Browsing by Subject "social class"

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  • Katainen, Anu; Heikkilä, Riie (2020)
    Critical discussions on the focus group method have highlighted the importance of considering the forms of interaction generated in groups. In this empirical paper we argue that these forms of interaction are intimately linked to the ways participants interpret the study setting, and these interpretations are likely to differ significantly depending on participants' social backgrounds. In the light of our data consisting of 18 focus groups with 15-year-old school pupils from both affluent and deprived neighbourhoods of Helsinki discussing film clips about young people drinking alcohol, we ask what kinds of modes of participation are mobilised in focus group discussions in order to mark the social position of participants. We further analyse these modes in relation to situated identity performances, arguing that contextual factors of the study setting become especially important to consider when researching vulnerable groups and heterogeneous populations. The analysis yields three modes of participation: these are active/engaged, resistant/passive and dominant/transformative. We argue that these modes can be viewed as actively taken positions that reveal what kinds of identities and competences participants are able and willing to mobilise in the study setting, and that recognising these modes is important in all interview settings.
  • Ramos Lobato, Isabel; Groos, Thomas (2019)
    In 2008, primary school catchment areas were abolished in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)/Germany. Written several years later, this article’s main aim is to provide insights into the impact of the policy reform on parent choice practices and subsequently on educational segregation. Based on a mixed-methods approach, it seeks to understand how being raised in and accustomed to a catchment area system affects parents’ understanding of the policy reform and impacts their choice strategies. We demonstrate that the (socially selective) choice of a school outside the former catchment area increased significantly after 2008, leading to a higher level of school segregation, though affecting schools to very different extents. The study clearly reveals that the differences in choice strategies are shaped by the dissimilar conclusions parents from different educational backgrounds draw from the policy reform. While less-educated parents attribute less significance to this early stage of schooling, many well-educated ones interpret the introduction of free choice as an instigation to choose – a perception triggered and intensified by the policy reform. For them, choice is no longer only perceived as an opportunity; through its formalisation it rather seems to become a duty. Thus, by one-sidedly favouring well-educated parents’ interests and benefiting their abilities to play the game, the reform seems to perpetuate existing inequalities in choice rather than to alleviate them.
  • Peltola, Marja (2021)
    The concerns over school segregation have gained salience in Finland in the last two decades, paralleling the discussions elsewhere in Europe. This article examines from the pupil perspective, how school segregation and school selection are 'lived' in a lower secondary school in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. Using the concept of borderwork, I examine the hierarchies produced by the divide between selective, mixed and non-selective school class groups in pupils' social relationships, and how these hierarchies intersect with social class and racialization. The article is based on interviews of altogether 46 pupils in the 7th and 8th grades (aged 13-15). I argue that school class groupings are a strong organizing principle in pupils' social relationships, and that pupils' borderwork narratives on selective and non-selective school class groups build on and help consolidate the social class-based and racialized differences between the groups.
  • Thure, Aino Salla Katariina (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    The Finnish TV-series Downshiftaajat is a story of couple whose company goes bankrupt and they need to start a new life. The couple moves to a suburb and tries to hide their money troubles by telling everyone that they are downshifting. The story then follows the couple’s balancing act in between their old and new lives: keeping up appearances and while working to find new work. In this thesis, I examine class constructs in Downshiftaajat. Social hierarchies and classes are not always very visible in societies. According to contemporary class research, class is made up of multiple elements, such as job, taste, wages, and hobbies. Skeggs writes of how when certain symbols are inscribed onto different groups of things, characters or physical object, these symbols then became markers of the group to which that object belongs. Bourdieu and Wright gives additional insights into classes, first from the perspective of style and the latter from a more economical way. Alain De Botton explains how and why humans behave in groups. This research was conducted using thematic analysis as a method. Thematic analysis is a method for finding repetitive patterns in data and then organising these patterns in hierarchical order. After watching the series closely, I made memos about the events and dialogue in the show. These memos I then turned into more detailed sections I call descriptions. These descriptions I organised under five main headings: infrastructure, morality, money, style, and behaviour. The results of the analysis showed that Downshiftaajat constructs class by representing things in the suburb, such as buildings, trains, and neighbours as distant form the main characters. Class also informs the morals of characters: the morality of the main characters are usually depicted as having higher standards than other characters’ morality. Money contributes to the construction of class in the dialogues between the main characters concerning the lack of it. Style is also used to construct class by giving examples of brands that the main characters prefer over other brands. Class is also depicted by means of behaviour: people from different classes behave differently and have different eating habits. The series does not explicitly criticise how Finnish society treats its unemployed. It does, however, reflect contemporary Finnish unemployment policies, where the sole responsibility for finding work and managing one’s life is placed on individuals.
