Browsing by Subject "intersectionality"

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  • Virkki, Tuija; Venäläinen, Satu (2020)
    Online discussions are rife with fear-evoking images and meaning making that highlight a perceived threat to the security of European nations and their inhabitants posed by migrants’ violence in the wake of increased immigration. This paper examines the role of emotions in shaping anti-immigration views as a response to the threat of violence attached to migrants in online conversations. Using a dataset of Finnish online discussion threads from 2015 to 2017 that were prompted by extensive media attention paid to various cases of violent crime in which migrants were suspects, we particularly analyse the affective dynamics of interpellation processes wherein discussants are invited to adopt anti-immigration orientations. This analysis demonstrates how emotions such as fear, hate, and love function together in complex ways to constitute and shift meanings constructed during these discussions. These processes afford the construction and adoption of affectively appealing identities that are based on the re-signification of anti-immigration orientations as morally and socially acceptable, such as ‘normal citizen’ and ‘caring parent’. The analysis thus provides insight into processes in which ‘ordinary’ citizens hear, and respond to the call for xenophobic positions, thereby illustrating how a sense of community and caring for a community is built within these affective processes.
  • Nygren, Anja Kaarina; Wayessa, Gutu Olana (2018)
    This article examines the politics of institutional governance of displacements and the intersecting experiences of environmental justice, drawing on case studies of flood disasters and urban displacements in Villahermosa, Mexico, and government-sponsored displacements and resettlements in rural Oromia, Ethiopia. We argue that a fuller understanding of how institutional governance produces multiple marginalisations requires political-ecological and intersectional analyses of residents' experiences of injustices that encompass interlinkages between social position, gender and political power. The analysis is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Mexico and Ethiopia, comprising interviews, participant observation, document analysis and surveys. The study shows similarities and differences in patterns of governance, mechanisms of marginalisation and relations of authority and power concerning differentiated displacements and everyday vulnerabilities in different contexts of the global South. Our analysis enriches theoretical understanding of governance and justice, demonstrating how multiple marginalities are produced, reinforced and contested through political processes imbricated with forms of governance characterised by institutional intrusion and absence.
  • Tuori, Annamari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 284
    Social categories, such as ethnicity and gender, have been shown to be important for people’s identities in organisations. Different categories of people can experience very different realities in terms of who they are or can be at work, often influenced by inequalities in relation to and indeed between the categories. However, the inequalities often tend to be silenced. At the same time, silence in individual people’s identity work in organisations has remained relatively unexamined in the research literature. Accordingly, this thesis examines identity work in organisations at the interface of social categories, inequalities, and silence(s). The thesis examines people’s identity work in organisations through a notion of ‘intersectional job-related identity work’, meaning the construction of a job-related identity at the intersections of different social categories. It focuses in particular on, first, how in identity work people relate to inequalities, and, second, how they are silent about social categories as a part of their identity work. The empirical context for the study is three small to medium-sized ICT companies in Finland. The thesis is based on 33 semi-structured interviews. The main findings of the study concern two aspects related to intersectional job-related identity work. First, the study identifies two different types of ‘intersectional strategies', namely, the combining and separating strategies that people engage in in their job-related identity work. These refer to different ways of combining and separating social categories with and from one’s job-related identity, respectively. Intersectional job-related identity work is not only about different ways of combining a job-related identity with social categories, but also about how social categories are kept separate from one’s identity at work. Moreover, in line with previous studies, this study suggests that inequalities, in terms of different positions and experiences of privilege and/or disadvantage are often central for how identity work is done. Second, the thesis identifies different ways in which people are (and are not) silent on social categories at work. It identifies organisational, interpersonal and individual level silences, identifying inequalities as the issue that the interviewees seem to be mostly silent on. Thus, while inequalities related to social categories seemed to be important for how intersectional job-related identity work is done, they are also simultaneously that which the interviewees seemed to be most silent on. The thesis contributes particularly to the research literature on identities, identity work and intersectionality in organisations, by providing new knowledge on both silence in and around (intersectional) identity work in organisations, and how social categories may be kept separate from job-related identity.
