Browsing by Subject "discrimination"

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  • Zewde, Hewan A. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    International students are thought to enhance campus diversity and augment skilled workforce globally. After completing their studies abroad, a considerable number of international students are likely to remain in the countries where they conducted their higher education. They seek to join the labour market using the skills they have acquired from the long academic years. Nevertheless, many- particularly from the global south-are seen to struggle finding jobs that match their skills and educational positions, thus ending up working in areas well below their qualifications. Many Ethiopian skilled migrants, who originally came as students, work in the lower echelons of the labour market in Finland. The study aims to investigate why Ethiopian skilled migrants work in areas below their qualifications. It draws on the data by interviewing 10 Ethiopian skilled migrants who originally came to pursue their tertiary education in Finland. Using the theoretical discussions on Critical Race Theory, mobilities paradigm and immigration controls, the study demonstrates how the labour choices of Ethiopian skilled migrants are shaped by discriminatory and institutional constraints. It reveals skill is racialised and socially constructed, and is biased against Ethiopian skilled migrants. The study also shows that Finnish immigration policies contribute to the deskilling of Ethiopian migrants.
  • Eyherabide, Hugo Gabriel; Samengo, Ines (2018)
    The study of the neural code aims at deciphering how the nervous system maps external stimuli into neural activitythe encoding phaseand subsequently transforms such activity into adequate responses to the original stimulithe decoding phase. Several information-theoretical methods have been proposed to assess the relevance of individual response features, as for example, the spike count of a given neuron, or the amount of correlation in the activity of two cells. These methods work under the premise that the relevance of a feature is reflected in the information loss that is induced by eliminating the feature from the response. The alternative methods differ in the procedure by which the tested feature is removed, and the algorithm with which the lost information is calculated. Here we compare these methods, and show that more often than not, each method assigns a different relevance to the tested feature. We demonstrate that the differences are both quantitative and qualitative, and connect them with the method employed to remove the tested feature, as well as the procedure to calculate the lost information. By studying a collection of carefully designed examples, and working on analytic derivations, we identify the conditions under which the relevance of features diagnosed by different methods can be ranked, or sometimes even equated. The condition for equality involves both the amount and the type of information contributed by the tested feature. We conclude that the quest for relevant response features is more delicate than previously thought, and may yield to multiple answers depending on methodological subtleties.
  • Louvrier, Jonna (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    Economics and Society – 259
    In many countries diversity management has become an increasingly common way of treating differences between people in the world of work. Companies may sign diversity charters to show their engagement in promoting diversity, design and implement diversity management programmes, and communicate about their diversity initiatives to internal and external stakeholders. But what does diversity in the workplace mean? Who is defined as being different? And what do those defined as being different think about diversity and difference in work? By addressing these questions this book sheds light on the complex meanings of diversity management. The meanings of diversity management have long been developed and discussed in relation to equality and anti-discrimination policy and practice. A key question has been whether diversity management is a better way to enhance equality between organisational members or, on the contrary, is it diluting the results of equality approaches. The scope of this study is broader and shows that meanings of diversity management are constructed by drawing on not only knowledge about equality and anti-discrimination, but also understandings of society, the organisation, the individual, and the nature of differences. The study is informed by poststructuralist theory and based on interview data produced with 23 diversity managers and 52 ethnic minority employees in diversity promoting organisations in Finland and France. The findings contribute to the field of diversity management in several ways. First of all, the results show that there is no unitary meaning of diversity, difference and diversity management, but a number of discourses together forming the complexity and variety of what diversity management can come to mean in a given context and at a given point of time. Secondly, the findings challenge the idea that diversity management initiatives would be based solely on essentialist views of difference. However, the findings also show that even when differences are seen to be socially constructed, the organisation is not seen as participating in the construction of differences and in the production of related inequalities. Thirdly, the findings show that ethnic minority employees rarely draw on their differences as positive resources in work, and that they often are left alone to manage challenging situations related to difference, even in organisations promoting diversity. Lastly, the study highlights the importance of being attentive to national societal context, as discursively constructed, throughout the research process.
