Browsing by Subject "feminism"

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  • Fagerlund, Siiri Eveliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The #MeToo campaign started on social media in 2017, empowering women who had experienced sexual harassment and- violence. From the start the campaign was criticized for the lack of intersectionality in representation. In the autumn of 2018, the leading figure of the campaign, Asia Argento, was accused of having sexual relations with 17-year-old Jimmy Bennet. The new story presented a differing narrative from the main storyline of #metoo, that eventually resulted in heated online debates where gender, power relations and sexual violence were present and debated. The campaign has inevitably shaped society, and the way we talk about sexual violence in an online setting. This thesis focuses on the narrative of Asia Argento on social media; how she is narrated in relation to her gender and categories of #metoo and sexual harassment. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to analyze how women are viewed on social media in the post #metoo context. The theoretical framework of this thesis builds on existing literature on feminism, gender as a cultural construct, sexual violence and power relations as part of gender and feminism, social media, hate speech and how these subjects are discussed on social media in the #metoo context in which its own communicative practices apply. The main source material is provided by Rossi (2015), Daniels (2016), Kantola (2015), Kitzinger & Thomas (1995) and Meikle (2016). The qualitative study applies feminist epistemology to analyze 75 comments collected from 5 news outlets: CNN International, the New York Times, CBS News, Fox News and ABC News. The data was collected with random sampling to enable a broad demographic of commentators, that were later fully anonymized apart from their gender. The analysis was conducted using categorical-content analysis. Argento is analyzed through three themes: women, #metoo and sexual violence. The findings indicate that white women are fair game on social media, as their appearance, merits and femininity is denied. The loss of credibility of #MeToo movement is highlighted through Asia Argento, whereas the women supporting her are processed similarly as Argento. The latest case further impacts the narrative of the victims, as the status of the victim is negotiated. The findings indicate that the power relation between genders strongly impacts how the society treats women. Victim blaming, and mob-shaming are apparent, as the social media has enabled freedom of speech. The findings further indicate that social media is a patriarchal environment, that nurtures misogyny. Hence, hostility, stereotypes and generalizations are apparent, resulting in an environment where the weak are silenced and dominant voices are being emphasized. This does not only apply to women, but to men as well, as they too are being faced with belittling and emasculation. The thesis analyzes the narrative of a woman in the era in which gender and gender roles are still being defined. It takes a closer look at social media, and how women are perceived on social media in the post #metoo context.
  • Baloch, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Violence against women is a deep-rooted global injustice, yet it is less often scrutinized as a category of political economy. In this research relating to human rights advocacy in Pakistan, I seek to do so. I study the ways in which local women's rights organizations attempt to hold state to account for eliminating the malice and removing its structural causes. In particular, I examine how feminist constructions of VAW and advocacy practices towards curbing it take part in the politics of development. The research is based on fieldwork which I conducted in the mid-2010's in urban Pakistan. Interviews with 17 informants representing 12 women's rights groups, NGOs and government agencies constitute the primary data. I use ethnographic lens in mapping the organizational field, yet my main deconstructive method is critical discourse analysis. The research is underpinned by post-development theory, postcolonial feminist critique, anthropology of modernity and feminist violence research. The findings consist of three discourses and two developmental logics. Each discourse explains VAW as an issue of individual infringement of rights and a question of state structures with a distinct orientation – those of gender equity, legal protection and political reform. The discourses are rooted in 'human rights developmentalism' and neoliberalism, yet they are still locally contingent in varied ways. The developmental logics of 'saviorism in solidarity' and 'commonsense hope' render visible ways in which the organizations deploy civilisation narrative and an unquestioned hope in aid's capacity to deliver 'development' as political resources. I argue that the discourses construct VAW by reference to apolitical notions of 'backwardness' not only to justify organizational advocacy practices that center upon delivering "higher awareness and morals" to the "ignorant masses". Instead, such notions contribute to building a counter discourse to the misogynous state ideology as well as an alternative political space that enables women's rights organizations persevere in Pakistan. While the discourses fail the 'beneficiaries' of aid by upholding empty developmentalist promises, they nevertheless do not exacerbate VAW. The research suggests that development ideologies, albeit contributing to global inequalities, may serve as meaningful political tools for undoing local adversities.
  • Keskinen, Suvi (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)
    Gender and Politics
    The chapter analyses the establishment and expansion of antiracist feminism in the last decade throughout the Nordic region, with new groups, media sites, and public events organised, especially in the large cities. Keskinen examines antiracist feminist and queer of colour activism in which the main or sole actors belong to groups racialised as non-white or ‘others’ in Nordic societies. A fundamental argument developed in the chapter is the central role and potential of these emerging social movements in the reconfiguring of political agendas and tackling pressing societal issues, due to its capacity to overlap and connect the borders of antiracist, feminist, and (to some extent) class-based politics. The chapter further argues for the usefulness of theorising the neoliberal turn of racial capitalism as the societal condition in which feminist activism takes place.