  • Korpela, Marjo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In this thesis I look at the evolution of portrayals of English working-class women, more specifically in the north of England by close readings of three novels. First, I discuss the working-class female characters in Elisabeth Gaskell’s North and South from 1854. I then continue the analysis with Miss Nobody by Ethel Carnie from 1913, widely considered the first published woman of a working-class background. Lastly, I look at a more recent novel, Saltwater by Jessica Andrews from 2019. Across different time periods, these novels deal with similar issues of regional, gender and class divide, and provide narratives of working-class women which have been and still are underrepresented in literature. I discuss the novels through three different themes: gender, class, and region, which have been separated into subchapters for clarity of structure. Intersectionality offers the theoretical background for analyzing the three overlapping factors of identity. The historical outlook describes the developments, which have played a part in creating and maintaining these categories of class, gender, and regional divide in England. In this thesis, I show how these novels portray the development of the regional divide and chance of shifting class identity as women, and how despite changes over time in society, there are many similarities in their experiences as northern working-class women. The novels reflect changes in society whereby women gradually become more independent through employment opportunities, and social mobility becomes an achievable goal. Nonetheless, similar issues such as sexual harassment are found in all three narratives. Regionally, North and South and Miss Nobody represent the north of England in its industrial era, whereas Saltwater represents the post-industrial north reeling from the loss of industry. Despite the vast period these novels represent, all of them provide similar descriptions of ‘it’s grim up north’ simultaneously describing but also maintaining a stereotypical image of the northern areas of England. The Covid-19 pandemic revealed how deeply ingrained class structures and regional inequalities still are especially for women in England, demonstrating how important awareness and further research of these issues is.
  • Honkasalo, Marja-Liisa (2019)
    This introduction provides an analytical back ground for the notion of vulnerability as it is currently perceived mainly in social sciences, ethics, philosophy, queer studies and governmentality. Used both as descriptive and normative term, vulnerability, along with resilience and policy management, has acquired political dimensions, which are distant from those given by the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas. In present day social and political discussions vulnerability has gained enormous popularity and seems to be a genuine 'sticky concept', an adhesive cluster of heterogeneous conceptual elements.
  • Rangel Bustamante, Francisco (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In the past two decades, Finland has gone through significant demographic changes. As more migrants from the Global South arrive in Europe, comparing their stories and analyzing how migration has impacted their lives is critical. Specifically, the particularities beneath migrant communities are necessary to grasp the diversity of minority groups arriving North. This thesis investigates the migration stories of queer migrants living in Finland. From an insider's perspective, this research analyses how Latin American gay migrants position themselves within migration narratives. Six participants who identified as gay men living in the metropolitan area of Helsinki were interviewed to reveal their perspectives on race, migration, and sexuality through an intersectional lens. Using holistic-content narrative analysis and position analysis, the participants' stories were examined to depict the specific nuances of the migration experiences of sexual and gender minorities. The study showed that gay Latino migrants strategically located and dislocate from positions according to the context narrated in their stories. Participants preferred to accentuate their queerness and hide their Latin American identity in different social circumstances. Particularly in Finland, gay positioning was narrated as more positive than the Latin American position. Accordingly, this research depicts how queer migrants from Hispano-America living in Finland accept and reject distinct social positions and reimagine their identity after arriving in Finland through narrative inquiry.
  • Wolff, Charlotte E.; Huilla, Heidi; Tzaninis, Yannis; Magnúsdóttir, Berglind Rós; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Paulle, Bowen; Seppänen, Piia; Kosunen, Sonja (2021)
    This review investigates how the scholarly fields, themes and concepts of 'inclusive education' are applied in the research and educational contexts of Finland, Iceland and the Netherlands. It identifies and outlines which thematic areas of research and sub-fields of study are referenced in each country by applying a systematic, multilingual approach. We reviewed literature in the local languages of each of these countries over the past decade, from 2007 to 2018, paying particular attention to (a) micro-level, in-depth, classroom interactions; (b) social and political contexts; and (c) social categories. Results of this review emphasise that across all three countries (a) there are similar conceptualisations of inclusive education dominated by categories of disability and special needs, and (b) there is a similar lack of attention to modes of exclusion based on social class, gender, ethnicity and geography as well as to how these can be addressed by more advanced research on inclusive education in these local spheres.
