Browsing by Subject "Nordic region"

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  • Corner, Solveig; Forsius, Maria; Holm, Gunilla; Zilliacus, Harriet; Öhrn, Elisabet (Springer, 2019)
    Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
    This study explores how participatory photography can be used in researching upper secondary students’ identifications with what it means to live in one of four Nordic countries. The study draws on students' constructions and interpretations of photographs. For this article the data analyzed consisted of 571 photographs taken during spring 2018 by a total of 104 students in the metropolitan areas in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. The analysis of the photographs and their captions show that students associated themselves mostly in a positive way with the Nordic region, though also some critical attitudes were identified. Visual ethnography in education as a method enhanced the upper secondary students’ way of giving meaning to what living in the Nordic countries means to them. Moreover, the method enables the students to become co-researchers together with the research team in both an aesthetic and narrative way. The study offers insights into how participatory photography can be as a useful and activating method in both local and cross-national research.
  • Karlsson, Cecilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The Nordic countries are united by shared values and similar social systems. Traditionally, the cultures in the Nordic countries have been mostly homogeneous, but due to globalization and increased immigration, the Nordic countries have become increasingly culturally diverse. Does this affect how people perceive and identify with the Nordic countries? The purpose of the thesis is to describe Finnish adolescents' perceptions of the Nordic countries and how they identify with the Nordics. Furthermore, I would like to explore how a different ethnic background from Finnish influences Nordic identification. Background and contextual research consisted of theories on identity and identification and previous studies of Nordic, social and cultural identities. The thesis is a part of the research project NordId, which is part of a research network, whose aim is to explore the challenges facing the Nordic education systems. The thesis was conducted as a qualitative research project with a phenomenographic approach. The data collection was done in April 2019, and the sample consisted of 25 adolescents from an upper secondary school in Finland with broad ethnic diversity. The data, consisting of photographs and interviews, was collected through participatory photography and semi-structured group interviews. It was analysed thematically. From the results three themes emerged regarding what the adolescents considered to be Nordic: nature, welfare state, and culture and traditions. Adolescents identified with the Nordics through belonging, similarities and common traditions, and values within the three themes. Family, nationality, geography, ethnicity and language were relationships and categories that they identified through. The results showed that the adolescents with a different ethnic background from Finnish identified with the Nordic countries the same way as the Finnish do. A slight difference in what the adolescents perceived as Nordic was revealed. The most notable difference was that the adolescents with a different ethnic background emphasized the welfare society, freedom of speech and freedom of religion more explicitly and to a greater extent in the photographs and interviews. The results can promote future Nordic cooperation, by showing what the Nordic region means to young people. In addition, the results can inform the educational system of whether Nordic countries, cultures, and history are adequately taught in the curricula, based on what Finnish adolescents know about the Nordic countries.
  • Aagesen, Håvard Wallin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The Nordic region is a connected region with a long history of cooperation, shared cultures, and social and economic interactions. Cross-border cooperation and cross-border mobility has been a central aspect in the region for over half a century. Despite of shared borders and all countries being part of the Schengen Area, providing free movement, little research has been made on the extent of daily cross-border movements and little data exists on the topic. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, human mobility and cross-border mobility has risen to the top of the political agenda, with new challenges changing cross-border mobility around the world. As an already very connected region, the Nordic region saw a sudden decrease in mobility and areas across borders were suddenly isolated from each other. The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the most important measures to counter the pandemic have been spatial in their nature. Restrictions on mobility and lockdown of regions and countries have been some of the measures set in place at varying degrees in different locations. Understanding the effects of mobility on the spread of COVID-19 and understanding how successful different measures have been is important in handling the ongoing and future pandemics. There is a lack of, particularly quantitative, research that investigates the functional aspects of cross-border mobility in the Nordic region. In addition, a lack of up-to-date, reliable data on human flows between the Nordic countries is missing. Research on the spread and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to human mobility, is rapidly increasing and being pioneered in conjunction with the developments of the pandemic. Through a lens of human mobility and activity spaces, how the cross-border regions in the Nordics reveal themselves by aggregating movements of individuals are investigated. The aim is to examine how geotagged Twitter data can be used to study cross-border mobility, as well as which functional cross-border areas can be estimated from movements of Twitter users and how these movements have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter data is collected and processed and reveal human mobility flows from before and after COVID-19 travel restrictions were set in place, making the data fit for a correlation analysis with available official commuter statistics. Using a kernel density estimation, estimations of the functional cross-border regions at different spatial levels are conducted, uncovering the spatial extent of functional regions and how human mobility connects regions across national borders. On this basis, movements of Twitter users in two time periods, March 2019 – February 2020 and March 2020 – February 2021, are compated with available statistics from the Nordic region. The results show that Twitter data correlates strongly with official commuter statistics for the region and are a good fit for studying cross-border mobility. Additionally, policy made cross-border regions does not completely overlap with the functional cross-border regions. Although there are many similarities between the policy made and functional cross-border regions, in a functional aspect the regions are smaller than the policy made regions and heavily condensed around large cities. The estimation of functional cross-border regions also show the effect of COVID-19 and measures taken to limit cross-border mobility. The amount of cross-border mobility is severely reduced and the composition of functional regions changes differently for different regions. In general, the spatial extent of cross-border regions reduce and gravitates towards the largest cities on either side of the border. The methods and results developed in this thesis provides an understanding of the dynamics of mobility flows in the Nordic region, and are first steps in increasing the use of novel data sources in cross-border mobility research in the Nordics. Further research into methods for expanding the data basis in the region is needed and further research should be conducted in deepening the understanding of demographic and temporal aspects of functional cross-border regions. Regional planning, tourism, and statistics are all fields that rely on recent, up-to-date data, and the methods for utilizing novel data sources shown in this thesis can mitigate some of the flaws that current data sources have. In combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is of profound importance to understand mobility flows across borders, something that this thesis provides methods and insights to do.