Recent Submissions

  • Töyräänvuori, Joanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines the political use of the ancient North West Semitic myth of divine combat between the Storm-God and the Sea. The myth originated with the rise of the Sargonic Empire and was disseminated across ancient Near Eastern polities during the Amorite Kingdom period. Vestiges of the myth have also been retained in the Hebrew Bible. The aim of the study was to demonstrate how the myth was used in ancient North West Semitic societies to resolve the crisis of monarchy through appeal to numinous legitimacy, and how reading a selection of Biblical texts in the framework of the tradition confirms the use of the myth in the same context in the emergent Palestinian kingdoms of the Iron Age. As methods, the study employs form- and tradition-criticism, as well as the comparative/contrastive analysis of Ugaritic epic poetry, Akkadian diplomatic correspondence and royal inscriptions, and Hebrew poetry. A new method of textual triangulation has also been devised in an attempt to use the hypothetical convergence of traditions to approximate what of the mythology would have been known in ancient Palestine, from which few textual sources remain. Most of what is known of Israelite kingship and the monarchic institution is largely based on later and ideologically slanted material. This makes the comparison of Biblical texts to their antecedents necessary. The structure of the dissertation is three-pronged, beginning with the texts from ancient Mari, comparing them with witnesses from Ugarit, and finally contrasting them with the traditions of the broader Near East. The references to the myth in the Hebrew Bible are discussed in connection with the relevant witnesses from these traditions. The different examples of the tradition witness to the continuation, longevity, malleability, and the capacity of the myth to transform to suit changing historical realities. The investigation concludes that a myth of symbolic combat between the Storm-God and the Sea was likely used as a foundational myth by the mostly polytheistic Pre-Exilic kingship in Palestine. In contrast to previous research, the study demonstrates three distinct sources for the Biblical traditions in addition to living local iterations of the myth. In addition to vestiges retained in the Hebrew Bible, based on the analogy of preceding, concurrent, and continuing traditions in the shared cultural sphere, the accumulation of mythic traditions suggests that it was used in the Palestinian kingdoms to resolve the crisis of monarchy and to legitimize sovereign political rule. After the end of the Jerusalem monarchy, the myth was democratized and reforged to legitimize the existence of the people.
  • Kopra, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Midbrain dopamine neurons exert a powerful influence on behavior and their dysfunction is associated with many neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, including Parkinson s disease (PD). Dopamine neurons are large, complex and sensitive cells. Hence, their survival and correct function requires coordinated action of various transcription and regulatory factors both during development and aging. Potentially, one such factor is glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Ectopically applied GDNF is best known for its potent ability to protect and restore damaged dopaminergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. GDNF-based therapies have been tested in clinical trials with PD patients with variable success. However, the function of endogenous GDNF in brain dopamine system development, aging and disease is poorly understood. Improvement in GDNF-based therapies requires better understanding of the physiological functions of GDNF in the brain. The current knowledge of endogenous GDNF function remains obscure, mainly due to the lack of proper animal models. The present study investigated the regulatory role of endogenous GDNF in the development, maintenance and function of midbrain dopamine neurons utilizing novel mouse models: GDNF conditional knock-out (cKO) mice and GDNF hypermorphic (GDNFh) mice over-expressing GDNF from the endogenous locus. GDNF cKO mice enable GDNF deletion solely from the central nervous system during embryonic development or later in adulthood, preserving its vital role in kidney development. Midbrain dopamine systems of these new mouse strains were studied with immunohistochemical, neurochemical, pharmacological, behavioral and molecular biology methods. We found more substantia nigra dopaminergic cells and elevated striatal dopamine levels in immature and adult GDNFh mice. In cKO mice, dopamine levels and cell numbers were unaltered, even upon aging, and regardless of the timing of GDNF deletion. Both mouse strains exhibited enhanced dopamine uptake, while responses to amphetamine were augmented in GDNFh mice and reduced in cKO mice. GDNFh mice also released more dopamine and GDNF elevation protected them in a lactacystin-based model of PD. Overall, dopamine neurons were more sensitive to moderate elevation than complete absence of endogenous GDNF, which suggests that they can adaptively compensate for GDNF loss. This highlights the limitation of broadly utilized gene deletion approaches in analyzing gene function. Our results indicate a clear role for endogenous GDNF in midbrain dopamine neuron development and function, but also demonstrate that GDNF is not required for their maintenance during aging. Furthermore, the ability of endogenous GDNF to protect animals in a PD model without the side effects associated with ectopic GDNF application suggests that elevation in endogenous GDNF levels may be an important future route for PD therapy.