  • Firon, Rasmus (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The main focus of this study is to examine if Finnish university-students' family background (measured as the education and SES of their parents) is associated with their 10-year degree completion rate. Class-based analysis examines the association between educational outcomes and students' social background. Selection on the basis of social class on different educational levels still appears in the Finnish educational system, despite a declining trend in the magnitude of this effect. For example, students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are still underrepresented in universities in Finland. In this study the discussion of retention, dropout and graduation rates at Finnish universities is put in a Bourdieuan perspective. The association between graduation rates and the following variables are analysed: students' social background (educational level and SES of mother and father), gender, age, mother tongue and type of degree when enrolled at university. In addition, the association is analysed on different study programs or faculties. The research questions were analysed using register-based data compiled by Statistics Finland. The data covers all the new students enrolled at universities in Finland in 2002 (N = 21 341). The examined final sample consisted of all of the students who didn't have a university degree when enrolled on a program leading to a Master's degree or equivalent (N = 16 910). Degree completion rate by 2012 was reported for students with different backgrounds. The difference between groups was tested with chi-square and the effect of the background variables on the dependent variable was tested with logistic regression. The results showed that all the background variables were associated with degree completion, although with fairly small effect sizes respectively. For instance; women were more likely than men to graduate within ten years on all faculties, and the offspring from families with more educational capital were more likely to graduate within ten years. However, the association between graduation and educational capital in the family was not statistically significant on all faculties. The results are discussed within the framework of equality and social class in higher education.
  • Elovainio, Marko; Ferrie, Jane E.; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Shipley, Martin; Batty, G. David; Head, Jenny; Hamer, Mark; Jokela, Markus; Virtanen, Marianna; Brunner, Eric; Marmot, Michael G.; Kivimaki, Mika (2011)
    In this study, the health-related selection hypothesis (that health predicts social mobility) and the social causation hypothesis (that socioeconomic status influences health) were tested in relation to cardiometabolic factors. The authors screened 8,312 United Kingdom men and women 3 times over 10 years between 1991 and 2004 for waist circumference, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, serum lipids, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6; identified participants with the metabolic syndrome; and measured childhood health retrospectively. Health-related selection was examined in 2 ways: 1) childhood health problems as predictors of adult occupational position and 2) adult cardiometabolic factors as predictors of subsequent promotion at work. Social causation was assessed using adult occupational position as a predictor of subsequent change in cardiometabolic factors. Hospitalization during childhood and lower birth weight were associated with lower occupational position (both P's <0.002). Cardiometabolic factors in adulthood did not consistently predict promotion. In contrast, lower adult occupational position predicted adverse changes in several cardiometabolic factors (waist circumference, body mass index, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin) and an increased risk of new-onset metabolic syndrome (all P's <0.008). These findings suggest that health-related selection operates at younger ages and that social causation contributes to socioeconomic differences in cardiometabolic health in midlife.
  • Komulainen, Kaisla; Mittleman, Murray A.; Jokela, Markus; Laitinen, Tomi T.; Pahkala, Katja; Elovainio, Marko; Juonala, Markus; Tammelin, Tuija; Kähönen, Mika; Raitakari, Olli; Keltikangas-Jarvinent, Liisa; Pulkid-Raback, Laura (2019)
    Background Promoting ideal cardiovascular health behaviors is an objective of the American Heart Association 2020 goals. We hypothesized that ideal health behaviors of parents are associated with health behaviors of their adult offspring, and that higher socioeconomic position in either generation enhances intergenerational associations of ideal health behaviors. Design Prospective cohort study. Methods We included 1856 Young Finns Study participants who had repeated measurements of socioeconomic position (education, income, occupation), smoking status, body mass index, physical activity and diet from 2001, 2007 and 2011, and data on parental socioeconomic position and health behaviors from 1980. We calculated the total number of ideal behaviors in both generations using American Heart Association definitions. Intergenerational associations were examined using ordinal and linear multilevel regression with random intercepts, in which each participant contributed one, two or three measurements of adult health behaviors (2001, 2007, 2011). All analyses were adjusted for offspring sex, birth year, age, parental education and single parenthood. Results Overall, parental ideal health behaviors were associated with ideal behaviors among offspring (odds ratio (OR) 1.28, 95% confidence interval 1.17, 1.39). Furthermore, ORs for these intergenerational associations were greater among offspring whose parents or who themselves had higher educational attainment (OR 1.56 for high vs. OR 1.19 for low parental education; P = 0.01 for interaction, OR 1.32 for high vs. OR 1.04 for low offspring education; P = 0.02 for interaction). Similar trends were seen with parental income and offspring occupation. Results from linear regression analyses were similar. Conclusions These prospective data suggest higher socioeconomic position in parents or in their adult offspring strengthens the intergenerational continuum of ideal cardiovascular health behaviors.