  • Nedelcheva, Monika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The aims of this thesis are to present the significance of three of the most successful novels of the Brontë sisters, the impact these works made on the feminist movement and why the novels still are relevant. The question of the woman in nineteenth-century Britain is another topic studied. The analysis focuses on the elements in the novels by which the authors criticise the strict patriarchal norms of the Victorian society and demonstrate their progressive thinking as they present perceptions and ideas contradicting the common beliefs of their age. The primary material consists of the novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë. My study presents plot summaries, textual and comparative analysis as well as data by scholars who have studied the works of the Brontë sisters in terms of the social, political and economic situation in Victorian England. The characters of Jane Eyre, Catherine Earnshaw and Agnes Grey have become iconic role models not only for the female society in nineteenth century Britain but also for generations of women all over the world. Jane Eyre’s story inspires women to seek justice and never tolerate maltreatment, to demonstrate dignity and pride, no matter what their social stratum is. Catherine Earnshaw’s fate, on the other hand, showcases how being too stubborn and focusing on attaining high-social status, whilst ignoring the true desires of one’s heart, can consume one. Finally, Agnes Grey teaches women that by patience, consistency and hard work you can achieve your goals, in spite of the doubts of your family or society. Self-realization, finding and using one’s own voice, focusing on one’s life goals are some of the foundations on which their character development is shaped. I conclude that progressive authors like the Brontë’s sisters, who manage to portray realistic observations of their society in their novels, can guide the course of feminism and influence generations of readers.
  • Sundelin, Erica (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Denna magisteravhandlings syfte är att undersöka perspektiv på sexförsäljning i artiklar från fyra olika dagstidningar. Två av dessa dagstidningar är finländska medan de två övriga är sverigesvenska. En av de finländska tidningarna är finskspråkig och den andra är finlandssvensk. Mitt syfte har varit att undersöka huruvida det förekommer likheter och skillnader i perspektiven på sexförsäljning mellan de finländska och de sverigesvenska artiklarna. Eftersom mitt finländska undersökningsmaterial utgjorts av både en finskspråkig och en finlandssvensk tidning har avsikten också varit att jämföra perspektiven på sexförsäljning som framgår av de finländska tidningarna. Detta för att se ifall det finns variationer mellan den finskspråkiga och den finlandssvenska tidningen. Jag har undersökt ämnet genom att utföra en kvalitativ och komparativ innehållsanalys av dessa tidningars artiklar som berör sexförsäljning. Mitt undersökningsmaterial har därmed bestått av artiklar om sexförsäljning som hämtats från de finländska tidningarna Helsingin Sanomat och Hufvudstadsbladet samt de sverigesvenska tidningarna Dagens Nyheter och Svenska Dagbladet. Artiklarna som jag analyserat har publicerats mellan år 2016 till år 2022. Jag har valt en sådan tidsperiod, då jag önskat undersöka perspektiven på sexförsäljning från en så aktuell tidsperiod som möjligt. Antalet artiklar som jag analyserat har varierat mellan två till totalt 68, vilket visar på en stor variation. Utfallen av min undersökning har analyserats mot bakgrund av feministisk teori, som fungerat som min teoretiska referensram. Utfallen som min undersökning resulterat i visar att det förekommer både likheter och skillnader i perspektiven på sexförsäljning mellan de finländska och de sverigesvenska tidningarna. De båda tidningarna pekar på att utsatthet är en aspekt som starkt sammankopplas med sexförsäljning. Samtidigt lyfter båda tidningarna också fram att det även förekommer självständigt och frivilligt sexsäljande. Både i Finland och i Sverige lyfts det fram kritik mot ländernas nuvarande lagstiftningar samt funderingar om vilket juridiskt förhållningssätt som är det mest lämpliga gällande sexförsäljning. Skillnaderna mellan perspektiven syns bl.a. i hur olika mycket uppmärksamhet ett sexköp av en person i en särskild yrkesposition väckt. Offentliga personer som köpt sex har t.ex. observerats betydligt mer i Sverige. En annan skillnad är också att artiklarna om stödåtgärder för sexsäljare och sexköpare behandlats mer i de sverigesvenska artiklarna. Den finlandssvenska tidningen har betonat utsatthet något starkare än den finskspråkiga. Den finskspråkiga tidningen lyfter även fram fler exempel på sexförsäljning i många olika länder medan den finlandssvenska ger fler exempel på fall av sexköp som ägt rum i Sverige. Den finskspråkiga tidningen talar om sexförsäljning som ett arbete mer ofta än den finlandssvenska tidningen. Sexförsäljning förekommer inte lika mycket i gatumiljöer i Finland som i Sverige. Ett mycket tydligt gemensamt utfall är även att det är tydligt att ämnet är komplext och att det finns många olika perspektiv som bör tas i beaktande i diskussioner om fenomenet.
