Browsing by Subject "ethnography"

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  • Helosvuori, Elina Inkeri (2019)
    One of the mundane everyday practices of IVF is observing and classifying embryos. After the fertilisation, embryos are graded according to their quality which is an estimation of whether the embryogenesis—the embryo’s development—seems normal or deviant. This practice is called embryo selection and it is based on assessing the ‘good quality’ embryos as viable and ‘poor quality’ ones as inviable. Viability refers to the capacity of embryos to develop into foetuses and eventually become babies. However, the question of what kinds of embryos ultimately are viable is a complex issue, which also hinges upon several other factors than the quality estimation. This paper shows that the idea of embryo viability is an assemblage of multiple kinds of things. The paper is based on multi-sited ethnography and expert and patient interviews conducted in the private fertility service sector of Finland. I argue that embryo viability is a practical achievement that requires the successful combination of several factors: the scientific facts on embryo quality, the expert knowledge and laboratory practices and the patients’ engagements in the process. None of these factors alone is enough to explain the precarious embryo viability which nevertheless is the central issue in IVF.
  • Tuunanen, Tuukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis is about the sociocultural phenomenon of start-up entrepreneurship. Contemporary society is home to a growing obsession towards entrepreneurship, with entrepreneurial action regarded as a possible solution to a wide spectrum of social problems. Entrepreneurial action and the acquiring of an entrepreneurial way of thinking and operating is widely considered to contribute to the common good, in reality having potential for a positive impact on society. Hence entrepreneurship is promoted in social policy and education in an effort to educate citizens towards entrepreneurial agency. All in all, an interesting shift is happening with entrepreneurs positioning themselves as producers of the common good ”making the world a better place one pizza at a time”, while farmers traditionally identifying as ”producers” are becoming more ”entrepreneurial”. Entrepreneurial agency as a new form of agency suitable for any individual in almost any field of action originates from the neoliberal discourse and the emphasis on individual freedom and entrepreneurialism. Like Margaret Thatcher famously stated, ”there is no society, there are individual men and women”. This highly individualistic approach to the reorganisation of society and the reinforcement or restoration of the class dominance of a small global elite was voiced as an alleged antidote to the perils of socialism, and culturally connected to the positive ideals of the entrepreneur as a free, self-reliable, innovative and efficient individual. This was the neoliberal re-invention of the entrepreneur that transformed the idea of the entrepreneur as primarily a business operator to that of the morally worthy individual simply doing the right thing. The fruits of the labour would then trickle-down as collectively beneficiary. This thesis is an ethnographic study on start-up entrepreneurs in the Greater Helsinki start-up ecosystem working to promote their companies. Through interviews and observational data, this thesis studies the start-up entrepreneur as the epitome of this contemporary entrepreneurial agency. Start-up entrepreneurship sometimes referred to as ”entrepreneurialism on steroids”, is a form of often tech-related entrepreneurialism aimed at fast growth with the help of investments - a sort of ”rags to riches” narrative. But the work is demanding with statistically most start-up companies destined to fail, with a very small percentage becoming successful in finding markets, growing and returning the investments while providing lucrative ”exits” for the founders. Utilising positioning theory this thesis focuses on three themes related to start-up entrepreneurs: their identifications and boundary work in separating them as a specific social group, the outspoken motivations behind their actions and the troubles that arise from their endeavours. Through dress code, speech norms and the acceptance of the Weberian idea of the entrepreneur as ”a special actor” and capable problem-solver, the identity of the start-up entrepreneur is constructed and ritualistically verified in events like SLUSH. The origins of the neoliberal discourse are interestingly present in these motivations, with a majority of the interviewees emphasizing the altruistic side of their social entrepreneurialism and the importance of freedom in life. They are free to achieve. But on the other hand, the possibility of unimaginable financial gain brings certain ambiguity to the situation. In the words of one interviewee: ”Anyone who says they don´t dream of getting rich in a start-up company is lying.” Finally, among all the positive hype that surrounds successful start-up companies and entrepreneurship partly due to the way they are portrayed in the media, there are problems ahead for many. Stress and financial troubles combined with the shame and possible debt resulting from going bankrupt manifest themselves as severe physical symptoms, mental health problems, insomnia and burnout. This can in turn have a dramatic impact in dictating the lives of the start-up entrepreneurs. Following the ideas of critical entrepreneurship studies and contributing to the lack of research on the topic, this thesis suggests that due to the influence of the neoliberal discourse on the way entrepreneurship is framed and celebrated as well as the severity of the resulting problems for many, there should be a more critical and analytical approach to the seemingly value-free promotion of entrepreneurship. It is necessary to ask whose interests are actually getting promoted through increased entrepreneurial agency, and whether the alleged promotion of common good is in fact contributing to any issues other than the convenience of the every-day lives of the middle-class.
  • Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Sahlström, Fritjof (2019)
    Although Finnish politics relating to the Roma tend to be perceived internationally as fairly successful, several obstacles exist for the Roma in education and the labour market. Training of Roma mediators has been actively promoted in Finland to improve the school performance and equality of Roma pupils. This article, based on ethnographic research, focuses on exploring how the current discursive terrain around the topics of tolerance and prejudice functions in the everyday work of mediators. It is argued that the present discourses in school expose the mediators to unequal power relations of tolerance. The terms for being tolerated are set by the potential tolerating actors, the school community. The mediators aim to supply knowledge about the Roma and try to address prejudices as representatives of the Roma. The study identified three different strategies that the mediators used when encountering prejudice: making sure one does not seem too different, parody and feigning naivety. The analysis suggests that the present discursive terrain creates obstacles to addressing inequalities, discrimination and racism in educational contexts. The responsibility for tackling discrimination is placed on the shoulders of individual Roma - not the whole school community.
  • Pink, Sarah; Ruckenstein, Minna Susanna; Willim, Robert; Duque, Melisa (2018)
    In this article, we introduce and demonstrate the concept-metaphor of broken data. In doing so, we advance critical discussions of digital data by accounting for how data might be in processes of decay, making, repair, re-making and growth, which are inextricable from the ongoing forms of creativity that stem from everyday contingencies and improvisatory human activity. We build and demonstrate our argument through three examples drawn from mundane everyday activity: the incompleteness, inaccuracy and dispersed nature of personal self-tracking data; the data cleaning and repair processes of Big Data analysis and how data can turn into noise and vice versa when they are transduced into sound within practices of music production and sound art. This, we argue is a necessary step for considering the meaning and implications of data as it is increasingly mobilised in ways that impact society and our everyday worlds.
  • Wolff, Lili-Ann; Vuorenpää, Sari; Sjöblom, Pia (2018)
    Social change requires new educational planning and sustainable teaching methods. Shaping an environment of care with animals as a part of the daily school life may produce such a change. In this article, we present a transdisciplinary study with the aim of exploring whether raising chickens in a classroom could promote learning, especially sustainability learning, and how. The study employs an ethnographic approach and we have analyzed the data according to interaction analysis. We collected the data in a culturally-diverse Finnish primary school class during May 2018. The data comprise field notes, videos and photographs from indoor and outdoor school activities; interviews and discussions with teachers and students; and, texts and artifacts that were made by students. The results show that having chickens in the classroom not only improved the students’ learning of biology, but also enhanced many other activities. The chicken project became part of a complex learning culture that met several of the aims of the curriculum and in many ways reached beyond the aim of merely learning science. The project became a natural part of sustainability education and promoted the acquisition of knowledge and skills in relation to the ecological and social dimensions of sustainability.
