referred to their past and present. The breakers’ identity was affected by their dancing style, clothing, music, the use of their body and their relationship to other breakers. The current research adds to the already existing but limited research on sense making processes of breakdaners. Future research could explore the notions of community and sense of belonging in other hip hop subcultures, and develop research focused on breakdancers’ meaning making processes.
  • Rangel Bustamante, Francisco (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In the past two decades, Finland has gone through significant demographic changes. As more migrants from the Global South arrive in Europe, comparing their stories and analyzing how migration has impacted their lives is critical. Specifically, the particularities beneath migrant communities are necessary to grasp the diversity of minority groups arriving North. This thesis investigates the migration stories of queer migrants living in Finland. From an insider's perspective, this research analyses how Latin American gay migrants position themselves within migration narratives. Six participants who identified as gay men living in the metropolitan area of Helsinki were interviewed to reveal their perspectives on race, migration, and sexuality through an intersectional lens. Using holistic-content narrative analysis and position analysis, the participants' stories were examined to depict the specific nuances of the migration experiences of sexual and gender minorities. The study showed that gay Latino migrants strategically located and dislocate from positions according to the context narrated in their stories. Participants preferred to accentuate their queerness and hide their Latin American identity in different social circumstances. Particularly in Finland, gay positioning was narrated as more positive than the Latin American position. Accordingly, this research depicts how queer migrants from Hispano-America living in Finland accept and reject distinct social positions and reimagine their identity after arriving in Finland through narrative inquiry.
  • Vandewalle, Eveline (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Science fiction (a subgenre of speculative fiction) imagines the future outcomes of current socio-political and technological developments. These stories inspire their audiences, which enable them to influence not only the public imaginary but also policy-making. However, scholars such as Lidchi and Fricke (2019), Mitchell and Chaudhury (2020), Streeby (2018) and Whyte (2018) have pointed out that mainstream speculative fiction is often rooted in structures of Whiteness and ignores the experiences of people of colour and Indigenous (BIPOC for short) societies. These BIPOC narratives demonstrate, however, that there is a plurality of realities and criticise White speculative fiction for its limited frame of reference. In order to diversify the genre and to broaden our point of view, scholars have called for increased engagement with BIPOC Futurisms. This thesis aims to answer this call by focusing on Indigenous Futurisms: works made by Indigenous peoples that use speculative fiction to imagine futures that embed Indigenous perspectives, recover Indigenous experiences and move beyond colonial structures. In this way, the works contribute to decolonization processes. Although the genre is gaining popularity and has received increased attention, there is only little discussion on the Futurisms made by the Sámi people. This thesis therefore, applies the discussion of Indigenous Futurisms to the Sámi context in order to learn what the futures imagined by Sámi artists look like and how they relate to the ones created in other contexts. Through a textual analysis, two works (Sunna Kitti’s 2118 (2018) and Elle Márjá Eira’s Sámiin leat rievttit (2019)), will be described as Sámi Futurisms by examining the genre conventions, narrative elements and forms. The analysis shows that the works embed a variety of Indigenous futurist themes, and centre Sámi characters, experiences, values and ways of living. The works, thus, have the decolonizing impact that is inherent to the genre of Indigenous Futurisms. Additionally, both 2118 and Sámiin leat rievttit refer to the colonial processes that impact(ed) the Sámi while simultaneously demonstrating their resilience and survivance in the face thereof. Finally, by taking into consideration the socio-historical context of the Sámi people, it becomes clear that the works engage with and put forth the revitalization and diversification of Sámi cultural identity.
  • Wiker, Anna-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This master’s thesis examines the themes of integration and social support and their interconnectedness, through the experiences of young adults with refugee or asylum seeker background. This thesis was driven by a desire to discover what makes integration processes successful and what are the first-hand experiences of these processes. The thesis was driven by research questions asking whether social support equaled to a more successful integration, what kind of values were given to support practices and whether interviewees perceived support being available to them. The data for this study was produced through five personal interviews with young adults aged between 19-28 who have all migrated to Finland in the years 2015-2016. The data produced by these interviews is not meant to be used as a generalization of a larger group, rather to depict the personal experiences of those interviewed. The data was analyzed using thematic content analysis. Through the means of thematic content analysis four themes and one sub-theme was recognized: Support – in all its forms – is valued, (sub-theme) Safe integration experience vanished in adulthood, In between feelings of Finnishness and residence permit, Feelings of the other and finally, Freedom of belief as a new constant. The findings of this study indicate that no causal connection can be drawn between social support and successful integration, integration processes just like the people going through these experiences are unique and every process and the needs for support looks different. However, all those who had access to social support during their integration felt to have benefitted from it and put great deal of weight and gratitude towards received support.