  • Hämäläinen, Riina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The sex/gender model used in biological archaeologies to investigate human remains and past lives is one that relies on the epistemological and ontological separation of sex and gender. Despite this separation the model ends up treating these concepts synonymously due to the taken-for-granted binary nature of sex which in a deterministic manner eventuates into an equally binary gender. This thesis develops a theoretical framework for an archaeological concept of gender that operates without the division, binarism and determinism implicit in the sex/gender model. Pursuing answers to the questions whether it is possible to approach both sex and gender in archaeology in a nonbinary way, and if so, what is an archaeologically feasible alternative, it seeks to devise a method to approach sex and gender in mortuary archaeology beyond the deterministic binary. This thesis is firmly theory-oriented and the writings of various authors within the discipline of archaeology, feminism and queer studies comprise the necessary material. The theories pertaining to the field of feminism are intersectionality and queer theory, which eschew normativity and essentialism and call for gender diversity. Respective to archaeology, the theories influencing this thesis derive from new materialisms to whom the rejection of divisions and dichotomies is characteristic. In this regard, of particular note are the writings of new materialist and feminist theorist Karen Barad. Applying her theories concerning the relational, entangled and mutually constitutive nature of matter and meaning to the topic of sex and gender is central in devising a nonbinary new materialist perspective to be used for the purpose of a more open and inclusive mortuary archaeology. This thesis reveals that the dualistic division between nature and culture has resulted in a separate conceptual development and different strategies of engagement concerning sex and gender. The reason why sex is seen as a biological fact and gender as a cultural meaning proves false when both are affected equally by nature and culture, with the body serving as a nexus-point in which these two forces converge. Applying Barad’s insight reveals that binary sex is not an inherent quality of the body, but one that is produced through a scientific biomedical apparatus. Sex and gender exist in a state of inseparability when undetermined, but when subjected to a determination process, they become mutually exclusive phenomena, thereby disrupting sex-to-gender determinism. In their separate state, both are constitutive of matter and meaning, which is why gender made determined through intersectionality can be used to study gendered understandings through the materiality of the body, exempt from binary views. Analysing a topical bioarchaeological publication concerning a female Viking warrior through the approach that does not depend on the sex binary reveals that a scientific biomedical apparatus is subject to criticism on multiple fronts. Though the case study should be credited with rejecting gender role stereotypes, it demonstrates determinism and binarism as well as homogeneity and universalism in terms of categories. Failing to imagine possibilities beyond a fixed binary also results in the exclusion of alternate ways of knowing and being. The open-ended approach proposed in this thesis not only seeks to grant these possibilities opportunities to exist, but counsels cognisance towards the exclusions apparatuses enact. Embracing speculation, it also holds ambiguity and vagueness to be meaningful qualities pertaining to gendered archaeology. Regarding the mortuary setting, binary sex determinations need not be abandoned, but they should be used alongside this nonbinary approach.
  • Ahtola, Sandra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    I avhandlingen analyseras hur två olika finländska partiers kvinnoförbund, Gröna Kvinnorna och Centerkvinnorna, tolkar begreppet jämställdhet. Syftet är att studera och få svar på frågan hur kvinnoförbunden konstruerar avsaknaden av jämställdhet som ett politiskt problem. Utgångspunkten i avhandlingen är att jämställdhet förstås som ett diskursivt producerat begrepp. Den teoretiska referensramen utgår från två diskursanalytiska teoriskolor: Carol Lee Bacchis policy-konstruktivistiska ”What’s the Problem”-approach och Lombardo et al.:s kritiska ramanalys. Som metod tillämpas komparativ diskursanalys. I avhandlingen jämförs de politiska programmen med varandra både inom och mellan förbunden. Utgående från de två metoderna ovan har tre frågebatterier skapats. Dessa tar fasta på problemrepresentationer av ojämställdhet och lösningar till dem, vems röst som inkluderas eller exkluderas inom dem och vem som gynnas eller missgynnas av dem samt hur begreppet jämställdhet fastställs genom att det avgränsas, utvidgas och anpassas i olika sammanhang. Som material används kvinnoförbundens politiska program. Utgångspunkten i avhandlingen är att kvinnoförbundens politiska program presenterar förbundens syn på jämställdhet. Analysens resultat visar att skillnader i konstruerandet av jämställdhet som ett politiskt problem framkommer både inom kvinnoförbunden och mellan förbunden. Ur analysen framkommer en försvagning av jämställdhetsperspektivet i det senaste politiska programmet för båda kvinnoförbundens del. Som helhet är skillnaden beträffande hur kvinnoförbunden konstruerar ojämställdhet stor mellan förbunden, även om konsensus kring flera jämställdhetsfrågor förekommer och flera kategorier av lösningar återfinns hos båda förbunden. För Gröna Kvinnornas del genomsyrar ett jämställdhetsperspektiv nästan alla de olika temaområdena som de lyfter upp. Gröna värderingar och intersektionalitet betonas också. Centerkvinnorna förespråkar framför allt en politik som tar fasta på bland annat familjers och äldre personers välmående, utan att tillämpa ett specifikt jämställdhetsperspektiv. När ett jämställdhetsperspektiv väl tangeras gäller det bland annat familje- och arbetslivsfrågor. Analysen visar också hur språket på flera sätt kan ha en begräsande verkan för jämställdhet och hur det kan medföra diskursiva motsättningar, som både policyaktörer och forskare behöver ta ställning till. Analysens resultat bekräftar Lombardo et al.:s teori om jämställdhet som ett omstritt koncept och belyser det i en finländsk kontext. Jämställdhet bör förstås som ett begrepp som inte har en fastställd definition, utan som något som ständigt genomgår förändringar vilket har olika åverkningar i olika sammanhang.