  • Salminen, Esa (2006)
    The study is about language use in three commercial, youth-oriented radio stations in Lusaka, the capital of the Republic of Zambia. The study analyses the speech style of Zambian radio presenters and disc jockeys aged between 20 and 35, and the functions and meanings of this speech style, that approximates Black American youth speech. The study is based on analysis of radio recordings, interviews with radio presenters and radio listeners, as well as ethnographic observation data, coupled with statistical demographic and economic data. The ethnographic material was gathered during a three year period between June 2002 and July 2005, the recordings and interviews mostly during the last six months of this period. The main finding of the study is that speech style for the 'radio speech community' is a form of social capital, and it is used to gain upward social mobility and employment, but also sought for as an end in itself, as a building block of a modernistic identity. The study shows how the social group of the radio presenters is in a unique position in Zambia: its members are able to use verbal talent and an identity-building project as a means of subsistence in an impoverished economical context. This finding is compared with other studies on modernisation, namely in historical Europe and contemporary Congo (Brazzaville). The main theoretical sources for the study consist of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, in the works of Charles Briggs, Erwing Goffman, William Labov and John Gumperz; as well as social and anthropological theorists, of which the main ones cited in the study are Pierre Bourdieu, Jonathan Friedman, Mike Featherstone and Peter Burke. Other sources include census statistics, education policy papers of the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations Human Development Report.
  • Sydänmaa, Birgitta Nicola (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Previous research has shown that colonization had profound impacts on precolonial Indigenous communities in North America. From the first contact, the explorers’ perception was colored by Eurocentric ideas rooted in European social systems, religion, cultures, and values, which called into question the moral worth and very humanity of Indigenous peoples. In Canada, colonialism introduced Indigenous peoples with a new social order, including new political, social, cultural, and economic structures, as well as a new stigmatized Indigenous identity, which became foundational for subsequent laws, policies, and institutional practices that aimed to erase those very elements deemed problematic. In Canada, Indigenous people have since colonization persistently suffered from poorer health compared to settler and more recent immigrant populations. Research points to both proximal and distal determinants behind the disparities documented in Indigenous health, and suggests that along with contemporary socioeconomic conditions, the distal factors of colonialism, virgin soil epidemics, and policies of subjugation and assimilation have been traumatic and have contributed negatively to the contemporary Indigenous population’s health. This research thesis is located in the field of medical anthropology and examines health, illness, and healing as culturally shaped, personal, embodied, and shared experiences, meanings, and illness realities. The theory used this thesis rests on an embodied meaning-centered approach of illness, which suggests that elements from the psychobiological, sociocultural, symbolic, political, and historical experiential realms blend to form a network of meanings for a sufferer, an embodied experience of an illness world that is shared as part of a community. Situated in the context of colonial history and present health disparities, the research questions of this thesis center on discovering major themes of embodied experiences and meanings of health, illness, and healing in an urban Indigenous community. Altogether eight weeks of daily ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in an Indigenous urban community in Vancouver, Canada, in the spring of 2017. The data for this thesis consisted of fieldnotes, ten individual interviews and one group interview, taped public speeches, photographs, and videos. A thematic analysis identified six significant categories of embodied meanings and experiences of health, illness, and healing in community narratives: colonization and colonialisms, colonization traumas, structural violence, survivance and resilience, reconciliation, and healing with culture. This thesis establishes that colonization and various colonialisms with policies of subjugation and assimilation are seen by community members as profoundly traumatic events with negative impacts on health that persist intergenerationally to this day. Collective memories of colonization and colonialisms inform what it once meant to be healthy, how communities became sick, and how they can become healthy again. Due to contemporary experiences of structural violence and racism, Indigenous community members continue to experience Canada as an enduring colonial space. Healing for community members is achieved by decolonizing minds from the once stigmatized identities introduced by colonization and by reindigenizing their world through reintroducing the original cultures and cultural identities back into their daily practices and healing their perceptions of the self.
