Browsing by Subject "belonging"

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  • Vieno, Atte (2021)
    This article examines the effects of the vertical disintegration of production on airport terminal workers through the theoretical lens of occupational belonging, highlighting themes of sensory and embodied experience, changing dynamics of employment relationships, and new patterns of inclusion and exclusion. The article contributes to efforts to produce nuanced empirical accounts of the dynamics of post-Fordist work, showing how restructuring had the effect of disrupting employment relations and activity rhythms, while nevertheless preserving 'the airport' as a symbolic and relational setting in relation to which occupational belonging could be constructed. The article examines how the work of binding people and jobs, previously undertaken by integrated organisations, was taken up by workers themselves through their personal relationships and will to belong. The article highlights the capacity to undertake this work of belonging as a central dynamic of occupational inclusion and exclusion, a capacity which in this empirical context was experienced as being shaped by age and the ability to make use of personal relationships in navigating precarious employment relations. Based on this empirical analysis, the article argues for belonging as a valuable perspective for studies of materiality, symbolic identification and relationality in post-Fordist work.
  • Enbuska, Marja; Lähdesmäki, Merja; Suutari, Timo (2021)
    Rural employers can be significant actors in defining who is welcomed to the local community and under which conditions. Despite their importance, however, the role of rural employers in the belonging process of immigrant employees is not widely known. In this study, we focused on the discursive boundaries that rural employers (re)produce when speaking about immigrant employees. The empirical data of our study consists of 35 interviews in small and medium-sized enterprises. We identified three frames within which employers' carry out boundary work. These frames are dealing with work ethics, workplace rules and local community. We argue that belonging was constructed in these frames ambiguously, and highlight immigrants' hard-working attitude, cultural discretion and local stability. We also found that the idea of belonging was not built solely on immigrants' adaptation but that conventional boundaries were also flexible.
  • Helve, Oskari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    There has been increasing research attention on wellbeing of students in higher education both in Finland and internationally. Because of its goal-oriented nature, higher education resembles working in many ways. Thus, research on students´ wellbeing has started utilizing concepts derived from occupational research. Burnout and study engagement are concepts that are being used in research on both lower educational levels and higher education. Burnout describes feelings of exhaustion, cynicism and inadequacy experienced when demands of studying exceed available resources. Engagement on the other hand means feeling vigorous, dedicated and absorbed in studying and arises when demands and resources are better balanced. The goal of this thesis was to increase understanding of social resources that can guard against the negative effects of demands and foster engagement in higher education. It investigated how social support, guidance and counselling from the educational institution and sense of belonging to studying related groups are related to burnout and engagement experienced by students. The data for this study was the Finnish Student Health Service´s Student Health Survey from 2016, which is a representative sample of students in universities and universities of applied sciences in Finland (N=3110). Burnout symptoms were measured using the SBI-9 measure and engagement using the Schoolwork Engagement Scale. The total scores on these two scales were analyzed together with social support, guidance and counselling and sense of belonging to studying related groups. Pearson´s correlation coefficients were obtained to reveal the bivariate associations of these variables followed by two hierarchical regression analyses on burnout and engagement individually. All of the social resources were included as predictors in these models and the stage of studies, gender and feeling of being in the right field of study were controlled for as background variables. The results supported both hypotheses and existing literature. It was found that those students who were able to talk about their matters with someone, had received guidance to their studies and felt like they belong to studying related groups had lower levels of burnout symptoms. Similarly, students with sufficient social resources were more engaged in their studies. The results indicate that social resources are an important factor in wellbeing of higher education students. Future research should continue to further study these resources using more accurate measures incorporating different types of social support or different groups in the educational context.
  • 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
  • Tamminen, Juuda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This master’s thesis is an ethnographic study about everyday urban encounters and social interaction. It explores how residents in the suburban housing estate of Kontula in East Helsinki negotiate social and cultural difference in their everyday lives. The study focuses on the semi-public spaces of the local shopping centre and examines residents’ capacity to live with difference. The study contributes to a multi-vocal and historically informed understanding of the processes that shape the social landscapes of a socially mixed and multi-ethnic neighbourhood. The study is based on fieldwork carried out in two phases between August 2019 and February 2020. The study applies anthropological methods of participant observation and qualitative interviews. The eleven research participants are adults between the ages of 30 and 71 who live in the neighbourhood and have extensive personal experience of the shopping centre. Although the interviews were a crucial aspect of the meaning-making process, the study relies primarily on participant observation in constructing an interpretation and analysis of social interaction at an intimate scale. In order to contextualise everyday encounters at the shopping centre, this thesis assesses how Kontula, as a stigmatised territory in the urban margins, encapsulates a complex interplay between moral claims of a “good” and “bad” neighbourhood. While some residents confirm negative stereotypes about the shopping centre and bring attention to local social problems and issues of unsafety, others downplay these problems and instead emphasise how tolerant and sociable the shopping centre is. Observations of stigmatised territories reveal how the participation of marginalised individuals and ethnic minorities at the shopping centre challenges the processes and discourses that constitute them as objects of fear and nuisance. The concepts of conviviality and cosmopolitan canopies are used to analyse local social interactions. The analysis suggests that the capacity to live with difference is enabled by ordinary meeting places, such as pubs and cafés, where residents come into regular social contact and engage with diverse individuals and groups. While the maintenance of ethnic boundaries remains salient in the way residents negotiate the social landscapes, these ordinary spaces of encounter situationally reconfigure categories of “us” and “them” and thus expand local meanings of who belongs. The analysis concludes that the contested meanings of belonging and the everyday negotiation of difference are attributes of an open multi-ethnic society coming to terms with difference and change. The analysis suggests that an equal right to participate and interact in shared urban spaces, rather than community consensus, is the hallmark of a society’s capacity to live with difference.