  • Kotiranta, Annu (2008)
    Although Finland is one of the leading countries when it comes to gender equality, only few of the top managers are female. In fact, less than ten percent of chief executive officers of Finnish companies are women. In this thesis this phenomena is investigated from an economic perspective. If the reasons for the low female participation are a consequence of gender based discrimination in Finnish business life, the non-discriminating companies should have a clear advantage over their discriminative competitors. Do female leaders boost firm profitability? The question of the gender composition of the top management team and firm profitability is addressed by reflecting the results of the micro level analysis to the theoretical literature of discrimination. Discrimination is modelled using two classics, the discrimination theories of Becker (1957) and Arrow (1972). Also some critical remarks are included and the key aspects of Becker's taste-based discrimination are reviewed using some facts of the Finnish labour market. In addition to the theoretical literature, several empirical articles examining the connection between the gender composition of the top management and firm profitability are introduced. The aim of this study is to bring genuine added value to the results of the existing literature by using a large data set and statistical methods in order minimize the common problems of empirical research of this field. The core and the true contribution of this thesis is the empirical part of the study, which is realized using the linked employer-employee dataset of Statistics Finland. The sample includes 3230 companies, which employed at least 20 persons during the time period 2000–2004. The analysis is carried out using Maliranta's micro level decomposition method, which takes into account the labour productivity and wage effects of the employees, when examining the effects of different worker groups on the profitability growth of the companies. In addition to the base line results, also analyses are carried out, where the firm size is limited to companies employing at least 10 persons and some personal characters of the employees are taken into account. Also the possible problems of endogenity are addressed by additional examination. However, these do not change the conclusions of the original results, according to which, the gender of the top management team does not have a statistically significant impact on the profitability growth of the Finnish companies.
  • Nieminen, Kati Marjaana (2019)
    Can human rights law adequately address implicit modes of racism and gender discrimination? This question is discussed in this article through the analysis of the European Court of Human Rights case S.A.S. v. France (2014) concerning the ban on the Islamic full-face veil. The so-called ‘headscarf cases’ have been thoroughly discussed by many scholars, yet they seem to offer an endless source of different points of view. Departing from the previous discussion on the headscarf and full-face veil cases, which have largely concentrated on the questions of personal autonomy, identity and subjectivity, this article approaches S.A.S. v. France from the point of view of discrimination. It is suggested that the Court’s procedural and de-contextualized approach to rights results in eroding the protection against discrimination. Procedural approach refers to the Court’s tendency to emphasize procedural aspects of the Convention rights and not to engage sufficiently with substantive analysis. The de-contextual approach to rights on the other hand refers to lack of sensitivity to empirical information concerning the facts of the case at hand. Together the procedural and de-contextual approaches inadvertently erode the protection against discrimination of vulnerable groups, such as Muslim immigrant women.
  • Pakonen, Elias (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Martha Nussbaum's capabilities approach is an account of justice which provides a substantial list of entitlements, the ten central capabilities with the related intuitive notion of human dignity, as a tool to measure justice and construct justice claims. Nussbaum's outcome oriented approach is normative and universal but also non-metaphysical and partial, and represents political liberalism. Nussbaum considers the justice claims of people with impairments to be undertheorized in accounts of justice, and aims to include such questions in her approach. Recent critique has pointed out that Nussbaum’s approach has problems in simultaneously addressing discrimination and equal status, and remaining impartial with regard to values. The study question of this thesis asks if Nussbaum’s capabilities approach can offer substantial arguments for the justice claims of people with cognitive impairments from starting points compatible with political liberalism. To do that, the approach needs to address discrimination without referring to capability failures, as such a thing would mean strong value claims which are in contradiction with the impartiality of political liberalism. Central concepts for this study are human dignity, equal status, political liberalism, and perfectionist liberalism. I will analyze recent critique of Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, and use that to explicate the concept of human dignity. I will argue that a more detailed and explicitly prioritized conception of human dignity, and a consequential commitment to perfectionist liberalism, would enable the approach to address disability, equal status, and discrimination more efficiently. I will characterize the role of human dignity in terms of its functions and contents, which give the concept more substance and a more prioritized role. The functions of the concept show how it represents value, status, and desert. The contents of the concept characterize human beings as sociable, ethical beings with various needs. I argue that the functions and contents of human dignity together should form the perfectionist core of Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, which would then enable it to address equal status and argue against discrimination.