  • Brunila, Kristiina; Rossi, Leena-Maija (2018)
    In this article, identity politics is understood as a form of politics stressing collective but malleable group identities as the basis of political action. This notion of identity politics also allows thinking of identity as intersectional. The focus of this article, and a problem related to identity politics, is that when discussed in the context of the neoliberal order, identity politics has a tendency to become harnessed by the ethos of vulnerability. Some implications of the 'vulnerabilizisation' are considered in the field of education, which is a field currently thoroughly affected by neoliberalism. Therefore, it is also important to look closer at the relationship between identity politics and the ethos of vulnerability. In addition, we re-consider poststructuralist thinking as a theoretical and political approach to see what it can offer in terms of re-thinking identity politics and in analyzing the ethos of vulnerability. When categories of vulnerability keep expanding into various psycho-emotional vulnerabilities defining subjects that can be known and spoken about, it is crucial to ask whether we regard these changes as educationally and politically progressive. The article discusses some problematic policies in educational environments and the phenomenon of trigger warnings.
  • Lammensalo, Linda Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The intersections of climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) have increasingly received attention from international organisations but also from academia. For some, establishing these intersections is about reducing human pressure on the Earth systems, while for others it is about the human rights of vulnerable individuals and communities. Many have lauded these connections for providing a win-win solution for both. While these benefits are championed, there has been little reflection on the underlying motives and justifications for establishing these connections in the first place. Given the problematic past of population control policies, understanding these justifications is necessary to break away from the neo-colonial practices of the past. This thesis investigates the motives and justifications for establishing such intersections between SRHR and climate change. Specifically, the thesis addresses two questions, namely: 1) In what ways are the interconnections between SRHR and climate change justified in academic literature? 2) What are the implications of the ways in which these interconnections are justified? By drawing on a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework rooted in understanding this nexus critically, and carefully reflecting on the implications of these discourses, the thesis answers these questions by systematically drawing on a sustained body of research. The data consist of 88 academic publications that are systematised through discourse analysis. The findings identify six distinctive intersectional discourses which reflect the ways in which SRHR, and climate change are justified, namely: public health, population dynamics, reproductive rights, critical, sustainable development and environment discourses. Largely reflecting adherence to liberal feminist and populationist frameworks, these findings imply that the discourses, justifications, and motives do not sufficiently address the neo-colonial practices and structural inequalities that shape intersections between SRHR and climate change. Analytically, therefore, this thesis suggests that postcolonial feminism offers a more effective way for understanding intersectional discourses because it recognises how power inequalities manifest in the discourses, while contributing towards more justice-based approaches to sustainability.