  • Korkman, Oskar (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    Economics and Society
    This thesis introduces a practice-theoretical approach to understanding customer value formation to be used in the field of service marketing and management. In contrast to current studies trying to understand value formation by analysing customers as independent actors and thinkers, it is in this work suggested that customer value formation can be better understood by analysing how value is formed in the practices and contexts of the customers. The theoretical approach developed in this thesis is applied in an empirical study of family cruises. The theoretical analysis in this thesis results in a new approach for understanding customer value formation. Customer value is, according to this new approach, something that is formed in practice, meaning that value is formed in constellations of the customer and contextual elements like tools, physical spaces and contextually embedded images and know-how. This view is different from the current views that tend to see value as subjectively created, co-created, perceived or experienced by the customer. The new approach has implications on how we view customer value, but also on the methods and techniques we can use to understand customer value in empirical studies. It is also suggested that services could in fact be reconceptualised as practices. According to the stance presented in this thesis the empirical analysis of customer value should not focus on individual customers, but should instead take the contextual entity of practices as its unit of analysis. Therefore, ethnography is chosen as a method for exploring how customer value is formed in practice in the case of family cruises on a specific cruise vessel. The researcher has studied six families, as well as the context of the cruise vessel with various techniques including non-participant observation, participant observation and interviews in order to create an ethnographic understanding of the practices carried out on board. Twenty-one different practices are reported and discussed in order to provide necessary insight to customer value formation that can be used as input for service development.
  • Sumiala, Johanna; Tikka, Minttu (2020)
    This article explores what digital media ethnography as a methodological approach can offer to the study of contiguous media events with an unexpected, violent and fluid nature. Emphasising the role of media events in the present organisation of social life, we as digital media anthropologists acknowledge the tendency in the current digital media environment to eventise and spectacularise social life. This development serves the power-related purposes of attention seeking and public recognition in the digital world. The article is structured as follows: first, we provide a brief outline of the field of digital media ethnography in relation to the study of media event; second, we identify what we claim are three key methodological dilemmas in applying digital media ethnography to the study of today’s digitally circulating media events (scale, mobility and agency) and reflect on them in the context of our methodological positioning; third, we conclude this article by considering some epistemological and ontological implications of this methodological endeavour in relation to what can be called the ‘meta-field’ and the related instability in current digital research.
  • Pura, Minna; Koskull von, Catharina (2015)
    This paper draws on a series of ethnographic studies conducted in different service industries and illustrates how different types of observation can be utilized in service innovation projects. We compare traditional ways of observing organizations with novel methods such as chat based team collaboration tools that enable cost effective observation 24/7 even in geographically dispersed locations. We identify benefits and challenges with each observation mode for service innovation research in particular, but also for reflective research practice and field research in general. The strengths as well as the weaknesses of applying different modes of observations will be addressed and suggestions for useful mode(s) for radical and incremental innovations will be presented.
  • Suomela, Jenni A.; Vajanto, Krista; Räisänen, Riikka (2020)
    Collection SU4522 in the Finno-Ugric Collections of the National Museum of Finland consists of 143 items, mainly textiles from nineteenth-century White Karelia, now part of the current Russia. Forty-one linen textiles were chosen for closer examination, with the aim of evaluating the area's textile culture and identifying the materials using microscopic methods. Flax, hemp and nettle have all been traditional materials for clothing in northern Europe. Additionally, cotton became established in the region during the nineteenth century. Previous research lacked such a deep examination of the textile materials used, leaving room for speculation. Stinging nettle has not been shown before to have been used as a textile material in the Karelian area. Our results show that it appeared commonly in ratsina-shirts and kaspaikka-towels. Against the consensus hemp was rare and appeared only in one of the items. The results are mirrored by concurrent pictorial and written material from I. K. Inha who visited the region in 1894 and collected most of the items in the collection. White Karelian textile traditions from clothing to fabrics, weaving, spinning and fiber production are discussed in the article. Nevertheless, questions concerning the origins of the materials and the effects of the peddling tradition would need further research.