  • Hanhörster, Heike; Ramos Lobato, Isabel (2021)
    Housing markets play a decisive role in the spatial distribution of populations and the integration of immigrants. Looking specifically at Germany, shortages of low-rent housing in many cities are proving to be an open door for discrimination. This article looks at the influence institutional housing providers have on migrants’ access to housing. Based on 76 qualitative interviews with housing experts, politicians, local government officials, civil society and academics, the internal routines of housing companies are examined for the first time in a German context, looking at what effect they have on producing socio-spatial inequality. Using Lipsky’s (1980) ‘street-level bureaucracy’ as our conceptual framework, we argue that the barriers denying migrants access to the rental housing market are attributable to two factors: the organisational culture, whether in the form of official guidelines (’policy as written’) or in day-to-day activities in the front-line context (‘policy as performed’) – as well as in the huge gap between the two. Corporate policies, the resultant allocation policies, staff training and housing company involvement in local governance structures play a decisive role in determining migrants’ access to housing. The goal of achieving the right social mix and the lacking guidelines accorded to housing company staff in deciding who gets an apartment – turning their discretionary power into a certain kind of ‘forced discretion’ – in many cases arbitrarily restrict access to housing in Germany. Theoretically embedding these findings in organisational sociology, the article adds to urban geographical and sociological research into the drivers and backgrounds of residential segregation.
  • Dawson, Caitlin; Aalto, Daniel; Simko, Juraj; Vainio, Martti; Tervaniemi, Mari (2017)
    Musical experiences and native language are both known to affect auditory processing. The present work aims to disentangle the influences of native language phonology and musicality on behavioral and subcortical sound feature processing in a population of musically diverse Finnish speakers as well as to investigate the specificity of enhancement from musical training. Finnish speakers are highly sensitive to duration cues since in Finnish, vowel and consonant duration determine word meaning. Using a correlational approach with a set of behavioral sound feature discrimination tasks, brainstem recordings, and a musical sophistication questionnaire, we find no evidence for an association between musical sophistication and more precise duration processing in Finnish speakers either in the auditory brainstem response or in behavioral tasks, but they do show an enhanced pitch discrimination compared to Finnish speakers with less musical experience and show greater duration modulation in a complex task. These results are consistent with a ceiling effect set for certain sound features which corresponds to the phonology of the native language, leaving an opportunity for music experience-based enhancement of sound features not explicitly encoded in the language (such as pitch, which is not explicitly encoded in Finnish). Finally, the pattern of duration modulation in more musically sophisticated Finnish speakers suggests integrated feature processing for greater efficiency in a real world musical situation. These results have implications for research into the specificity of plasticity in the auditory system as well as to the effects of interaction of specific language features with musical experiences.
  • Limpens, Evita Jurriena Talina (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This study was set out to investigate whether acculturation attitudes play a mediating role in the acculturation-adaptation link. The main focus was on the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological adaptation and the potential mediating role of acculturation attitudes in this relationship. Expectations were based on previous research on ethnic and national identification and the role of these concepts in the acculturation-adaptation link. Acculturation attitudes were conceptualised based on Berry’s (1997) bidimensional categorisation of acculturation attitudes. The analysis was conducted among Finnish-Ingrian remigrants from Russia to Finland (n = 224). Data from questionnaires was collected at three times, including at the pre-migratory stage. Acculturation attitudes were measured with the two-statement measurement method: measuring preference for maintenance of the ethnic culture and preference for contact with and participation in the national culture separately. Psychological adaptation was assessed by Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (Roosenberg, 1965) and the General Well-Being Index (Gaston & Vogel, 2005). The analyses conducted were partially longitudinal and partially cross-sectional. Multiple regression was performed based on Baron and Kenny’s (1986) four-step mediation analysis approach. The results suggest that acculturation attitudes do not mediate the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological adaptation. Limitations of the study are discussed and recommendations for further research are provided.