  • Kaskinen, Martta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This thesis is a contribution to the discussion on gendered representations of Global South subjects in development NGOs’ communication in the West, and the imaginaries of development they create and maintain. Empirically, it focuses on the context of Finland and particularly, on Finnish NGO fundraising campaigns that concentrate on girls’ and women’s rights in the Global South. The changes in the Finnish political field within which NGOs operate gives contextual relevance to studying NGOs’ private fundraising in Finland. In 2016, the Finnish government cut public funding for development NGOs by 43 %, which forced many organisations to rethink their funding channels. NGOs have since reported increase in competition for donors, which has contributed to the NGO fundraising ‘markets’ increasingly functioning with a capitalistic market logic. Public discussions on development and distant human rights issues thus get increasingly reduced to advertisement appeals, as NGOs must to ‘sell’ the rights-holders’ deservingness of donations. At the same time, the Finnish spectator-donors’ imaginary power in ‘making a change’ is reinforced. This trend is not compatible with NGOs’ other important societal mission, which is the global education of Finnish citizens. A study conducted in 2015 shows that Finnish people’s knowledge on development in the Global South is extremely pessimistic. From a postcolonial perspective on knowledge production and power, this thesis challenges the ‘ends justify means’ argument by questioning whether pessimistic and colonial imaginaries should be the price to pay for fight against inequality – and ultimately, are these means productive for global equality. The empirical example campaigns for this thesis were Uncut by the International Solidarity Foundation, Maternity Wear for a 12-year-old by Plan International Finland, and Women’s Bank Walk by the Finn Church Aid –administered Women’s Bank. The ethnographic research consisted of 10 NGO and expert interviews, 8 short interviews with participants and volunteers in a campaign event, document analysis, discussions, participant observation, and online data collection. The data was analysed using qualitative and visual discourse analysis tools, against the theoretical framework of relevant postcolonial, post-humanitarian, feminist, and de-colonial theories. The main findings of the research are that although NGOs consciously strive for the ‘respectful representation’ of women and girls in the Global South, the capitalist marketing framework used in fundraising communication is not productive for challenging the underpinning colonial discourse. Rather, by a rhetorical logic of empowerment, the power relations are denied – which only reinforces subordination, albeit disguises it better. However, there are significant differences between NGOs on how their power in representation and knowledge production is understood and reflected upon.
  • Haug, Melissa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl, and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? are four rather understudied female comedic memoirs. This thesis first explores the problematic nature of defining the genre of these texts and how aspects of their ideology and fictionality affect not only the authors, but the readers as well. Secondly, the humor presented in these texts are analyzed from a cognitive perspective, mainly using Lisa Zunshine’s theory of mind. Classic humor theories such as incongruity, superiority, and relief are all critical in rendering fruitful analysis of these texts. Contrarily to some scholars, I argue that humor and amusement function actively in the mind. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the two comedians with the most experience in this thesis, tend to use humor as a way to seek permission to speak about uncomfortable topics that encompass the female experience. Some of these topics include female body standards, sex, marriage, motherhood, and work. As younger comedians, Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham expand on some of these topics in similar ways, but they speak more boldly and directly about certain topics compared to their older counterparts. Fey and Poehler’s clever use of incongruous humor allowed Kaling and Dunham to write more openly about the female experience and to use humor in interesting, versatile ways. Because I argue that humor functions in the mind in potentially activating ways, I finally analyze how all four authors use humor as a tool to express feminist rhetoric. The results of the analysis show the ambiguous nature of postfeminism, and the possible emergence of a fourth wave of feminism. As comedic veterans, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler pave the way for Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling in using humor to express different aspects of feminism. I explore the many layers of feminism, and how humor can work with feminism as powerful tool in engaging everyone, men and women, in a dialogue about feminism.
  • Jaramillo, Felipe (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The dissertation elaborates a theoretical approximation to the subject of gender parity and democracy. The study contends that parity serves as an institutional mechanism that helps create a political space for the contestation of gender power relations (génos relations). After examining in detail the definitional borders of democracy and explicating the formation of democratic identity, grounded on Foucault’s notions of power, I analyze génos relations, as social constructions that mold the desires and beliefs of men and women. Accordingly, I explain how democracy needs to provide spaces of deliberation so as to guarantee the possibility for the political discussion of the predominant practices that distinguish male/female interaction. In the conclusion, I make a plea for the essentiality of difference when undertaking the task of analyzing the topics of democracy and gender, supporting the theoretical and practical approaches that propose to create a more democratic world by learning from heterogeneity.
  • Kauranen, Ina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This Master’s thesis studies feminist politics by exploring internal organizing practices and the principles guiding them in grassroots activism. The internal organizing practices of feminist movements have not been studied extensively; this thesis aims to fill some of that gap and underline the insights into the political ideas and desires of activists that can be gained when internal practices are analyzed. The research objectives are to shed light on the politics of internal practices, highlight the knowledge and experience generated in grassroots movements as well as analyze the political ideas and desires of feminists by focusing on their organizing practices. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with altogether twelve feminist grassroots organizers. The concept of knowledge-practices is used to highlight the perspective of activists as knowledge-producers and that knowledge is generated through embodied and lived experience. Prefigurative politics as a form of knowledge-practice is used to focus on the politics of practices and the groups as a space for experimenting with and creating the desired feminist future in the present. Feminist principles are identified and analyzed as well as how they are put to practice according to the research participants. The research shows that the feminist activists interviewed view feminism as a broad concept which entails an active strive for equality and a struggle against all forms of inequality. Additionally feminism is described as something in itself, as opposed to being only a reaction towards inequality. The study contributes with perspectives that view feminism as a particular way of being in and organizing the world in which all forms of oppression and inequalities are recognized and to be dismantled. The study finds that the activists emphasize low and transparent hierarchies over non-hierarchical organizing and that organizing should be according to the time and energy resources in a group. Despite their importance, the principles prove difficult in practice. The challenges and tensions that occur when organizing according to the discussed feminist principles become a central part of organizing as well as of this study. Diversity and inclusivity are presented as feminist principles by the research participants, but the analysis in the thesis shows that they also reproduce the power structures they are intended to dismantle. The study suggests that accessibility and safer spaces provide more practical perspective on organizing according to feminist principles. While the thesis gathers feminist practices and principles, it is also concluded that feminist practices are contextual and situated. Feminist principles are emphasized, but how organizers put the principles to practice varies according to the specific needs and desires of groups.