  • Arantola-Hattab, Johanna (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    Economics and Society – 254
    During the past decade value co-creation has been eagerly discussed in service marketing research. Despite the vigorous interest, the discussion has largely stayed on the theoretical level and perhaps led more to confusion than evolution. In business-to-consumer marketing the focus on investigating value has mainly been on the dyad of provider and customer; however the customer has remained an undefined unit in the interactions. This study argues a deeper investigation on co-creation is needed to clarify the value co-creation concept. The purpose of this research is to explore how a family as a customer experiences co-created service value. This study widens the investigation on co-creation beyond the visible interactions between the provider and a single person to cover often for the provider invisible interactions of different family members. The underpinning framework is the Nordic School’s customer-dominant logic (CDL). This study uses qualitative methodology as the approach to study the research topic. The research method applies ethnography to gain knowledge regarding how a specific group of people interacts with the environment. The empirical study consists of interviews and observations of working mothers who interpret their daily lives, responsibilities, and activities. Based on this background, they discuss their experiences and opinions about their banking service. The empirical study illustrates how mothers discuss their individual and family needs with a bank. Thus, this study widens the scope of a single person being a customer and presents the idea of a family as a customer unit. This study contributes to the current theoretical discussion on value co-creation by presenting a categorisation model for investigating different entities of service value co-creation. The model illustrates how experienced service value is a consequence of co-creation covering both visible and invisible interactions of a family. The study illustrates how service value is experienced by a family as a consequence of value co-creation not only in a dyadic interaction between the provider and an individual, but also in the multiple interactions within a family. The managerial contributions give guidance to companies regarding how to extend their understanding of a customer’s experienced service value and how to become better embedded in their customers’ everyday lives. An increased understanding of different entities of co-creation generates new knowledge regarding how companies can sustain valuable relationships with their customers. The findings illustrate it is essential for a bank as a service provider to shift the focus from dyadic interactions to cover also the multiple interactions within a family as a customer unit.
  • 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.
  • Peemot, Victoria (2017)
    This paper is a brief description of two drums brought by Finnish geologist Jacob Johannes Sederholm from the expedition to Siberia in 1917. Research on drums, based on the ethnographical sources and museum collections, was done to identify provenance of the studied objects. Two drums, brought by Sederholm, have not previously been described in the scholarly work. Both of them are in the private collections of J. J. Sederholm’s grandchildren.
  • Peltonen, Lari (2010)
    The topic of this study is hate speech against the Roma in Romania, which was studied with the comments posted to three Romanian newspapers’ (Jurnalul Naţional, Evenimentul zilei and Adevărul) Internet forums. This study examines how the history, current situation and demographic factors of the Romanian Roma are discussed in the comments on the Internet forums and what kind of solutions the commentators suggest for the Roma situation that many considered problematic. As the conceptual frame of reference in this study is hate speech that has been elaborated within international and American law, the study focuses on the comments that aim at strengthening the negative stereotypes and inciting violence, characteristics of hate speech. Relating to the subject, the study also touches on the dispute over curbing freedom of speech and defining the limits for forbidden speech. The messages used in the study are from the first half of the year 2009. The method used for collecting the data was Internet-ethnography, a method that applies traditional ethnographic observation to the Internet environment. For analyzing the messages, critical discourse analysis taught by Norman Fairclough was used. The emphasis was laid on the qualities that the commentators gave to the Roma. Two primary ”solutions” to the ”Gypsy problem” in Romania came up from the analysis. According to the comments belonging to the first group, the commentators wanted to change the official Romanian designation of the Roma from ‘rom’ (‘Roma’) to ‘ţigan’ (the Romanian equivalent to ‘Gypsy’) so that the Romanians would not be confused with the Roma that many commentators considered highly insulting and problematic for Romanians. The comments of the other group are more characteristic hate speech: in many comments mass destruction of the Roma or forced deportation to India were proposed, from where the Roma started their travels toward Europe some thousand years ago. The comments contained clear references to the mass destructions of the Jews, Roma, homosexuals and political dissidents during the Nazi regime in Germany and the comments in this category, were especially vulgar. Furthermore, according to the “dirtiness – purity” category of Mary Douglas, the Roma were perceived as an obstacle to the fulfilment of the “clean” Romania.