  • Peltola, Marja; Keskinen, Suvi Päivikki; Honkasalo, Marja Veronika; Honkatukia, Päivi Maritta (2017)
  • Koskela, Kaisu (2019)
    The aim of this article is to study the experiences of highly skilled migrants from an intersectional perspective. Based on a case study of a group of skilled migrants in Finland, this article explores the interplay of various social identities and categorizations in their everyday life. I argue that although class markers are an important element in the self-defined group identification for skilled migrants, they are also subjected to intersecting social categorizations, stereotyping and assumptions based on gender, ethnicity, race and nationality, creating different experiences and belongings for different skilled migrants. Anthias’ concept of ‘translocational positionality’ is used to highlight how these intersections are highly situational, context specific and relative to other actors in the Finnish context.
  • Pihlaja, Ulla-Kaisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Namibia has gone through great changes since its independence in 1990. The new constitution illegalized the apartheid rule and racial discrimination, but the history has left its marks on the contemporary society. The class inequalities are one the biggest in the world, and they still intertwine with the racial and tribal memberships. Although any kind of discrimination is strictly forbidden in the society, the prejudices still remain. Furthermore, the gender roles are in transition and women encounter multiple, sometimes conflicting expectations. In this context, the thesis studies multidimensional identity from the perspective of decency. More specifically, it explores how decency is conceived among black female nurses of Katutura township in Windhoek. The study investigates how the racial, tribal, gender, class and professional identities intersect and contribute to the perceptions of a ‘decent person’. The study also discovers how young women try to answer simultaneously to the traditional and modern female ideals. Lastly, the thesis illustrates how the class dominance, traditional gender roles and the ethnic and racial prejudices are resisted and reproduced through the perceptions on decency. In terms of class-related decency was demonstrated by diving the ‘indecent them’ to the upper and lower classes. The whites and the majority tribe of Owambos were accused of being discriminatory and having better opportunities in life. The lower classes were instead stigmatized as lazy and immoral individuals, who did not deserve the higher socio-economic positions. Thus, both the better and worse-off were claimed being less respectable than the interviewed nurses, who represented the middle class. However, the interviewees also identified with the lower class and admitted that the societal structures hindered their class mobility. To summarize, they simultaneously maintained and resisted the class dominance. Class also had a strong link to the female respectability. On the other hand, the modern woman was expected to be independent, to take care of herself and not to rely on the assistance of men. As the interviewees had succeeded in this, they achieved the dignity of a modern working woman. Still, on the other hand, the traditions expected them to follow the old gender roles. The conflicting expectations became apparent, for example when discussing the ‘ideal nurse’. The decent nurse was supposed to be a feminine mother-type of a figure, who put herself last in order to help others. Still, also the high professional expertise made the ‘proper nurse’. In this way, the nursing profession both strengthened and faded the women’s femininity and simultaneously rejected and reproduced the traditional gender ideals. However, it was the co-existence of the traditional and modern decency that enabled the nurses to maintain their respectability in the changing society. Regarding the racial and tribal relations, any kind of discrimination was condemned. Nevertheless, the condemnation was also an issue of differentiating those who had a good sense of morals and those who did not. The interviewees argued that the whites were still racist, but that they themselves promoted equality like a decent person should do. Considering this, it is controversial that they seemed to forget the principles of the universal equality when talking about the ethnic difference. They reproduced the same prejudices they judged in regard to racial discrimination. Moreover, they underlined their old and new identities as they draw strong lines between the racial and tribal groups, but also claimed for absolute equity. In this light, it is possible to argue that the societal transformation has a great impact on the decency perceptions of the Namibians. The historical stances remain side by side the ideologies of the post-apartheid era, although the attitudinal change is taking place. The class inequalities and discrimination clash with the aspirations of equality, the traditional gender roles are challenged by the modern female respectabilities and the group relations are defined by both reconciliation and boundary making.