  • dos Santos Ferreira Leandro, Ana Rita (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis sets out to investigate how the ideas of what it means to be a woman and femininity are constructed and propagated through the film Raya and the Last Dragon, the latest Disney Princess film, in the form of stereotypes. Previous studies show that Disney Princess films, from The Walt Disney Company, produce effects on the behaviour and thoughts of children when it comes to gender roles. As propaganda became associated with totalitarian regimes, studies about media effects rarely coin said effects as caused by propaganda. Therefore, propaganda as a field of analysis lacks a body of literature and a consensual set of analysis rules. This thesis contributes to the establishment of propaganda as a field of analysis, by defining it under Jacques Ellul’s categorisation. The study relies on a qualitative analysis based on the propaganda analysis model proposed by Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell. The empirical material consists of the film Raya and the Last Dragon, and it is available on Disney+, the streaming service of The Walt Disney Company. The findings of this thesis illuminate how the ideas of a woman and of femininity are constructed in Raya and the Last Dragon and allow to understand, against the literature review, if these constructions have changed and evolved when compared to previous Disney Princess films. The results indicate that the film presents a world where women and men are seen as equal, leading it to break previous stereotypes associated with women and femininity. By presenting a female-centric story, with independent characters who have diverse personalities and clothing, who fight and have no romantic interests, the film subverts the trope of a passive woman in a dress waiting to be rescued by a man from a powerful evil woman. Additionally, the film rotates around the relationship between Raya and Namaari, using the patriarchal trope of plotting a woman against a woman to focus on female friendship. Yet, as the filmmakers are conditioned by their positionality, some stereotypes are still oriented by patriarchal logic and a western perspective, namely the omnipresence of a patriarchal figure that guides the protagonist. In the end, besides its contributions to the field of propaganda analysis, the thesis updates the tradition of studies done on the gendered stereotypes present in the Disney Princess films.
  • Askerova, Leila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis explores the representation of female sexuality in D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls. This work aims to compare the patriarchal image of Connie Chatterley with a more progressive image of Vivian Morris with the help of interdisciplinary feminist theory and feminist literary criticism. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a final novel by the British writer D.H. Lawrence, written in 1928 but banned from publication until 1960 for its explicit sexual content. The novel portrays the interclass affair between Connie Chatterley and the gamekeeper Oliver Mellors and is problematic in representing gender and sexuality. Employing feminist interpretations of essentialism, theory of binary opposition, and Freud’s theory of sexuality, I analyze how the novel portrays othering of the female body, disparaging attitude toward the womb, and heterosexual power dynamic, thus making Connie an embodiment of the patriarchal vision. Gilbert’s City of Girls is a progressive literary work published in 2019 which explores the theme of female sexuality from a contemporary point of view through the narrator-protagonist Vivian Morris. Gilbert presents a refined image of female sexuality by tackling assumptions traditionally assigned to it. The novel explores feminine beauty, sexual shame, and social punishment due to female sexual expression. Gilbert portrays Vivian as a sexually transgressive heroine who eventually embraces her sexuality and accepts it as a natural part of her identity. Gilbert’s representation of female sexuality presents a feminist perspective and subverts literary tradition.