  • Salama, Essi S.; Castaneda, Anu E.; Lilja, Eero; Suvisaari, Jaana; Rask, Shadia; Laatikainen, Tiina; Niemela, Solja (2020)
    Background and aims The associations between traumatic events, substance use and perceived discrimination have been rarely studied among migrants in host countries. We examined whether pre-migration potentially traumatic experiences (PTEs) or perceived discrimination (PD) are associated with substance use among migrants with voluntary (Russians) and forced (Kurds) migration backgrounds. Design Cross-sectional interview and health examination data from the Finnish Migrant Health and Wellbeing Study were used. The target sample (n = 1000 for each group) was drawn from the national population register using stratified random sampling by participants' country of birth and native language. Setting Population-based data were collected from six cities in Finland during 2010-12. Participants The participation rates were 68% (Russians) and 59% (Kurds). The analytical sample size varied (Russians n = 442-687, Kurds n = 459-613), as some participants completed only interview, health examination or short interview. The majority of Kurds had a refugee background (75%) while Russians had mainly migrated for other reasons (99%). Measurements The three main outcomes were self-reported binge drinking, daily smoking and life-time cannabis use. PTEs and PD were self-reported in the interview. Socio-demographic background, migration-related factors and current affective symptoms were adjusted for. Findings Among Kurds, PTEs were associated with binge drinking [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.30-5.42] and PD was associated with life-time cannabis use (aOR = 3.89, 95% CI = 1.38-10.97) after adjusting for contextual factors. Among Russians, PTEs were associated with life-time cannabis use adjusting for contextual factors (aOR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.12-4.18). Conclusions In Finland, pre-migration traumatic experiences appear to be associated with life-time cannabis use among the Russian migrant population (voluntary migration) and binge drinking among the Kurdish migrant population (forced migration). Perceived discrimination in Finland appears to be associated with life-time cannabis use among Kurdish migrants.
  • Paananen, Jenny; Lindholm, Camilla; Stevanovic, Melisa; Weiste, Elina (2020)
    Mental illness remains as one of the most stigmatizing conditions in contemporary western societies. This study sheds light on how mental health professionals and rehabilitants perceive stigmatization. The qualitative study is based on stimulated focus group interviews conducted in five Finnish mental health rehabilitation centers that follow the Clubhouse model. The findings were analyzed through inductive content analysis. Both the mental health rehabilitants and the professionals perceived stigmatization as a phenomenon that concerns the majority of rehabilitants. However, whereas the professionals viewed stigma as something that is inflicted upon the mentally ill from the outside, the rehabilitants perceived stigma as something that the mentally ill themselves can influence by advancing their own confidence, shame management, and recovery. Improvements in treatment, along with media coverage, were seen as the factors that reduce stigmatization, but the same conceptualization did not hold for serious mental illnesses. As the average Clubhouse client was thought to be a person with serious mental illness, the rehabilitation context designed to normalize attitudes toward mental health problems was paradoxically perceived to enforce the concept of inevitable stigma. Therefore, it is important for professionals in rehabilitation communities to be reflexively aware of these tensions when supporting the rehabilitants.