  • Tuominen, Pekka (2020)
    Kontula, a suburban estate at the margins of Helsinki, Finland, has been plagued by a notorious reputation since its construction in the 1960s. At different moments in history, it has reflected failed urbanity, with shifting emphases on issues such as rootlessness, segregation, intergenerational poverty, and unsuccessful integration of immigrants. Unlike many other suburban estates in Helsinki, it has become a potent symbol of the ills of contemporary urbanity in the vernacular geography of the city. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this article explores how its inhabitants experience the dynamic between the internalised stigma and their responses to it. The focus is on how historically formed and spatially defined senses of belonging and exclusion shape their everyday lives and how they have found ways to challenge the dominant perceptions about their homes and neighbourhoods. I argue that an understanding of cultural intimacy, conceptually developed by Michael Herzfeld, offers a useful way to approach the tension between essentialised categories and lived realities. Rather than simply limiting their agency, the shared stigma enables inhabitants to form powerful senses of belonging. The article emphasises how culturally intimate understandings employ both complex historical trajectories and shifts in relative location to question and confront the stigma in the language of mutual trust and belonging.
  • Kedzior, Richard (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 281
    Changes in consumption related to digital technologies, digitization and the emergence of new media have been topics of great interest to both academics and managers. The backbone of all these changes, the Internet has penetrated consumers’ daily lives and changed the way they work, shop and socialize. The new digital spaces (e.g., social networking sites, massively multiplayer online games, or online virtual worlds) have become important conduits for sociality and consumption as evidenced by the time and money consumers spend online. Yet, frequently the social, cultural and economic significance of digital worlds has been dismissed due to their “immaterial” character. The evidence discussed in this volume demonstrates that consumers experience digital worlds as material, yet materiality in this instance transcends the conventional notions of tangibility and physicality. Thus, this study introduces the concept of digital materiality to more accurately describe the phenomenon of materiality in digital environments, and focuses on the ways in which it emerges in digital worlds. To this end, presented here conceptual framework maps out five distinct processes through which digital worlds become material to their consumers. Each of these processes is driven by a set of consumer motivations which correspond to consumer perceptions of digital materiality. Apart from the theoretical and conceptual contributions to academic literature, this research offers a number of managerial implications which can benefit professionals working with digital media. The ideas discussed here may be especially valuable for public policy makers and product managers struggling with the inherent instability of digital materiality. Some of the insights can also cast light on ways in which businesses could expand their market offering by complementing existing product lines with either digital or physical components. This interdisciplinary work is positioned within Consumer Culture Theory and Digital Consumption Studies, and draws on the extant literature in consumer research, cultural studies, anthropology, and human-computer interaction. Richard Kedzior is an Assistant Professor of Markets, Innovation and Design at the School of Management, Bucknell University. He is a consumer researcher who studies phenomena at the intersection of technology and culture.
  • Raunio, Sonja (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    In my research I examined violence in secondary school from the point of view of the students. I asked, how the students themselves defined violence. I focused on who was considered to be someone who has information on the phenomenon or power to define it. In previous research it has been reported that mundane, everyday violence has been studied less than extreme acts of violence. In my research, I drew attention to the mundane aspects of the phenomenon and what it is at its limits. I tried to determine why some things were named violence, when others were not. In my research I regarded violence as gendered, since I wanted to study the phenomenon as a structure rather than as attached to specific individuals. In my understanding, violence and power are inseparably linked. Therefore I chose to approach the phenomenon from the perspective of a feminist theory. Key concepts in my research were violence, gender, school and agency. I used feminist ethnography as a method to both produce and analyze the data. In feminist ethnography it is essential to interact as respectfully as as possible with the people who are being studied as well as to maintain a critical attitude toward knowing and the hierarchies related to knowledge. The ethnographer tries to understand the world of the people she studies by participating in it. In feminist ethnography attention is drawn to power relations as well as in the intertwining differences. The data consist of field notes and interviews. For two weeks I observed the school days of the students of one seventh grade in one school located in the Helsinki metropolitan area. My observation covered classes, breaks and meal times, but I did not follow the students if they left the school grounds unless the classes were held there. I interviewed 17 of the 18 students in the class, in pairs or individually. Half of the interviews were done individually and the other half in pairs. There were 12 interviews in total. According to my research, the student's status in the social hierarchy, their position regarding the norms in the society and the discourses related to violence or bullying in society were some of the factors that influenced the way the students defined violence or were affected by it. Violence in school appeared to be so normal that often it was not even noticed or regarded as such. An atmosphere was maintained actively where the possibility of violence was always present. The teachers used the threat of violence as a resource to emphasize their message. Gendered structures were also entwined with the normalization of violence. Violence or the threat of it was linked in particular with the correct representations of masculinity. In addition to gender other differences affected how it was possible to be present in school and how violence could be defined or used as a resource. According to my research, racism, homophobia and gendered structures limit the students' agency. The students seemed to be struggling to understand situations from other person's points of view and to understand the consequences of their actions. On the other hand, the teachers did not seem to understand the students' perspective. I too shared the difficulties with identifying and naming violence. My conclusion is that even though no one is able to distinctly define violence, it is not to be accepted. Based on my research, violence should always be intervened, despite the difficulties of defining it.
