Browsing by Subject "informal communication"

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  • Crentsil, Perpetual (2001)
    This thesis studies medical beliefs and practices in Ghana. Its aim is to analyse the kind of social interaction/social relations inherent in informal communication in health-seeking behaviours. The primary aim, however, is to look for people's social meaning of illness-- what sense they make of illness-- in the interplay between informal communication and health-seeking activities. The study is based in Twuim, a rural fishing village in Ghana. It is descriptive, exploratory, and largely ethnographic in approach. The ethnographic data is based on more than five months of participant observation fieldwork and unstructured ethnographic interviews with 33 respondents. Social relations and interaction are important in informal communication in the quest for therapy. The family emerges as the unit for therapy communication and social relations. Thus, three case studies are presented as part of the analysis of the family and therapy discussions. This study shows that people make sense of illness through known relationships with people such as family members and care providers, and known cultural categories such as witchcraft/oracles and biomedical health care promotion. Through these mechanisms, the people derive their social meaning of illness largely from both natural and supernatural ideas about illness. The analytical focus follows Arthur Kleinman's model of sector analysis of medical systems, which uses the structuralist approach. The other framework is the analysis of discourse, following Michel Foucault. One of the main conclusions is a suggestion for the integration of biomedicine and traditional medicine in Ghana as a way to expand the country's health care resources.
  • Toivonen, Kia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this research is to study how informal communication and information flow changed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to transfer from working at the office to remote work at home. In the pre-pandemic world, informal communication occurred at the workplace on a daily basis, thus creating more opportunities for information exchange, whereas in the present, the new remote work mode has erased informal communication from the equation nearly completely. This research studies how the flow of information was impacted by the sudden lack of informal communication, and whether these changes were seen in the basic workflow of organization members. The study is conducted in collaboration with CSC – ICT Center for Science Ltd. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were used as the research method in this study. All interviewees worked in specialist positions, and the sample represented all units in CSC. The interviews were analyzed with qualitative content analysis, which was based on the coding frame built on themes that arose in the interviews. Such themes were meetings, silos, communicational environment and information flow. The results show that without informal communication, the organization members do not have as good of a comprehension of the organization’s projects and daily operation as they did before the pandemic. Furthermore, the individuals’ informal communication networks have reduced during the pandemic, and they no longer communicate with anyone who they do not work with consistently. The reduced communication network and informal communication have impacted the information flow to have become more formal and focused on the substance at hand. Information has become more difficult to access without informal communication to maintain an understanding of who works with what information. The results are corresponding with what is known by previous research. However, this study elaborates more on not only the relationship between informal communication and information sharing, but also on how the dynamics of that relationship works in a changing environment. Without informal communication, individuals are unaware of the information that is flowing elsewhere in the organization. This creates uncertainty and feelings of missing out on potentially relevant information.