  • Kylväjä, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    For understanding the interaction between bacteria and the host, it is essential to identify and characterize bacterial adhesive proteins, adhesins, and other bacterial molecules that interact or interfere with the host. Adhesins mediate the initial colonization steps of bacteria. The colonization may lead to infection or commensalism. When the molecular mechanisms are known, new treatments to prevent the infections can more easily be designed. For assessment of the functions of bacterial proteins in vitro, the proteins are usually purified from the cells or displayed on the surface of a heterologous host. Various surface display techniques, such as phage or fimbria-assisted display, have been developed for the analysis of polypeptides complicated to overproduce by conventional expression methods. Secretion of recombinant proteins to the culture medium of E. coli is an appealing approach since the purifying step is simple. However, reports on high-level extracellular protein secretion in bacteria are scarce. In the first part of this study, a random chromosomal library of Staphylococcus aureus was created in the secretion-competent E. coli strain MKS12. S. aureus expresses several adhesins, some of which are well characterized. Here, we wanted to identify possible new adhesins or proteins with novel functions. All the extracellularly secreted staphylococcal polypeptides of this study were tested for binding to some well-known receptors of S. aureus such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, collagens, and plasminogen. We found three putative moonlighting proteins i.e. proteins with functions additional to their conventional functions: a universal stress protein and an ATPase subunit of phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase, which both bound to fibronectin and fibrinogen, and the penicillin binding protein 3 capable of binding and activating plasminogen. Adhesins have been studied at the molecular level in many human pathogenic bacteria, such as S. aureus, but the knowledge on the surface molecules mediating adhesion of commensals, such as Lactobacillus, has not drawn as much attention. The second part of this study dealt with the interaction of Lactobacillus crispatus ST1 with the epithelium of the chicken crop and the human vagina. We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction of L. crispatus ST1 with the epithelium and identified a novel high-molecular-mass adhesin that was named as lactobacillus epithelium adhesin (LEA). LEA was shown to bind efficiently to the stratified squamous epithelium of the crop and to the similar type of epithelium in the human vagina. In this thesis work we have applied a novel secretion method for heterologous protein expression and characterized novel adhesive proteins of two Gram-positive bacterial species.
  • Laitinen, Anita (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that can be found in various tissues. These cells have the capacity to differentiate into bone, adipose, and cartilage. They also have the capacity to suppress immune reactions and the capacity to support angiogenesis. The utilization of these cells in cell based therapies has therefore been intensively studied. There are several clinical studies on going to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of these cells. The utilization of MSCs has been studied in for example graft-versus-host-disease (a severe complication after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation), stroke, myocardial infarction, and cartilage lesions. The frequency of MSCs is variable in different tissues. The number of these cells in tissues is so low that these cells need to be cultured outside of the body, in vitro, to obtain adequate numbers of MSCs for cell therapy purposes. It has been demonstrated that different in vitro culture conditions have effects on the properties of MSCs. Traditionally cells are cultured in growth medium containing fetal bovine serum (FBS). There is a great interest to find alternative supplements to replace FBS for clinical grade production of MSCs to avoid the patients to become predisposed to xenogenic infectious agents or antigens. Platelet-derived supplements might be one potential alternative for FBS. An efficient method to culture MSCs from cord blood was established in this thesis. Additionally a method to produce clinical-grade bone marrow MSCs in platelet-derived supplement containing culture medium was established. Different culture conditions were demonstrated to have an effect on proliferative and immunosuppressive capacity of MSCs as well as on their capacity to support angiogenesis. In this thesis it is also indicated that MSCs can suppress immunoreactions producing an immunosuppressive molecule, adenosine, via a cell surface enzyme, CD73. The knowledge of the impact of culture conditions on the properties of cells as well as understanding the functional mechanisms of the cells is a prerequisite to produce safe and efficacious cell therapy products.