  • Kemppainen, Teemu; Kemppainen, Laura; Kuusio, Hannamaria; Rask, Shadia; Saukkonen, Pasi (2020)
    Recent sociological discussions have examined the classic theme of social integration from the point of view of belonging and multiple solidarities. As a research topic, migration importantly elucidates these general sociological questions. Literature on migration, integration and transnationalism lacks an encompassing theoretical model, which limits our understanding of complex integration processes. We propose a multifocal model of migrant integration including three key foci of integration: the host society; transnational sphere; and co-ethnic community in the host society. Moreover, the model considers integration in terms of different dimensions. With this model, we define multifocal marginalisation and study Russian, Kurdish and Somali migrants in Finland. We find that the different foci do not compete with each other, but are in a moderate positive relationship. There are clear group differences in integration patterns. Determinants of multifocal marginalisation include Kurdish background, weak Internet skills and older age. Discussion themes include belonging and social change.
  • Geyer, Lukas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyz society got entangled in discussions about what it means to be Kyrgyz. Even though Kyrgyzstan has experienced a surge in nationalism over the last decades, it is only since recently that non-heteronormative sexualities are increasingly constructed as a threat to the continued existence of the Kyrgyz nation. Based on five in-depth interviews with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, I explore how they rationalise the increasing homophobia in Kyrgyz society and what kind of behavioural strategies they adopt to cope with the hostile environment. In particular, I assess whether the discursive exclusion of LGBT individuals from the Kyrgyz nation alters their relationship with the nation and the state. The research participants demonstrate an awareness for the connection between increasing nationalism and worsening attitudes against LGBT people and report corresponding adjustments in their behaviour, ranging from adaptation and hiding strategies to activism and emigration. While all respondents have a negative relationship with the Kyrgyz state, most report a decreasing sense of belonging to the Kyrgyz nation amid growing homophobia as well. These results suggest that the increased emphasis on the purportedly heteronormative nature of the Kyrgyz nation succeeds in redefining individual belonging to the nation and shifting the imagined boundaries of the nation.
  • Taavetti, Riikka (2021)
    This article analyzes two autobiographies of the Estonian-Canadian Heljo Liitoja (1923 - 2010) as participation in the post-Soviet national reconstruction of Estonia. The article argues that some of Liitoja's experiences, such as her connection to the Toronto gay and lesbian community and the controversies within the Estonian diaspora, could not be addressed in an autobiography framed within an Estonian life story writing competition. The article suggests that Liitoja's autobiographical book that discussed these topics was able to stretch the limits of the Estonian diaspora narrative.
  • Schneider, Selina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis examines female 2nd generation Somali immigrants’ life challenges experienced in Finland and Switzerland. More precisely, the present study is based on a combination of narrative and semi-structured interviews which provide phenomenological insights in the young Somali women’s own understanding of the difficulties they witness and their personal responses to identified challenges. Against the background of raising Islamophobic atmosphere in the West, the study lays special importance on challenges which arise for the Somali women based on their Islamic belief. By focusing on the women’s interpretation of Islam and their Islamic everyday practices in Switzerland and Finland the project examines in reference to the theoretical framework of everyday Islam outlined by Schielke and Debevec (2012), Dahlgren and Schielke (2013) and Marsden and Restikas (2013) how the Somali women evaluate the impact of their belief on challenges they face. Additionally, the project contributes to the limited literature on 2nd generations’ transnational practices. Hence, it answers the question of what role possible connections to and their feelings towards their heritage play in the Somali women’s lives. Finally, the thesis provides insights in differences between experiences of young Somali women in Switzerland and Finland. The thesis argues that the young Somali women’s experienced challenges can be best understood and explained by the application of the anthropological concept of belonging as for instance described by Pfaff-Czarnecka (2011), Tošic (2012), Rogozen-Soltar (2012) and Gammeltoft (2014). More precisely, the study illustrates how the unique position of 2nd generation Somali immigrant women in-between the three very different groups of “Swiss/Finns”, “Somalis” and “Muslims” asks them to find a balance between often conflicting value systems and how these negotiations lead at times to tensions, uncertainties and ambiguities in their lives. Further, the present project suggests that Islam is not the only way the participants explain hardships they face. Moreover, by applying the theoretical framework of social fields, transnational ways of being and transnational ways of belonging (Levitt & Glick Schiller 2004) the thesis found that the young Somali women are actively involved in transnationalism even though their transnational approaches differ from the ones of their parents. Hence, especially the wish to get to know more about their roots, the pride they displayed to be Somali, and the need they feel to help other Somalis in future illustrates the Somali women’s active way of belonging. Finally, the project implies that Swiss Somalis feel stronger impeded by the Swiss state structure and experience more often mistreatment based on the veil than Finnish Somalis. Moreover, individual understandings of piety and religiosity differ between participants in Switzerland and Finland. The thesis concludes that further research would be highly valuable in order to explain these differences.