  • Keskinen, Suvi (Routledge, 2018)
    Routledge Critical Studies in Gender and Sexuality in Education
    This chapter focuses on how minority young people search for ways to build their lives, gain respectability and perform agency in a societal context characterized by the previously mentioned processes. It also focuses on the gendered and sexualized aspects of racism, as they are lived out by young people in a multi-ethnic suburb in Finland, and the different strategies they develop to question, ignore and disturb practices. The chapter examines the interviews with young people who have one or two parents born outside Finland. It also examines how gendered racism shapes the conditions in which racialized minority youth live their everyday lives and how the young people challenge, ignore and disturb such discourses and practices. The concept "territorial stigmatization" also rightly points to the importance of media coverage in the establishment of othering narratives of the residence areas where ethnic/racial and class-bound inequalities merge.
  • Korpela, Päivi (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This thesis has focused on Afro-Peruvian adolescents’ perceptions on education and future in the context of the poor and violent urban neighbourhood of La Victoria, Lima. The objectives of the study were to find out how the subjective experiences of the adolescents and their thoughts on social reality are directing the formation of values and practises and what factors affect their views, actions and decision-making. The study is based on 13 semi-structured interviews with the adolescents. In addition I have used participant observation, background interviews, lectures and seminars to complement my data. As a theoretical framework I applied Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and capitals combined with intersectionality – a concept borrowed from feminist studies that allowed me to look for relationships and differences of race, class, ethnicity and gender, and to explore the interconnections between different factors that can be found in the background of the adolescents’ decision-making processes. The factors producing inequalities in La Victoria are multiple. In the context of the study, poverty and social class have more significance for the adolescents than ethnicity. Poverty can be seen both as a concrete and a structural obstacle, whereas ethnicity is more structural and therefore invisible. Through habitus one learns to make choices that appear obvious, although they have been learned socially and culturally. Therefore, social structures become visible through people’s individual choices and actions. Poverty among the adolescents appears as socio-cultural poverty that places them in a marginal. It limits their possibilities to access capitals and to make adequate choices and decisions regarding their life and future. In many of the cases poverty can be seen as reproduction of a certain culture, a set of assumed values, attitudes and forms of behaviour that create a lifestyle ruled by maintaining survival strategies. The interviews demonstrate that the adolescents’ perceptions about education and future opportunities are constructed on the basis of multiple interconnections between social class, ethnicity, age and place. In their perceptions, class and place seem to be important producers of power that limit the possibilities to act and make decisions regarding education. The general attitude of the adolescents and the tone of voice remain fairly positive. However, it can be concluded that there is a big contrast between dreams, speech and actions. The adolescents believed to have better opportunities than their parents, but did not always transform this attitude into concrete actions. They recognised the adverse aspects of the socio-economic context, but thought that their will and motivation were exceeding them.
  • Vuorisalo-Tiitinen, Sarri (2016)
    This article studies the discursive construction of the inequality of indigenous women in Mexico. Indigenous women's participation in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) shows that inequality is produced by various factors. The main objective is to discuss the role of language in the construction of identity of indigenous women, by Critical Discourse Analysis and by deconstructing intersectional categories. I base my analysis on official texts and speeches of the comandantas between 1994 and 2009. The extension of the analysis on a fifteen-year timeline offers the possibility to observe potential discursive changes, hence the possibilities of language to produce these changes. This study proposes that through language use, discriminatory categories may acquire new meanings which contribute to the empowerment of the subjects of non hegemonic discourses.
  • 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.