  • Kumar, Anmol (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Neurotrophic factors such as brain¬-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line¬¬¬-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) are a family of proteins which play an important role inside and outside central nervous system. While precise regulation of BDNF and GDNF levels in time and space in an organism is crucial in determining the biological outcome, mechanisms involved in controlling their levels are not fully understood. Messenger RNAs (mRNAs) play a critical role in gene expression by conveying genetic information from DNA to protein synthesis. 3ʹ untranslated region (3ʹUTR) is a part of mRNA sequence which regulates gene expression by binding to microRNAs (miRs), RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and other trans-acting factors. In this thesis, we investigated the 3ʹUTR mediated regulation of BDNF and GDNF. We demonstrate the presence of regulatory elements in the 3ʹUTR of BDNF and GDNF and, show that BDNF is regulated by four different miRs, namely miR-1, miR-10b, miR-155 and miR-191 and, RBP tristetraprolin (TTP) in different cell lines. Further, we show that GDNF is regulated by multiple miRs in cell lines and identify binding sites for miR-146a and miR-96 in the GDNF 3ʹUTR. Finally, we demonstrate that replacement of GDNF 3ʹUTR in mice with a 3ʹUTR with reduced responsiveness to negative regulators including miRs leads to elevated level of endogenous GDNF mRNA and protein in various organs with profound biological effects including in the brain dopamine system function in mice. We conclude that 3ʹUTR mediated regulation of BDNF and GDNF is biologically important and propose that 3ʹUTR replacement is an informative way to study gene function in vivo.
  • Salonen, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The incidence of type 1 diabetes has been increasing over recent decades. The reason for the increase, and the initial trigger for the autoimmune process remain unknown. Children with significantly increased risk for type 1 diabetes can be recognized from the general population based on their HLA-genotype and a panel of autoantigen-specific antibody assays. Recently a novel autoantibody specificity was discovered, the ZnT8 autoantibodies (ZnT8A). The advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are produced via glycation reactions between reducing sugars and proteins. AGEs and their interaction with the receptor for AGEs (RAGE), have been implicated to play a role in the pathogenesis and complications of diabetes. The soluble form of RAGE (sRAGE) is counteracting the effects of proinflammatory, membrane-bound RAGE. A decrease in sRAGE has been observed in various studies on acute inflammation. Polymorphisms of the gene encoding RAGE, AGER, are associated with the risk and the complications of diabetes according to previous studies. This thesis set out to define the characteristics of ZnT8A and RAGE in clinical and pre-clinical type 1 diabetes. Among the newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes, 63% tested positive for ZnT8A. ZnT8A were associated with age and metabolic state at diagnosis as well as to HLA genotype. ZnT8A-assay did not improve the detection rate of beta-cell autoimmunity. Concentrations of sRAGE correlated positively with age in children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, but not in controls. Diabetic ketoacidosis at diagnosis and the high-risk HLA-genotype were related to lower sRAGE. Two polymorphic variants of the AGER gene, associated with increased risk for type 1 diabetes, correlated with reduced sRAGE. Prediabetic children had higher sRAGE than autoantibody-negative controls. A reduction in sRAGE coincides with the appearance of autoantibodies in children progressing to overt type 1 diabetes, but not in healthy controls, or in children seroconverting to autoantibody positivity later in childhood. After the seroconversion, the sRAGE concentrations remained stable. The RAGE/AGE ratio was higher in the cases than in the controls. To conclude, sRAGE, which has been considered cytoprotective in previous studies, is positively associated with older age at disease onset, protection from metabolic decompensation at diagnosis and AGER genotypes with a lower risk for type 1 diabetes. Children, who seroconvert to humoral islet cell autoimmunity early in childhood, experience a drop in sRAGE coinciding with the appearance of the first autoantibodies. They have higher sRAGE and sRAGE/AGE-ratio than the controls before seroconversion. These observed associations might be a result of an intrinsic protective mechanism, which fails at seroconversion.