  • Kuusikallio, Josefina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Intersectionality as a concept is gaining increasingly more foothold in the academia, politics, and activism globally, also in Finland. The purpose of this study is to provide a systematic overview of the appearance, meaning and operationalization of intersectionality in the equality and non-discrimination plans of Finnish municipalities. Intersectionality has not been studied systematically in the context of policy in Finland, and thus, this study fills a notable gap in research. The closely related terms in the Finnish language, such as multiple discrimination, are included in the analysis. The study draws from the genealogical, theoretical, methodological, and paradigmatic discussions surrounding the concept of intersectionality. Qualitative content analysis was applied in the examination of the equality and non-discrimination plans of five large or middle-sized municipalities in Finland (Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Rovaniemi). In addition, email conversations with the municipalities’ employees working with equality and non-discrimination promotion was used as data. The municipalities were chosen to the study with the criteria of involving relatively large cities from different geographical areas in Finland. In the analysis, the similarities and differences of the plans and their uses of relevant terminology are outlined. Intersectionality was applied in two of the municipalities in various manners. It was explicitly referred to as a tool for viewing overlapping identity characteristics with and without emphasis on gender as a central category of difference. In addition, intersectionality was vaguely connected to the deconstruction of discriminatory societal structures. Multiple discrimination, a concept which appeared in most of the municipalities, was not clearly distinguishable from the concept of intersectionality. An interest towards utilizing intersectionality and multiple discrimination more extensively appeared. However, both terms, especially intersectionality, were perceived as difficult to understand and connect to practice. Defining and explaining the terms better, training personnel, and unifying the equality and non-discrimination policies emerged as ways to improve the operationalization of the terms.
  • Sinicato, Alice (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The present thesis consists of an ethnographic study of the encounter between an NGO and the local practices and epistemologies where it operates. Specifically, the thesis provides insights to what extent the NGO La Maison sans frontières takes into consideration the local practices, traditions, knowledge, and overall ecology of the community of Kuma Tsamé Totsi, in Togo. The study mainly focuses on three aspects that emerged during the research: time, hygiene, and upbringing practices, highlighting both incongruences and meeting points between the goals and operations of the NGO and the local ontologies and epistemologies. Given that the local community and the NGO enter in dialogue and develop new practices together, this thesis adopts the metaphor of ‘bridge’ for the NGO, indicating to what extent the local practices have agency on its operation and vice versa. Overall, the meeting of these different realities seems to be permeated by acceptance and understanding, creating a unique practical and organizational system. The encounter between La Maison sans frontières and this Togolese community seems to have created a middle ground between different cultures, where peoples together strive to bridge the gap in cultural diversity. The research study relies on qualitative methodology, comprising fieldwork and structured and semi-structured interviews. Fieldnotes in the form of written texts, photographs and videos have been taken during fieldwork and analysed through a qualitative data analysis software.
  • Elone, Samiuela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The Pacific islands’ diaspora consists of first-generation immigrants from different Pacific Island countries. In 2019, only 32 people living in Finland were born in the islands, ten of them participated in this study. Even though there have been studies on the Pacific Islands' diasporas, this is the first time such a study has been conducted in Finland. It is also the first one of its kind to look at long-distance nationalism from the perspectives of the islanders in Finland. The three research questions are, how do the Pacific islanders forge and sustain a community in Finland? How do Pacific Islanders create and maintain connections with their homelands? What challenges do they face in their effort to reconnect with their homelands? The thesis tests three hypotheses; the islanders are creating a place and space for themselves “here” to belong, connect, and to practice their cultures; they maintain the connection to their home-islands through social media, sending remittances, and direct visit; there are factors, such as financial capital and personal changes, that inversely affect the islanders’ connectivity to their homelands. The data for the study was collected through semi-structured interviews of the ten islanders and who are all active members of the islanders’ diaspora in Finland. They are from four different countries and have moved to Finland during the last twenty-four years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all the interviews were done online. The thematic analysis method is used to analyse the data and five themes emerge. They reflect the recurring meanings across the data set, relevant in answering the research questions, and also support the three hypotheses. The result shows that the Pacific islands’ diaspora has forged and maintained a community for themselves in this country in which they practice and reproduce their cultures strengthening their bonds between themselves, stay connected to each other, and at the same time reconnect to their ancestral lands through organised local activities and also long-distance nationalistic practices such as sending financial and material supports to their homelands.
