Browsing by Subject "ethnic minorities"

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  • Koskimies, Silka (1999)
    Social work is today faced with a bigger diversity in society and ethnically mixed client groups. Mainstream social work methods are not always enough to meet the needs of all these new client groups. Therefore, social work has to develop its practices to be able to meet the challenges of the multi-ethnic society. The aim of this study is to compare how social work in England and Finland has responded to its minority ethnic clients, what policies and practices are developed. The study is a case study of social work in two local areas, namely the London borough of Islington in England and the city of Vantaa in Finland. The study material consists of semi-structured interviews with twelve social workers from different social service departments in Islington and Vantaa and of policy and practice documents. The study is a qualitative study and the interview material is analysed by using grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin 1990) and comparative methodology (Miles & Huberman 1994). A comparative framework was developed firstly by comparing different concepts used in each country concerning social work and minority ethnic groups, secondly by examining the situation of the minority ethnic groups in each country and finally by using theoretical literature for analysing the study material. The theoretical framework was mainly developed by theories about minority political ideologies (Ely and Denney 1989), theories about ethnic identity (Liebkind 1992, Hutnik 1991) and by a multicultural awareness framework (Matinheikki-Kokko 1997). The results of the study show that both countries have developed some responses to take into account the needs of minority ethnic clients. However, in Vantaa the process has just recently started. In Vantaa the services are based on an equality principle, which means in Finnish conditions that all clients are given the same kind of services. This has shown to be problematic as the service are often based on majority needs, which does not support minority groups. The effects might be the opposite, that is assimilationist. In Islington the social workers strive also for equality, but the starting point is more pluralistic, as the social workers attempt to take into account cultural background when providing services. The study showed also the importance of a clearly stated policy, which particularly takes into account minority ethnic groups. The policy has to be clearly outlined for all staff and even for clients. To put policy into practice means that it has to be effectively implemented. This means firstly that the whole social service department has to be aware of the needs of minority ethnic groups and of adequate intervention strategies to meet the needs. Secondly, the social workers have to be aware of the situation of their minority ethnic clients. This means that the social workers cannot be left alone with the responsibility to improve services. The social service department has to support the social workers by providing them means to develop the services. This includes a clear policy statement, training for all staff and regular supervision and discussions in meetings about issues concerning minority ethnic groups.
  • 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.
  • Marizu, Obi (2007)
    It is common in nation states worldwide for the ethno-cultural relations of groups in their jurisdiction to be rife with tensions and conflict. The end of the cold war and the spread of globalisation have intensified and spread the social, political and economic changes that had already been evident for several decades. The result is that resurgence is now an even more visible and compelling theme for social scientists, particularly in the political domain. Ethnicity of itself does not cause violent conflict. For the most part, ethnic groups peacefully pursue their interests in society through political or other lawful channels. At times, however, acute social uncertainty and the fear of the future may make ethnic groups emerge as one of the major fault-lines along which societies start to disintegrate. Today ethnic pluralism, competitiveness and primordial antagonism appear to be the factors that most often cause ethnic conflicts and violence. The rate of increase of political or military interference in many parts of the world, and the escalation of ethnic and intra-ethnic strife, may be partly attributed to differences in ethnic composition. In some states like Belgium, Austria, Poland, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Cuba, China, Togo, Benin, Malawi or Tanzania this escalation may be less salient than in others such as Nigeria, the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru, Colombia, Yugoslavia or the Mediterranean region (Cyprus-Greece-Turkey), where fragmentation of power is evident in weak and corrupt structures, some of them legacies of colonialism. This preface, however, is about the study of problems in Nigeria: protracted ethnic tension and the intermittent resurgence of disintegration. This study combines some key ideas and questions by looking at them from many perspectives, with the intention of informing or reminding readers about the ethnic problems in Nigeria. This task is complicated because there are many ways of studying, explaining and keeping up to date with this field of study. There are differences between frameworks and empirical realities that will be examined. The approach of my study is eclectic, but I have avoided presenting an ethnicity framework as a fixed or essentially primordial concept. Some of my explanations are related to the wider tradition of socio-biology, as described by van den Berghe, and to nationalism, which I presume to be inadequate to do justice to the political groupings of ethnic allegiances in Nigeria.