  • Silvennoinen, Sirja (2016)
    Alexandre Kojèven (1902-1968) ajattelun filosofisen pohjan muodostaa G.W.F Hegelin Hengen fenomenologiassa esitetty historian filosofia, joka yhdistyy vaikutteisiin niin Karl Marxilta, Martin Heideggeriltä kuin Friedrich Nietzscheltäkin. Hegelistä poiketen Kojèven historian filosofian keskiössä on ihminen. Kojève kutsuu näkemystään historian rakentumisesta fenomenologiseksi antropologiaksi: ihmisen halu tunnustukseen, toiminta ja minuuden kehittyminen ovat suorassa yhteydessä historialliseen kehitykseen. Ilman ihmisyyttä ei Kojèven katsannossa ole historiaa. Ihmisen tunnustuksen halu ja tästä johtuva negatiivinen, dialektinen toiminta kuljettavat historiaa ja ihmisen itseymmärrystä eteenpäin. Kojèven näkemys ihmisestä määrittyy erona historiattomaan, muuttumattomaan ja eläimelliseen luontoon. Tunnustuksen halu ja siitä syntyvä historiallinen toiminta mahdollistavat ihmisen vapauden ja avoimuuden. Kojéven filosofiassa ihminen ei ole määrätty. Hän on tulevaisuuteen suuntautuva tyhjyys, joka etsii negatiivisen toimintansa kautta partikulaarisuutensa tunnustusta. Ajatus historian lopusta toimii Kojèven filosofian sisällä käsitteellisenä paradigmana tarkastella kaikkea historian loppua edeltänyttä totuudenmukaisesti. Historian loppu on historiallisten hierarkioiden, toiseuden ja erojen loppu. Toteutuessaan se mahdollistaa kokonaan tasa-arvoisen yhteiskunnan, jossa inhimillinen toive tasa-arvoisesta tunnustuksesta täyttyy. Kojèven tulkinnassa inhimillistä historiaa ja ihmisyyttä voidaan kokonaisuudessaan analysoida vasta niiden päätyttyä. Tämä työ käsittelee Kojèven käsitystä ihmisyydestä historiallisessa ja posthistoriallisessa kontekstissa. Työn tavoitteena on määritellä mitä historiallinen ihmisyys Kojèvelle on ja mitä ihmisyydelle tapahtuu historian lopun kontekstissa inhimillistävän halun ja toiminnan lakatessa. Kysymykset ihmisen halusta tunnustukseen, historiallisesta toiminnasta ja historian lopusta kietoutuvat yhteen. Tutkimusta täydentävät Georges Bataillen (1897-1962) ja Francis Fukuyaman (1952-) näkemykset kojèvelaisesta historian lopusta ja ihmisyydestä. Lähdekirjallisuus muodostuu edellä mainittujen filosofien teoksista, kommentaareista sekä työn aihealueiden kannalta keskeisistä teemoista kirjoitetuista artikkeleista sekä teoksista. Kojèvelle historian loppu on inhimillisen halun täyttymys eli ihmisyyden täydellistymä. Samalla se on kuitenkin historiallisen ihmisen kuolema. Historiallinen, haluava, aktiivinen ja tulevaisuuteen avoin ihminen katoaa, koska historian lopun maailma on täydellisen tyydyttävä ja ristiriidaton. Historian lopussa Kojèven ihminen säilyttää inhimillisyytensä ja eroaa eläimellisyydestä vain toisintamalla historiallista ihmisyyttään esimerkiksi traditioiden kautta. Kojèven filosofiassa historia tai historiallinen ihmisyys eivät voi toisintua tismalleen samanlaisina. On siis mahdotonta palata historiallisessa ajassa taaksepäin tai alkuun. Kojève ei kuitenkaan koskaan sano historian tai ihmisyyden olevan ainutkertaista. Historian lopussa jatko on määrittelemätön. Näin ollen historiallisen ihmisyyden loppu on välttämättä myös avaus jollekin aiemmin määrittelemättömälle käsitykselle ihmisyydestä.
  • Svanbäck, Sami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Key physicochemical properties determining the developability of a drug include solubility, dissolution rate, lipophilicity and pKa. Not only do these properties affect synthesis and solid form optimization, choice of administration route, processability and formulation strategies; they also greatly influence, directly or indirectly, the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity and efficacy of drugs. However, miniaturized methods that would enable small-scale determination of these fundamental properties in an accurate and rapid way, are lacking. Image-based microscopy could provide an opportune method for non-specific, rapid and miniaturized applications. First, the applicability of image-based microscopy and single-particle analysis in drug dissolution rate measurement was evaluated. This was done by comparing image analysis data with traditional UV spectrophotometric data of individual dissolving drug pellets. It was found that dissolution rates obtained by image analysis and UV spectrophotometry were practically identical. Next, a single-particle trap flow-through device was developed, wherein it is possible to continuously monitor individual drug particles under constant flow conditions. Based on the promising results of image-based dissolution rate analysis, the possibility of acquiring the intrinsic dissolution rate from individual freely rotating particles, trapped inside the flow through device, was evaluated. It was found that image analysis can be used for rapid real-time determination of intrinsic dissolution rates from continuously changing effective surface areas of dissolving individual micro-particles. The method was then further extended to determine the equilibrium solubility of drugs. Based on the diffusion layer dissolution rate model, solubility is the rate limiting factor of dissolution and can therefore be determined. While solubility is generally determined from bulk solutions after long incubation times, it was shown that the equilibrium solubility can be rapidly determined from individual pure-substance particles by means of the diffusion layer theory and image analysis. Finally, the single-particle method was further miniaturized and a second device developed, in order to allow imaging of individual powder crystals. It was shown that dissolution rate and solubility can be acquired from individual nanogram crystals. The single-particle method was further extended to acquire pKa, logP and logD of the studied substances, using aqueous buffers, simulated physiological solutions and organic solvents. Using this method and device, it is possible to acquire a complete pH-solubility profile for an unknown material of unknown composition, with individual measurements of less than 30 seconds. In summary, these results strongly suggest that image-based analysis of materials could be applied in high-throughput experimentation (HTE) applications. The possibility of acquiring solubility, dissolution rate, lipophilicity and pKa using a single analytical method, could significantly simplify and speed up accurate data acquisition. This in turn, could lead to faster and more informed decision-making and, ultimately, better and more affordable drugs.
