Browsing by Subject "sexual minorities"

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  • Ylppö, Myrsky (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This thesis explores how the Finnish media’s representations of homosexual men and women changed between 1990 and 2010, from negative public portrayals towards more positive ones. The thesis also examines if these changes reflect attitudes and opinions of the Finnish society and population overall during this time period. The primary sources consist of newspaper articles from the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, along with material from other newspapers, tabloids, and supporting research material. The chosen theoretical approach for this thesis is qualitative research, and Queer theory is also employed to a certain extent. A larger focus for my study is Helsinki Pride, which has an important role in the Finnish LGBTQ community and gay culture. The festival is a grassroots movement and a political product of Seta, the main LGBTQ rights organisation in Finland. Helsinki Pride has played a role of utmost importance in consolidating and renewing the public images and representations of Finnish sexual minorities. This has mainly transpired through asserting the visual and spatial expressions and demands of the festival upon the public space of the city, usually reserved for the heterosexual mainstream. Due to the diversity and division existing within the Finnish LGTBQ community, this public image has not, however, been completely accurate or unproblematic. This has further complicated the construction of a unified public image, and has lead to the emergence of notions of homonormativity and other established forms of discrimination within the LGBTQ community. Visibility, which plays another important role in this study, has the effect of legitimising existence in society. Until the 1990s, the public images and representations of sexual minorities had been firmly maintained and controlled by the Finnish media, with members of the local LGBTQ community unable to partake in the construction of these definitions. The AIDS crisis with its aftermath in the 1990s had drawn homosexuals out of the shadows of anonymity and into the public space for scrutiny. For the first time homosexuals were presented with the opportunity of more extensively representing themselves publicly in the Finnish media, on their own terms. The 2000s marked the transition from the 1990s, with homosexuality as a human rights topic and political element, to one of representations of a minority group struggling to shake off stereotypes, homophobia, and false public conceptions. The abolition of many discriminatory legislations against homosexuals in the late 1990s and early 2000s also allowed for further expansion of the homosexuals’ visibility and influence in the Finnish media and society. The results of my work confirmed that the Finnish media’s representations of homosexuals changed notably during the period of 1990-2010. Much of the visibility and positive depictions in the media of the 2000s have been garnered through the Finnish LGBTQ community’s own activities, e.g. the Pride festivals, but also through the media’s growing interest for trendy and commercial gay portrayals. Thus the representations and public images of homosexuals in the Finnish media changed from those in the 1990s of ridiculed deviants towards those of more normal, Finnish citizens by the 2010s.
  • Lehtolaakso, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    ISIS, the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, is a relatively new player on the field of international politics. ISIS managed to strengthen its position in Syria and Iraq especially during 2013-2015 with its nearly full-fledged army and by building and providing basic infrastructure in areas torn by the war in Syria. The aim of this research is to look at the violence ISIS practises against LGBTQ minorities and how this violence helps build ISIS’s legitimacy both regionally and as an international actor. To help answer the research question, a theoretical framework has been built on the paradigms of power by Michel Foucault. The paradigms used for the theoretical framework are sovereign power, biopolitical power and disciplinary power. The advantage of the chosen theoretical framework is that with it the research is able to discuss the formation of legitimacy and power through certain mechanisms of power, and when the state is not at the centre of the analysis of power formation, but rather different regimes of power. Thus, the research is able to discuss an actor like ISIS that cannot be discussed as a nation-state without reservations, and its legitimacy building. The data in this research is comprised of photo and video material from public executions of victims that are accussed of engaging in homosexual activities. The data in this research has been transcribed from their visual form to a textual one in the form of short scripts. In addition to the scripts, there are three supporting methods of analysis: ”mash-up” technique for photo editing, where multiple photographs have been made slightly transparent and place on top of one another, photo collections and generalising models of the different phases in the executions drawn with a computer program. The research finds that the role of audience is essential witnessing these events. If there is not audience, present on witnessing distributed material of the events, the executions do not help to build or foster ISIS legitimacy or authority. Through these executions, ISIS is taking advantage of an already stigmatised minority and its weak societal position in the area where ISIS is active to build its own legitimacy and credibility regionally and to shock the international community and gain its attention by distributing execution material online and in social media. The central findings of this research are that ISIS is using these executions to build legitimacy in two ways. On the one hand, ISIS portrays itself as the protector of the local population, purging the community of disdained homosexuals. On the other hand ISIS manages to place itself in stark contrast to Western liberal values that support the rights of sexual minorities. Therefore, ISIS is building its legitimacy with violence towards sexual minorities on two levels.
  • Henriksson, Tom (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The rights of sexual minorities are either violated or inadequately materialized in most countries of the world. Discrimination against sexual minorities is not explicitly banned in internationally recognized human rights law. Thus human rights philosopher Jack Donnelly concludes that the rights of sexual minorities cannot be viewed as internationally recognized human rights. In this study, Donnelly’s human rights philosophy is situated within the political conception of human rights. It is observed that Donnelly’s human rights philosophy and anthropology leads to an emphasis on the importance of international consensus as the foundation for the justification of human rights. Since the current consensus nevertheless fails to grasp the human rights situation of sexual minorities realistically, the purpose of the study becomes to explore whether naturalistic conceptions of human rights might help understand the human rights status of sexual minority rights. The study criticizes the anthropological skepticism of several human rights philosophers of the political conception. Instead, the study emphasises the importance of scientific approaches such as cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. Following naturalistic conceptions, the study asserts that human rights can be based on best available science about human nature. The study tentatively concludes that the most central sexual minority rights appear to fit within various naturalistic conceptions of human rights philosophy. The study proposes conceptualizing central sexual minority rights as natural human rights. A pluralistic model of progressive naturalism is proposed as an outline for a more ambitious multidisciplinary study.