  • Sanchez-Garibay, Hector (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Hip-Hop in the global context has worked as a music genre that strives to bring to the centre of discussion inequalities lived by its actors through a visibility of the margins. In this regard, Hip-Hop developed by Indigenous artists highlights the re-negotiation of their ethnic identity within their own societies and in the global scenario. Sámi Hip-Hop in the Nordic region follows this logic as it takes inspiration from both global trends and local issues in the Sámi current world. In that context, this thesis aims to analyse the constitution of Sámi Hip-Hop as a music genre from the viewpoint of the artists engaged within it. The study draws from the question “What are the motivations for Sámi artists to engage with Hip-Hop and create a music genre in its own terms?”. This work proposes that global creativity and cultural sovereignty come together as the basis for Sámi artists to engage with this music genre. Global creativity refers to the influences of cultural trends (mainly the global Hip-Hop music) towards the development of creativity among Sámi artists, whereas cultural sovereignty here operates as the music created by Sámi Hip-Hop artists that praises for a multi-faceted perspective on what “Indigenous music” is, where the individual creativity of artists plays an instrumental role. The analysis of the phenomenon is based on the career of Amoc and Ailu Valle, two of the major contributors on the development of Sámi Hip-Hop as a genre. The sources for the inquiry are two documentaries, two qualitative interviews conducted with the artists in question through a conversational method and online journalistic material. The theoretical framework follows a Decolonial approach to the narratives of the margins in the European context, and completed with a “global viewpoint” from the development of Hip-Hop in different Indigenous latitudes worldwide. In so doing, Indigenous Hip-Hop genre is proposed here as an innovative contribution to contemporary global music. Concepts that are used for this Decolonial analysis are ‘Indigenous epistemes’, ‘Indigeneity’ and ‘Cultural Sovereignty’. As a conclusion, I state that Sámi Hip-Hop is a genre that is constituted by the local creativity of those individuals that nurture the genre, operating as a transcultural phenomenon where ‘Indigeneity’ and the positionality of Indigenous youth in music production are re-negotiated.
  • Yin, Yi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The parent-child relationship is arguably one of the most vital relationships within a family. Relevant studies have focused on the dynamics between parents and children in the family communication field, especially on underage children. At the same time, the family is not an isolated island but a unit in a society. Hence, social-cultural contexts have significant impacts on parent-child communication. Migration, as an indicator for changes in the surroundings, influences the communicative practices within a family as well. This research dwells on Chinese immigrant families in Finland, explores the relationship between parents and their adult children. Adopting a relational dialectics perspective, the study aims at identifying competing discourses and their interplay. Through interviews with four dyads of parents and adult children, this research conducted a contrapuntal analysis to examine their relationship. Three pairs of competing discourses are identified: closeness versus distance, authority versus independence, and responsibility versus wuwei (no action). In short, the discourses of closeness, independence and responsibility have been more favored in various manners. Findings from this study revealed the significant influences of migration, manifested as the distal social-cultural factors in the interviewees’ utterances. Results of the analysis also indicate an emphasis on communication and dialogue in the parent-child relationships, which flows with the Chinese traditional thinking of pursuing harmony.
  • Aalto, Tytti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Intercultural communication competence entails “effective,” “successful” and “appropriate” interaction across cultural contexts. Interpersonal communication competence is central in dyadic social interaction. In addition to these concepts, the central definitions in this study are concepts of effectiveness and appropriateness related to communication competence This study aims at shedding light in the perceptions of the scholars in Villa Karo of their interpersonal communication competence in collaborative interaction with the local residents in Grand Popo, Benin. The data was obtained via semi-structured interviews conducted in November – December 2020. Seven interviewees, who had spent time as scholars in Villa Karo, were recruited via Villa Karo office in Helsinki. The data was analysed by using thematic analyses. Through coding three themes were identified in the data: language use, relationship building as competence and reflections of perceived appropriateness. The results show that the scholars had little expectations and knowledge about the culture in advance, but yet reported managing communication well in relation to the goals of the project. They all reported perceiving their interpersonal communication in their collaborative interaction as effective, meaning achieving desired, preferred outcomes in communication. The accounts of being appropriate communicators, meaning that the scholars knew how to behave and communicate according to expectations and demands of the situation were more ambiguous. All interviewees reported that their project work was actualised as planned.  