  • Peltola, Marja; Keskinen, Suvi Päivikki; Honkasalo, Marja Veronika; Honkatukia, Päivi Maritta (2017)
  • Malmberg, Mikko J; Pantti, Mervi (2020)
    Recent media studies in Europe have stressed the importance of studying societies’ negotiations on migration and the ability of migrants and other ethnic minorities to participate in these processes. Social media platforms have been widely praised for their openness to culturally diverse voices and representations. For minorities who have often been ignored and misrepresented in traditional media, these platforms arguably provide an empowering space where they can self-represent their identities, provide counter-representations to large and diverse audiences, and enhance their careers as media professionals. The video streaming social media platform, YouTube, is at the forefront of media participation. However, YouTube also has been criticized for promoting a highly commercialized culture of self-commodification and entertainment that maintains the status quo instead of enabling progressive social change. This study presents the results of an examination of the YouTube scene in Finland, a country with the lowest percentage of foreign-born inhabitants in Northern and Western Europe, where few YouTubers with migrant backgrounds have become increasingly visible within the last few years. Drawing on interviews with YouTubers, the study presents new insights into ethnic minority participation on YouTube and challenges binary oppositions between commercialism, entertainment and social change.
  • Leppänen, Upu (2008)
    This is a study about communal self-perceptions and collective identities that are formed as a response, critique, or contestation to prepositionings from the level of state. The aim of this study is to investigate the way personal narratives are intertwined with accounts of national history. The theoretical contribution of this study is to the anthropological debates on morality and ethnic identity while the ethnographic data presented address Southeast Asian and minority studies. This investigation is based on independent ethnographic research conducted during a total of 20 months (2002-2003, 2006-2007) in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces of the People’s Republic of China. Miao/Hmong areas were also visited in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Lao PDR. Chapter 1 (Locating the Field) contextualizes gathered ethnographic data while Chapter 2 (Methodology) expounds on anthropological research methods. The theoretical focus of this study is on the anthropology of morality (Ch. 3-5: themes of moral arenas and traditions) and ethnic identity (Ch. 6-9: themes on belonging, exemplarity, authenticity, and liminality). Questions of structure and agency are considered extensively in Chapters 10 and 11. Key anthropological sources are from White (1981), Urban (1996), the Comaroffs (1992), Schein (2000), Dawson (1978), and Teppo (2004). Primary sources stem from extensive participant-observation, autobiographical writings by two Miao women, and thematic interviews of Chinese minority as well as majority informants. The ethnographic data presented revolve around the lives of two young Miao women. Through this case study the process of narrativization is examined as an impulse to moralize reality. I argue that ethnic meta-narratives highlight where dialogics of othering are at play. The Miao are an external minority “Other” that function as a conceptual confirmation of the existence of the Chinese majority, or Han essence of the state. The Chinese “body ethnic” is conceptualized as an internal other and as a point of tangency where the Chinese state is contiguous with what lies beyond. Rhetoric of moral ethnicity is utilized by the state to implement and justify the process of nationalism as well as to evade or reinterpret it. This study indicates that a identities are at play within several distinct, occasionally overlapping, and, at times, contesting cultural spheres that constitute moral guidelines of “rites and wrongs,” or varying demands and definitions of one’s ethnic identity. Tämä opinnäytetyö koskee Kiinan miao-vähemmistön yhteisöllisiä omakuvia ja kollektiivisia identiteettejä, jotka rakentuvat reaktioina, kritiikkeinä tai vastatoimina valtiotason asetelmille. Tutkimus pohjautuu 20 kuukauden itsenäiseen etnografiseen kenttätyöhön, joka tehtiin Kaakkois-Aasian Kultaisen kolmion alueella (Kiina, Thaimaa, Lao PDR, Vietnam ja Myanmar). Aineisto etnisyyden moraliteeteista kontribuoi poliittisen antropologian, Kaakkois-Aasian tutkimuksen ja vähemmistötutkimuksen diskursseihin.