  • Juntunen, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis introduces and explores a new aural based approach for play-together education of first- and second-grade string instrument students in music school. The research problems are to create a music technology based teaching method and to study violin and play-together learning in the context of music technological applications. The theoretical background is based on new learning environments, blended learning and flipped classroom in music education. In this recent method, Playback Orchestra, the students practice their part with the support of an audio of the full score, in most cases the playback of a notation program. Hearing the audio supports learning the harmony, rhythm, and dynamic changes. The learning situation is a kind of a virtual play-together rehearsal: it is essential that playing continues without stopping at mistakes, which are corrected afterwards. The method is a learning by doing approach and the flow-like practicing strategy develops flexibility, which is essential in play-together situations. The Playback Orchestra method was tested with first (N=10) and second (N=4) grade string instrument students of a music school with a quasi-experimental study design. The test group (playback group) practiced a score with the support of an audio and the control group (no playback group) without it. The aim was to find out if there were differences between study groups in learning. The first research question was: which playing skills possibly benefit from the audio background, the performance as a whole, understanding the atmosphere, style and general structure of the music, right and left hand technique, reading the score, or play-together skills. The second research question was concerned with learning improvisation: does the audio background support starting the improvisation decisively, continuing it intensively and logically, finding and maintaining the flow and atmosphere, finding own ideas and showing independence and joy of playing, using relaxed movements and creating a general structure in the improvisation. Two professional violin teachers evaluated the play performances from video before and after a practice period and the quantitative analysis was made with SPSS 22 using general linear model and linear mixed model, which can be applied for small study groups. The results showed that when the piece of music to be learned was a main melody of a chamber music composition, the playback group had learned faster than the other group essential features connected with understanding the musical content: the style and atmosphere and the general structure of the music. The playback group had learned musical communication and leading a group by playing better than the no playback group. This finding was significant in large numbers. Concerning the instrument specific technique, audio background seemed not to have clear beneficial effects. However, the students learned to use singing bow style when practicing with the support of a CD track from film music better than without it, the difference was significant in large numbers. When the score to be learned was in baroque style, expressing terrace dynamics , an essential feature of the genre, benefited from the audio background in significant numbers. The improvisation study was a by-product when testing the learning of a musical tale with many sections in different keys, playing styles and atmospheres. The improvisation task was to describe storm by playing. The results showed that musical story telling in improvisation passage benefited from practicing the musical tale with the playback support. Because the study groups were small, the results cannot be widely generalised. However, the aural based approach seems to create a good basis for learning deep understanding of musical content. Further, because learning is fast, using the Playback Orchestra method makes possible for instrument teachers to create well-working play-together culture with large repertoires. The pedagogy of music institutions at its best includes both traditional and new learning environments, such as blended learning. New technological applications can benefit playing and play-together skills and lead to richer musical expression and joy of playing. More research and open-mindedness is needed in order to the new ways of thinking, using and developing new tools could be included in the curricula of music institutions. In this way using the traditional methods together with new approaches the appreciated Finnish music education system can develop and offer even better quality of education. ________________________________________ Keywords: string instrument education, orchestra teaching in music schools, technology-based music education, new music learning envi-ronments, blended learning