  • Martin, Leah (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis examines rhetoric and reality in the Citizenship Grant Program (CGP), a program which allocates funding to community-based organizations that assist immigrants in becoming US citizens. The CGP is an area of US immigration policy which has gained consistent bipartisan support since its inception in 2009, yet has been unexamined in critical policy research. Using the CGP’s main policy texts as data, I employ rhetorical analysis—unpacking the persuasive arguments of the program, how they are constructed, and how they construct citizens. Then, I examine what the rhetoric illustrates about US national identity and who is authorized to claim it. Throughout the research project, I am theoretically grounded in the concept of borderscaping, which emphasizes the performative aspect of constructing cultural borders. Over the course of the analysis, I observe that the CGP constructs arguments differently over time and space— depending on the political party of the governing presidential administration and its stance preference towards either the integration or the assimilation of immigrants. Yet, I also find that all iterations of the CGP construct certain immigrants as threats to social cohesion, seeking to weed out those who do not adhere the state’s demands for model citizenship. With my findings, I connect the dots between rhetoric and the practical realities of naturalizing immigrants. I not only expose the existing power relations at play in former and existing iterations of the CGP, but highlight everyday peoples' agency in borderscaping the future of the policy.
  • Paz, María Soledad (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Due to a recent substantial influx of Haitian immigrants, the Chilean government has had to adjust and react with a variety of policy changes especially in educational programs, health services and housing. The purpose of this thesis was to carry out qualitative research using critical discourse analysis (CDA) to identify meanings behind the way Chilean teachers talked about their everyday experiences of teaching immigrant students from Haiti. I was interested in what are the meanings attached to these experiences and how the teachers perceive this new reality of working in a more diverse environment. The community of teachers that I interviewed individually work in an adult-education secondary school in Chile. I chose this topic for two main reasons. First, this is a new reality in my home country. The new diversity in terms of population is a recent phenomenon of no more than ten years. As a student of the Master Program in Intercultural Encounters, my interest in research about education for immigrant-related issues increased enormously. Second, adult education generally attracts less academic interest compared to other types of education, but in Chile it has also been neglected by the authorities. I was theoretically committed to produce knowledge from a critical perspective. My data was obtained through semi-structured interviews carried out in Chile between November and December 2019. To analyze the data, I used Teun A. Van Dijk’s socio-cognitive approach to CDA. From my data, I identified four different meanings, namely, meaning of fulfillment, meaning of silence, meaning of resources and meaning of agency. These meanings were present in different ways in my data and I used them as a means to understand the way the teachers talked about their experiences. I argue that these four meanings best represent a clear relation between the three main elements of Van Dijk’s “discourse-cognition-society triangle” and discourse.
  • Todorova, Mariyana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis investigates the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism advertising. The analysis is focused on case-studying Iceland due to the importance of tourism for the country’s economy and due to its successful tourism marketing campaigns. The thesis aims at analyzing the appeals and visual rhetoric techniques utilized by Iceland during the COVID-19 pandemic and further comparing them the ones from 2019. The comparison to pre-COVID-19 advertising, demonstrates what is the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on Iceland’s tourism advertising. What is more the study examines whether the pandemic shapes new values and desired tourism behavior and thus fills a research gap defined by Zenker and Kock (2020). The data consists of 7 official tourism advertisements of Iceland from 2019, 2020, 2021, published on their official YouTube channel, and the website: The joyscroll. The data is presented in the form of screenshots in the appendixes of this thesis. The data is analyzed via mixed methods, incorporating qualitative content analysis (QCA) of the appeals in combination with critical visual analysis (CVA). The CVA is further focused on the three dimensions of landscape, people, and heritage. The analysis shows that there is an evident change in both the preferred advertising appeals and in the visual rhetoric techniques utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is more the analysis highlights the importance of emotional appeals and humor and the formation of a new value to Icelandic tourism – mental health.