  • Hämäläinen, Taija (2004)
    This study aimed at researching the quality of social and health care services from minority ethnic older persons' perspective. This was done by identifying the dimensions of the services where quality was experienced as poorest as well as studying the factors that influenced the experienced quality of the services. The client based quality was analysed as the congruence between the clients' expectations and perceptions. The information gathered from elderly people belonging to ethnic minorities was compared with data from social and health care service personnel. With the help of the analyses of experienced quality, the study aimed at identifying ways to develop and organise the social and health care services so that they would provide high quality services also for the elderly clients belonging to ethnic minorities. The data of this study consisted of two samples. The service user sample included constructed interviews with 119 Russians, 50 Vietnamese and 126 Sami respondents. The service provider sample consisted of 71 respondents, from whom data were gathered by postal survey with a questionnaire. Both of the samples were analysed by using quantitative, statistical methods. The area where quality was experienced as poorest, both among the service users and service providers, was access to services. The individual aspect that was most connected to the quality experiences of the service users, was the experience of racial harassment in the services. In the service user data, differences in the experienced quality of care were strongly connected to the ethnic group. This was the case partly because the respondents in different ethnic groups had different expectations and perceptions about the services, and partly because they emphasised different aspects of the services as being important to them. The results highlight the importance of equal treatment, cultural sensitivity and the principles and praxis of non-discrimination in the health and social services, in order to guarantee high quality care for all the service users. This forms a challenge to be taken into account in basic education and in the in-service training of social and health care professionals. Also the service design and culture should be developed towards care based on the individual. In order to provide high quality services for the aged, the unique situation of the individual should always be thoroughly examined and taken into account. This includes also acknowledging the ethnic background of the client.
  • Keskinen, Suvi; Aminkeng Atabong, Alemanji; Himanen, Markus; Kivijärvi, Antti Heikki; Osazee, Uyi; Pöyhölä, Nirosha; Rousku, Venla (University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Science, 2018)
    SSKH Notat
  • Tyrväinen, Taina (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Recent increase in immigration has resulted in new politics and practices, which aim to integrate immigrants and new ethnic minorities into the political decision-making process. One example of these politics is The Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO), the object of this study. Since established in 1998 ETNO has brought immigrant and ethnic representatives together with the Finnish authorities to discuss issues related to immigration and integration. The assumption here was that there were many challenges which relate to representation in a consultative body. The focus of this study was to find out what kind of representative claims are made about ETNO’s representation and how they relate to immigrants’ and ethnic diversities’ positioning in the Finnish politics. The empirical data for this study was gathered by interviewing ten members of ETNO, who represented the ethnic communities and immigrant groups. In addition one interview was done with the ETNO secretary in order to receive more information about ETNO’s functions. The interviews were half-structural theme interviews. The results were analysed according to the method of content analysis and organised according to themes. Four different claims were made about claims of ETNO’s representation and different attitudes towards these claims were discussed in the analysis. First claim showed that the representatives give value to ETNO’s aim of including immigrants in to the political process. ETNO’s role as a forum for discussion was perceived more efficient than consultation. The second claim proved that there were many different perceptions of how the composion of ETNO should be arranged: some of the respondents felt that representation was successful when the representative and the constituent resemble each other. Other emphasised the meaning of shared interests in politics. The third claim showed that the respondents had different views on representation of ethnicities and immigrants. Also the views on ETNO’s representation varied. The fourth claim showed that consensus was central aim in ETNO. Some critisised this objection by stating that it does not give space to different opinions. The results of the study confirm that there are many different perceptions about ETNO’s work and representation. ETNO was critisised for focusing on the idea of the diversity at the expence of ethnical diversity.