  • Korhonen, Maarika Matleena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis offers a feminist reading of the power of marginalized in Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1990 fantasy novel Tehanu, the unexpected fourth work in her Earthsea book series. Le Guin called the novel “affirmative action”, as it became for her a conscious reparative measure to tell the stories of the ordinary, “powerless” characters in the world of her creation. The aim of this thesis is to critique power as it is understood within the hegemonic-masculine frameworks of thinking and acting in the patriarchy, and ultimately, to offer a reconfiguration of power as approached through the experiences of women and other oppressed people. My central goal is to understand how femininity and other devalued forms of expression and ways of situating to the world could be empowered through a recognition of the power of the marginalized social position. I do this through an analysis of three female characters in the novel, Tenar, Moss and Tehanu. Each of the characters’ identities have instrumental value in opposing the patriarchal social order of Earthsea, which expects them to settle for subservience and compliance. However, I want to understand on a deeper level still how exactly the characters are able to put their alternative forms of powers to practice. For this, I employ the theoretical approach of feminist standpoint theory (Sandra Harding, Hilary Rose, Paige Sweet), according to which marginalized and excluded social positions have unique subversive power in opposing hegemonic paradigms. The three characters’ standpoints are built upon three levels: everyday experience, alternative knowledge and subversive action. Ultimately, my reading of Le Guin’s work demonstrates that examining and contesting the gendered conventions of fantasy and other literary genres remains a culturally significant project, and that a deliberate shift in attention on the lives of women and other marginalized individuals uncovers new understandings of power, not only as it is used in the patriarchy, but as something that can be redefined according to new values, based on human connection, compassion and trust.
  • Kasala, Katariina (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Pro gradu -tutkielmassani analysoin HBO-tuotantoyhtiön Baltimoreen sijoittuva The Wire -televisiosarjan kahden hahmon, Omar Littlen ja Felicia “Snoop” Pearsonin, murteellista kielenkäyttöä tyylillisen analyysin keinoin. Tutkimani hahmot ovat alaluokkaisia mustia homogangstereita, jotka ovat mukana huumejengeissä ja katukulttuurissa. Tarkastelen näiden hahmojen puheessa esiintyviä diskurssipartikkeleita yo ja man ja niiden eri käyttötapoja, kirosanojen diskursiivista käyttöä sekä muita “mustien käyttämälle englannille” (African American Vernacular English eli AAVE) tyypillisiä tyylikeinoja. Pääasiallinen metodini on Baugh'n (1983) kehittämä puhetilannetyyppien luokittelumalli, jonka pohjalta puhetyylin muodollisuutta analysoidaan tilanteen osanottajien keskinäisen suhteen perusteella. Lähestymistapani on intersektionaalinen, mikä tarkoittaa useiden eri sosiaalisten ja yhteiskunnallisten muuttujien samanaikaisen vaikutuksen huomioonottamista yksilön asemaa ja toimintaa tarkastellessa. Esittelen teoriaosiossa sukupuolen, rodun ja luokan yhteenkietoutumista käsitteleviä teorioita sekä Butlerin (1990) teorian sukupuolen performatiivisesta luonteesta. Tarkastelen erityisesti maskuliinisuuden performoimista ja sitä, kuinka se kytkeytyy rotuun ja luokkaan. Tutkimuksessani keskityn murteelliseen kielenkäyttöön (AAVE) yhtenä tärkeimmistä mustan rodullisen identiteetin ja luokkataustan merkitsijöistä tv-sarjassa, jossa mustia henkilöhahmoja esiintyy kaikkien yhteiskunnan kerroksien edustajina. Sidon tyylillisen analyysin aineistoni – käsikirjoitetun dialogin – muotoon. Teoretisoin sarjan tuottajien ja käsikirjoittajien tekemien murteellisten valintojen merkitystä sukupuolen, luokan ja rodun esittämiselle populaarikulttuurissa ja otan pohdinnassani huomioon tarkastelemieni hahmojen paikantumisen amerikkalaisessa yhteiskunnassa ja kulttuurissa. Eräs havainnoistani on, että koska tarkastelemani hahmot eivät rakenna maskuliinisuuttaan valtavirtaisen maskuliinisuuden representaatioiden peruselementin eli heteromieheyden varaan, merkittäväksi tekijäksi näiden hahmojen maskuliinisuuden performoimisessa nousee alempiin luokkiin yhdistetty ja rodullistettu kielenkäyttö.