  • Ruin, Jacinta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    I denna pro gradu-avhandling analyserar jag en samling återberättelser av sagorna Snövit, Askungen och Törnrosa utgående från feministisk kritik av sagor. Sagorna jag analyserar i avhandlingen är återberättade av Sarah Pinborough och har döpts om till Poison (Snövit), Charm (Askungen) och Beauty (Törnrosa). De har utkommit såväl enskilt som i en samling kallad Tales from the Kingdoms. För avhandlingen har jag använt mig av samlingen, eftersom de i denna återgetts i icke-kronologisk ordning vilket är relevant för analysen. Syftet med avhandlingen är att undersöka huruvida återberättelserna tagit itu med den kritik många av de mest kända sagorna utsatts för, i synnerhet i samband med feminismens andra våg under 1970-talet, och om de således kan anses som lyckade feministiska återberättelser. Jag använder mig främst av en artikel skriven av Marcia R. Lieberman där hon kritiserar sagorna för den negativa kvinnobild de presenterar. Kvinnorna framstår oftast som passiva och en alltför stor vikt har lagts vid kvinnokaraktärernas utseende. Hon kritiserar även den maktlösa ställning kvinnor ofta har i sagorna och då de har makt och är aktiva avbildas de som elaka. Eftersom min analys baserar sig på karaktärerna i sagorna, använder jag mig också framför allt av Jonathan Culpepers teorier om karaktärer och karaktärisering inom litteraturen, särskilt om hur läsarnas tidigare kunskaper och erfarenheter påverkar karaktäriseringen. Det finns otaliga versioner av olika sagor runt om i världen, även sådana där kvinnobilden inte är så negativ. De är dock inte lika kända eller populära och det är särskilt de mest kända, däribland de ovannämnda sagorna, som kritiserats eftersom de också är mest inflytelserika. De versioner av sagorna vi känner till kommer främst från Bröderna Grimms samling och Walt Disneys filmatiseringar. I avhandlingen använder jag mig av Bröderna Grimms versioner som jämförelse och analyserar karaktärerna i de återberättade sagorna utifrån tre återkommande rolltyper: den elaka styvmodern, flickan som utsätts för hennes trakasserier samt drömprinsen som till slut räddar flickan. I min avhandling fokuserar jag främst på de kvinnliga karaktärerna men analyserar även två av de mest prominenta manliga karaktärerna, eftersom feministiska återberättelser av sagor har kritiserats för sin enformiga skildring av män. I och med att återberättelserna uppdaterar den kvinnliga karaktärens roll så att hon är mer aktiv har många återberättelser relegerat den manliga karaktären till den passiva roll som kvinnan tidigare innehaft, vilket enbart resulterar i en splittrad (fractured) återberättelse. I avhandlingen kommer jag fram till att återberättelserna tar itu med mycket av den kritik som sagorna utsatts för. Återberättelserna fokuserar dock också mycket på karaktärernas utseende och de flesta av dem beskrivs ofta som exempelvis vackra och smala, vilket främjar ett visst skönhetsideal. Trots detta kommer jag i avhandlingen fram till att återberättelserna huvudsakligen är lyckade feministiska återberättelser.
  • Ellinor, Juth (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Målsättningen för denna studie var att ta fasta på skillnader mellan kön när det kommer till att kandidera i val. För det första undersöktes om kvinnor i större utsträckning än män kandiderat i val till följd av uppmuntran från andra, snarare än på eget initiativ. För det andra granskades om nivån av politisk jämställdhet i de länder respondenterna kandiderar i påverkar eventuella könsskillnader, och om könsskillnaderna är större i länder med lägre politisk jämställdhet. Teorin inkluderade uppmuntran, ambition, jämställdhet och representation samt strukturella hinder för kvinnor i politiken. Detta är en kvantitativ studie med statistisk dataanalys och den data som användes för analysen är insamlad av Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS), ett gemensamt multinationellt som samlar in data om kandidater som kandiderar till nationella parlamentsval i olika länder. För att kunna jämföra resultaten från analysen med politisk jämställdhet användes ett för denna avhandling skapat jämställdhetsindex. Resultaten för denna studie var både förväntade men också överraskande. Som väntat kandiderar kvinnor i större utsträckning än män tack vare uppmuntran från andra. Förvånansvärt nog kunde vi konstatera att den politiska jämställdhetsnivån har en påverkan på skillnader mellan könen och att effekten av kön, och därmed könsskillnaderna, är större i länder med en högre nivå av politisk jämställdhet. Med detta sagt lyckades denna studie både fastställa men också förkasta antaganden grundade på tidigare politisk feministisk forskning.