  • Ådahl, Susanne (2000)
    This thesis analyses the specific moral discourses that popular class female sex workers and their regular clients create in the particular world of prostitution in Managua, Nicargua. My intention was to identify, through ethnographic narratives, what meanings sex workers and clients attach to intimacy and respect and how their street life (calle) and home making (casa) roles merge and interact. The specific kind of morality that emerges in sex workers' and clients' manner of speaking indicates how the limits of morality are fluid, pointing to where the spheres of calle and casa meet, intermingle and create specific meanings. This is not an investigation into deviant behaviour, although the actors are situated in a social world that is characterised as liminal. It is, rather, an ethnography of the particular aimed at dispelling stereotypical images portrayed of sex workers and clients. It attempts to bring a commentary to the ongoing discussion on masculinity and sexuality, where a stress is being placed on the multiplicity and shifting character of roles, and of the centrality of interaction between men and women. The study is based on ethnographical field work (Nov 1998 - Mar 1999) conducted in Managua. The main methodology used was taped life history interviews mainly with sex workers and clients; and, participant observation through site visits to both day time and night time locations. The total number of interviews conducted was 26 (women 18, men 8). Additionally, literary sources on sexuality and masculinity in Latin America were used. In the world of Managua prostitution we find popular class Managuans in their role as clients and sex workers, but we also glimpse their other, home making roles. The so called "ideal" picture of gender relations, and the real situation on the streets and homes of popular class Nicaraguans contradict each other. Men and women are conditioned to believe in romantic love, but in many Nicaraguan homes the reality is economic and emotional deprivation, violence, and abandonment. There is a lack of trust, of safety and of an opportunity for men and women to fulfil the roles of home making. Women and men live with the dream of having a home, a place of safety and love, understanding and communication. Through the game of courtship between sex workers and clients, respect and communication leads to a mutual sense of affection and a particular kind of morality. The safety arising from this interaction provides a means of making a home. In this process we find evidence of how the meaning of morality and masculinity is shifting and transformative.
  • Jukarainen, Anna-Maria (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The purpose of this study was to examine child-ethnographers’ views on life in classroom. The child-centered approach of the study involves children’s active participation in data-collection. The aim is to give children a voice in research and practice. The study is part of the research project "Children tell of their well-being – Who listens? Listening to children's voices and receiving their stories” (TelLis, 1134911) financed by the Academy of Finland. The research data were collected by using a research method "Children as ethnographers" (Hohti 2010). 29 pupils worked as co-researchers and observed their classroom during an eight-month period in 2010 when they were on the 3rd and 4th grade. The data consists of 52 writings of the pupils and some stories. The analysis focused on the classroom action described in the narratives. The analysis revealed that children drew attention mainly on pupils' action in the classroom. The action took place in three layers of the school: the formal school, the informal school and the physical school. The power was constructed between the official script and the pupils' counterscript that both affected the classroom interaction. Children's writings showed that there was tension between pupils' agency and control of the school institution. The pupils' competence in the official layer was gendered: there were notably more observations of boys' activity in the informal and physical school.