  • Lehto, Enni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The rights of sexual minorities have advanced at an increasingly rapid pace over the last decades, particularly in Europe. The European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention) and its compliance monitoring institutions, the European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights (the Court), have played an important role in this development. However, despite the many important victories that have been won at Strasbourg over the years, the Court has so far been unwilling to afford fully equal rights to sexual minorities, especially when it comes to marriage and other forms of legal protection for relationships. While some European countries have broadened their definitions of marriage of their own accord, others are busy amending their constitutions to specifically prevent any such development. In such a landscape, a supranational institution like the European Court of Human Rights has a key role to play in directing the future of gay rights in Europe. This study maps the development of relationship related rights of homosexual people in the jurisprudence of the Court and explores some possible explanations for both the shifts that have taken place and the current state of these rights under the Convention. It will first lay out the relevant caselaw to demonstrate how the level of protection afforded to homosexual applicants has differed from that enjoyed by the heterosexual majority in the past and what inequalities still exist today. This reveals five key issues that have featured as battlegrounds for equality in the practice of the Court: the complete criminalisation of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent for homosexual and heterosexual sex, the exclusion of homosexual relationships from the definition of “family life” under Article 8 of the Convention, the lack of legal recognition for homosexual partnerships, and the lack of access to marriage and consequently to other rights and benefits exclusively available to married couples. While the first three have subsequently been rectified, the Court has yet to articulate a clear requirement to provide some form of legal recognition to homosexual couples and has consistently denied that any obligation to provide for same-sex marriage could be derived from the Convention. The second part of the study will explore two possible explanations for both the way these rights have developed and their current state: the Court’s role as an international court and its conceptualisation of homosexuality. Neither the Court as a whole nor its individual judges can avoid having their views of homosexuality influenced by the wider societal attitudes. The understanding of homosexuality affects the way the Court handles cases related to it, and consequently the changes in the Court’s conceptualisation of homosexuality can explain developments in its jurisprudence. Analysing the caselaw though this lens indicates that a conception of homosexuality as undesirable and dangerous can be found underlying the earlier caselaw. However, the Court’s understanding has since evolved, and it currently does not consider homosexuality fundamentally different or less deserving than heterosexuality. The Court’s still ongoing refusal to afford equal rights to homosexuals can be better attributed to reasons stemming from its legal and political position as an international court. As an international institution founded by a voluntary treaty, the Court’s effectiveness ultimately relies on the willing cooperation of the contracting states. Therefore, it needs to constantly persuade the states of the legitimacy of its decisions and to be careful not to “go too far”, lest they stop executing its judgements or withdraw from the treaty altogether. The Court attempts to preserve its legitimacy mainly through the creation and application of its interpretation methods, which function to sustain an appearance of judicial consistency and legal stability and to persuade its audience of its impartiality and value-neutrality. The European consensus doctrine is particularly useful for improving the foreseeability of the Court’s decisions and increasing the member states’ confidence in the legitimacy of the institution. While the application of the consensus doctrine has been beneficial for the evolution of gay rights in the past, it now appears to be hindering any further progress. Since the majority of the member states do not yet offer fully equal rights to LGBT+ people, the stringent application of the European consensus doctrine leads the Court to conclude that the remaining inequalities fall within the states’ margin of appreciation. There are, however, some possible alternatives to the consensus approach. For example, focusing on the discriminatory aspects of the cases might prove more effective for furthering the development of gay rights under the Convention.
  • Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga; Celikkol, Göksu; Renvik (Mähönen), Tuuli Anna; Eskelinen, Viivi Emilia; Vetik, Raivo; Sam, David (2018)
    In this study, we investigated how perceived ethnic discrimination is related to attitudes towards the national majority group and willingness to confront injustice to promote the social standing of a minority group. We examined this relationship via two mediating factors; national (dis)identification from and out-group (dis)trust of the national majority group. The Rejection-Disidentification Model (RDIM) was refined, first, to account for willingness to confront injustice as a consequence of perceived rejection, and second, intergroup (dis)trust was examined as an additional mediating mechanism that can explain attitudinal and behavioural reactions to perceived rejection simultaneously with national disidentification. The model was tested in a comparative survey data of Russian-speaking minority in Estonia (N = 482), Finland (N = 254), and Norway (N = 219). In all three countries, the more Russian-speakers identified as Russians and the more they perceived ethnic discrimination, the more negative were their attitudes toward the national majority groups and the more willing they were to engage in action to confront group-based injustice. Whereas disidentification from and distrust of national majority group accounted for the discrimination-attitude link to a large extent, both factors had demobilizing effects on willingness to confront injustice, making Russian-speaking immigrants more passive but hostile. The findings are discussed in relation to the risks involved in politicization of immigrants struggling with perceived inequalities.