  • Alajoki, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Women’s movements in Bolivia have long been divided into different feminist groups and organizations on the one hand, and indigenous women’s movements on the other. Indigenous women have generally considered feminism to be an urban, middle-class ideology that is not compatible with their conception of gender and does not represent them. They have preferred to be active within the indigenous movement, which stresses the idea of decolonization as key to achieving gender equality. Even with these differences, attempts have been made by different women’s movements to work together in order to have a stronger voice around gender-specific issues in the national debate. In this thesis, frame analysis is employed to examine such efforts of cooperation. The data is a report published in connection with a conference that brought together representatives from several different women’s organizations, with the goal of advancing dialogue between them. The frames that these activists use are examined in order to analyse how those frames address differences between women and what kind of frames are most successful in using differences as strength. The frames that emerge from the data are grouped into three broad categories. First, there are universalistic frames that see a common identity of women and a shared experience of oppression as a starting point for solidarity. Second, there are local frames that ground themselves in the specific struggles to find common ground between different women’s movements in the Bolivian context. These frames base the idea of solidarity on common goals and agendas. Third, there are frames that take a personal approach and present personal accounts of struggles and processes of change. These frames are able to incorporate multiple identities into a personal narrative and to treat solidarity and coming together as an ongoing and open-ended process. The frames in this data that are best able to celebrate differences as strength are certain local and personal frames that move away from broad, conceptual definitions of patriarchy and feminism and towards lived experiences and shared struggles. They focus on the process of coming together and building alliances, which opens them up to differences and to dialogue. However, a more profound analysis of power and privilege is still lacking in all these frames.
  • Fougstedt, Daniela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    I min studie granskar jag kvinnosaksaktivisten Lucina Hagmans böcker och föredrag på ämnet samuppfostran under perioden 1887–1901 och sätter dem i deras idéhistoriska kontext. Hagman kämpade för att flickor skulle få en likadan utbildning som pojkar, samt att barnen skulle uppfostras likadant oavsett kön såväl i skolan som i hemmet. Jag använder mig av diskursanalys för att granska de sociala och politiska sammanhangen kring texterna och placera dem i deras samhälleliga kontext. Kring sekelskiftet fick finländska kvinnor nya rättigheter och diskussionen om deras position i samhället gick varm. Hagman menar, likt många av sina samtida gelikar, att kvinnor och män är olika varandra, men ändå så pass lika att de skulle tjänas av att uppfostras och utbildas på lika villkor. Hon argumenterar för att det är i samhällets intresse att göra detta, främst för att kvinnor blir bättre mödrar om de själva blivit uppfostrade enligt hennes ideal. Hagman säger även att kvinnorna är ansvariga för samhällets moral, en vanlig uppfattning under denna tid. Den stränga, absoluta moralen som krävdes av kvinnorna borde även krävas av männen. kvinnorna bör även utöka hemmets sfär till att omfatta hela samhället. Hon lutar sig tillbaka på dåtida borgerliga ideal om hemmet och modern som sedlighetens hjärta, och argumenterar för att männens våldsamma värld bör förpassas till historien och ersättas av en pacifistisk uppfostran till kärlek som bör utföras av kvinnor. Tidsperioden under vilken Hagman författade de texter jag analyserar i denna avhandling var en tid av betydande kulturella, sociala och politiska omvälvningar, och Hagman stod själv med foten i ett flertal olika idéer och rörelser. Hon inspireras av nationalistiska, borgerliga ideal, men även av liberala och universalistiska värden. Även om hon sällan hänvisar till sina källor har jag med hjälp av diskursanalys kunnat ringa in de samtida idéströmningarna hon påverkats av.
  • Nordlin, Ronja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The goal of this thesis is to study gender equality within the Finnish technology industry. Recently the imbalance between the sexes in the workplace has become a part of the general discourse. This has led to both organizations and governmental institutions taking actions to promote gender equality in the workplace. Previous research has shown that socialization into traditional gender roles affects future career choices and steers individuals into occupations where the majority of employees have the same gender identity as themselves. Furthermore, studies have shown that stereotypical perceptions about the technology industry as masculine are hindering women from seeking a career in technology. This study aims to analyze how technology companies approach gender equality within their organization and the industry in general. The research questions of this thesis are: How do technology companies relate to gender equality? Have companies taken action to promote a more gender equal staff structure? And, how do these companies write about their female employees online? Organizational studies with a social constructivist feminist approach have shown that the ideal employee is still today identified through masculine norms. Thus, women have had to create strategies for how they are doing gender in their daily work, by taking on some traditionally feminine or masculine processes and leaving others out. This thesis is based on a qualitative research approach. The research material consisted of Finnish technology companies' blog texts published on their own websites. The material consisted of 18 blog posts written by 14 companies. The material was analyzed through theme analysis. Social constructivist feminist organization theory laid the theoretical framework for this thesis. The results of this research show an active discussion on gender equality in the Finnish technology industry. The approach to the issue of having too few women in the technology industry differed greatly between the different companies. Only a few companies expressed in their blog texts an understanding that inequality originates from social constructs in society. Most companies place the responsibility of gender equality on women as individuals. There were clearly a desire to include more women in technology, but the benefits of diversity in itself were only identified by few of the researched companies. Most companies unconsciously reproduced the prevailing normative masculine power structures of the industry in their attempts to promote gender equality. The results of the research indicated a willingness in the Finnish technology industry to promote gender equality, but a lack of understanding the structural nature of the problem and the tools required to handle this challenge.