  • Vesa, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In the Finnish consensus democracy, public discussion has traditionally played a small role in policymaking. Consensus and compromises have been built within small circles of policymakers behind closed doors, and the strong position of civil servants, president and interest organizations has limited public discussion. Institutional and cultural changes have, however, created new pressures for policymakers to act in media publicity. The norm of openness has been strengthened in society (i.e. policymaking is expected to be more transparent than before); politics has been mediatized (i.e. the significance of media in politics seems to have increased); the role of committees has been reduced in policy preparation; and parliamentarism has been strengthened. This thesis examines how openly Finnish policymakers (i.e. politicians, civil servants and interest organizations) act towards public discussion. It studies how policymakers participate in discussions taking place in media publicity, what kind of rules on public communication policymaking institutions include and how institutions have reacted to the strengthening of the norm of openness. The study also asks how strongly policymaking is mediatized i.e. what is the significance of media publicity in policymaking and to what extent does the news media affect policymaking. The article-based thesis is based on two case studies and a survey of members of parliament (MPs). The case studies focus on a social security reform committee (2007 2009) and a government s programme to increase productivity in state administration (2002 2011). Case study data consists of interviews with policymakers and journalists, media articles, government information material and policy documents. MPs were surveyed on the news media s agenda-setting power (i.e. the media s influence on political institution agendas). The results show that the tradition of looking for a consensus constrains the openness of public discussion in Finland. Policymakers prefer not to talk about policy negotiations in detail in public because publicity can freeze negotiations. The way that members of the multi-party government manage the news can weaken accountability by reducing citizens possibilities to evaluate politicians behaviour. Policymakers manage publicity through common publicity rules. For instance, ministers are not usually expected to make public statements during tripartite policy preparation. Citizens and the media, however, presume openness. Thus, policymakers cannot withdraw completely from publicity. They have created public information practices that simultaneously meet the expectations of openness and secure working peace for policy preparation. For instance, policymakers can publish information regarding policy preparation actively but on such a general level that it does not lead to public discussion. Civil servants, who act in a neutral way regarding publicity, often have a central role in informing the public, which can narrow publicity and transparency. Moreover, the majority of MPs think that the news media s behaviour affects public discussions much more than policy processes and decisions made by the government and parliament. Results indicate that the core of policymaking is often still rather isolated from publicity. Media publicity affects symbolic politics (i.e. politicians competition for voters) more than actual decisions. Policymaking institutions have developed means to protect policy processes against media publicity and the demands for openness. Results support conclusions of earlier research, suggesting that mediatization is rather shallow: it has changed symbolic politics and public information activities more than policymaking.
  • Parkkinen, Jari (2016)
    Tässä maisterintutkielmassa tarkasteltiin yhden sosialistisen realismin alakäsitteen, narodnostin, merkitystä ja asemaa Neuvostoliiton musiikkipolitiikassa 1930-luvulla. Narodnost-käsitteen merkitystä selvitettiin suhteessa 1930-luvun Neuvostoliiton laajempiin poliittisiin diskursseihin, mikä toi esille Neuvostoliiton virallisen taidesuuntauksen muotoutumisen yhteyden tuon ajan historialliseen ja poliittiseen kontekstiin. Käsitteen määrittelyssä hyödynnettiin kahta historian ja kielen suhdetta tarkastelevaa teoreettista viitekehystä, diskurssintutkimusta ja käsitehistoriaa. Näiden teorioiden pohjalta luotiin lähestymistapa, jossa käsitteiden nähdään muodostuvan diskursseista. Näin ollen käsitteen merkityksen selvittäminen vaatii sen muodostavien diskurssien havaitsemista. Aineistona työssä käytettiin sanomalehti Pravdaa ja aikakauslehti Sovetskaja muzykaa, ja aineiston analyysissa hyödynnettiin legitimaation ja intertekstuaalisuuden käsitteitä. Narodnost-käsitteen taustalta havaittiin ja nimettiin viisi eri diskurssia, jotka ovat: kansan diskurssi, perinteen diskurssi, Venäjä-diskurssi, kommunistisen ideologian diskurssi sekä stalinismin diskurssi. Musiikkipolitiikassa narodnost-käsite muodostui sekä musiikille erityisistä diskursseista että laajemmista poliittisista diskursseista. Näiden diskurssien keskinäistä suhdetta tarkastellessa stalinismin diskurssi nousi esille kaikkien muiden diskurssien taustalla vaikuttavana metadiskurssina. Narodnost-käsitteellä voitiin viitata musiikkipolitiikassa stalinismin ajan politiikan tärkeimpiin diskursseihin, minkä perusteella tultiin lopputulokseen, että narodnost-käsite oli tärkeä linkki stalinismin ja musiikkipolitiikan välillä. Tämän vuoksi narodnost-käsitettä voidaan tarkastella stalinistisen musiikkipolitiikan avainkäsitteenä.
  • Lukinmaa, Pauliina (2015)
    In the past three years (2012-2015), several repressive law amendments have been introduced in Russia, focusing on controlling the civil activism. "Foreign Agent Law" (2012) on Russian NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), the adoption of a federal “Homopropaganda” law (2013) and, most recently, a law on “Undesired NGOs” (2015), have contributed the most to the hostile attitudes towards civil society, namely LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, trans-gender, queer and intersex) movement. These law amendments together with a growing and professionalizing LGBTQI movement have gained attention both in Russia and beyond its borders. This thesis investigates the LGBTQI movement’s differing methods of trying to raise awareness among fellow-citizens. People who are active in the movement negotiate the ways of taking part in the LGBTQI movement in St Petersburg within the movement and under the restrictive policies towards LGBTQI activism. Not only do these negotiations concern domestic questions but they also have a global character, as participants modify different ways of participating in activism to fit the local circumstances. In addition, Soviet history has a key role in both explaining today’s civil activism and LGBTQI movement in Russia but moreover in understanding the repressive policies. The data were collected during the years 2013-2015. I have employed ethnographic research methods by interviewing, observing and being a participant-observer within the local LGBTQI movement. In addition, my data consists of my field diary and the LGBTQI activists’ blog writings. LGBTQI people are marginalized in public rhetoric which has turned public actions highly political and similarly suppressed some of the social aspects of it aside. At the same time, LGBTQI activists argue these to be the most important motivations for their actions. Combining private life with public activism has become one the biggest challenge for the participants and a debate within the local LGBTQI movement. Taking part in the movement has turned not only a fight for democracy but also a fight for more modern Russia. Participation in the movement include large value-based questions of loyalty, devotion and individual needs. *** Viimeisten kolmen vuoden aikana (2012-2015) Venäjällä on asetettu voimaan useita kansalaisyhteiskuntaa rajoittavia lakeja. Erityisesti ”Foreign Agent” -laki, ”Homopropaganda” -laki sekä viimeisimpänä laki ”ei-toivotuista” järjestöistä ovat lisänneet negatiivisia asenteita ja toimia sekä järjestöjä että yksilöitä kohtaan. Lait ovat samalla nostaneet HLBTQI-henkilöiden (homoseksuaalien, lesbojen, trans-suokupuolisten ja inter-sukupuolisten) oikeuksia ajavat järjestöt erityisen tarkkailun kohteeksi. Tutkielmani tarkastelee pietarilaisen HLBTQI-liikkeen jäsenten neuvotteluja toimintatavoistaan muuttuvassa ja haastavassa toimintaympäristössä heidän pyrkiessään lisäämään kansalaisten tietoisuutta seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöistä sekä heidän oikeuksistaan. Tutkin lisäksi liikkeen sisäisiä määrittelyjä sopivista toimintakeinoista samalla kun poliittinen keskustelu ja päätöksenteko siirtävät toimintamuotoja laittoman toiminnan piiriin. Tässä ilmapiirissä yksityiselämän ja julkisen aktivismin yhdistämisestä on tullut monelle HLBTQI-liikkeeseen osallistuvalle yhdeksi suurimmista haasteista. Liikkeeseen osallistuvat pyrkivät lisäksi uudelleenmuotoilemaan toimintatapoja, jotta ne soveltuisivat paremmin paikalliseen ja muuttuvaan toimintaympäristöön. Tässä yhteydessä neuvostohistorialla on olennainen rooli sekä tämän päivän kansalaisaktivismin että HLBTQI-henkilöiden oikeuksia rajoittavan päätöksenteon selittämisessä. Keräsin tutkielmani aineiston vuosina 2013-2015 hyödyntäen etnografisia tutkimusmenetelmiä kuten haastattelua, havainnointia sekä olemalla itse osallistuva havainnoija paikallisessa HLBTQI-liikkeessä. Lisäksi aineistoani ovat HLBTQI-aktivistien blogit sekä oma kenttäpäiväkirjani, jota kirjoitin Venäjällä ollessani. Lisäksi valokuvasin erilaisia kulttuuritapahtumia, suosittuja tapaamispaikkoja ja mielenilmauksia. Uusien toimintakeinojen luominen, julkisen aktivismin politisoituminen sekä jännittynyt ilmapiiri vaativat henkilökohtaista sitoutumista liikkeeseen. Liikkeeseen osallistuminen on taistelua demokratian mutta myös modernimman Venäjän puolesta. Samanaikaisesti emigroituminen on todellinen vaihtoehto joillekin toimintaan osallistuville. Liikkeessä toimiminen sisältääkin laajoja arvopohjaisia kysymyksiä, jotka koskevat lojaaliutta, omistautuneisuutta sekä yksilöllisiä tarpeita.
  • Huhtanen, Karoliina (2013)
    This Master’s Thesis studies the press coverage of the demonstrations that took place in Russia after the Duma elections in December 2011. The parliamentary elections were thought to be a formal test of legitimacy for the leading party, United Russia. However, United Russia suffered a bitter defeat and gained only a bit less than 50 percent of the votes. Despite the obvious defeat, the claims of rigged elections spread quickly, and people begun demonstrating against the results. A protest movement demanding for fair elections spread all around Russia. The goal of this thesis is to analyze how two Russian newspapers covered the rallies. The empirical data consists of articles from two newspapers, Kommersant – an independent newspaper – and Komsomolskaya Pravda – typically portrayed as a newspaper faithful to the officials. The method for the content analysis is Frame analysis. In a relatively controlled, neo-authoritarian media system the Russian media outlets had to balance between the ideals of objective journalism and the pressures coming from the Russian authorities. This thesis seeks to make visible what kind of coverage the print media produced and how the demonstrations were framed in the newspapers. My study shows that the newspapers provided various perspectives to the rallies. During the analysis period of one week, framing of the rallies changed dramatically. In the beginning, the rallies were framed as a typical behavior of belligerent opposition and as a threat to Russia. The split between the power and the people was emphasized. Towards the end of the week the framing became softer and more humane, and the rallies were framed as harmless folk festivals and as a celebration of a robust civil society. On the surface, the coverage seemed to provide multiple ankles. However, especially Komsolmoskaya Pravda framed the rallies in a way that was favorable to the authorities, emphasizing the aspects of threat and the need for stability. Furthermore, the shift in Komsomolskaya Pravda’s framing was parallel to the shift in the official rhetoric: when the officials acknowledged the need for dialogue with the protestors, also Komsomolskaya Pravda softened its approach towards the rallies. Kommersant’s coverage showed some signs of following the official rhetoric towards the end of week, but compared to Komsomolskaya Pravda, Kommersant provided a more balanced and pluralist coverage, emphasizing both the uniting nature of the rallies among the protestors and the fundamental split that exists between the power and the people. In addition, Kommersant discussed the potential of a political change in Russia and the issue of press freedom.
  • Vihonen, Ilona (2012)
    Venäjän kansalaisyhteiskunnan vahvin linkki globaaliin kansalaisyhteiskuntaan on ulkomainen rahoitus, jolla on tuettu venäläisten kansalaisjärjestöjen toimintaa 1990-luvulta alkaen. Rahoitus on vaikuttanut merkittävästi siihen, minkälaiseksi Venäjän kansalaisyhteiskunta on muodostunut. Vladimir Putinin tultua presidentiksi näitä rahavirtoja ryhdyttiin hillitsemään osana politiikkaa, jota on pidetty Putinin pyrkimyksenä vahvistaa Venäjän suvereniteettia. Valtio yritti muovata kansalaisyhteiskuntaa haluamaansa suuntaan yhtäältä kiristämällä kansalaisjärjestöjä koskevaa lainsäädäntöä ja toisaalta kannustamalla valtiolle myötämielistä kansalaistoimintaa valtionrahoituksen avulla. Venäjän johtoon kriittisesti suhtautuvia ulkomaalaisrahoitteisia järjestöjä mustamaalattiin federaation huipulta käsin. Tämä tutkimus pureutuu siihen, millä tavalla Putinin kansalaisyhteiskuntapolitiikka vaikutti Pietarissa toimivaan, demokraattisia arvoja vaalivaan ihmisoikeusjärjestöön, joka toimii täysin ulkomaisen rahoituksen varassa. Tutkin järjestön keinoja ajaa omia tavoitteitaan Pietarin viranomaispiireissä, jotka ovat järjestön työn ensisijainen kohde. Lisäksi tarkastelen sitä, millä tavalla ulkomainen rahoitus ohjaa järjestön toimintaa. Tutkimuksen metodina on käytetty teemahaastattelua ja sisällönanalyysia. Ensisijaisena aineistona ovat tutkimuskohteena olevan järjestön työntekijöiden haastattelut. Tutkimukseni perusteella käy ilmi, ettei Venäjän korkeimman johdon ideologia sanele suoraan sitä, miten viranomaiset federaation alemmilla portailla toimivat. Tämä avaa mahdollisuuksia ihmisoikeusjärjestön vaikutustyölle. Lisäksi ulkomaisella rahoituksella ei ole välttämättä merkittävää vaikutusta siihen, minkälaisia asioita sitä vastaanottava järjestö ottaa ajaakseen. Ulkomaisen rahoituksen ongelma on ennen kaikkea siinä, ettei se ole kannustanut venäläisjärjestöjä etsimään itselleen kannattajakuntaa kansalaisten keskuudesta. Nyt, kun ulkomaisen rahoituksen määrä on kääntynyt laskuun, valtiojohtoon kriittisesti suhtautuvan järjestön on vaikea löytää uusia rahoituksen lähteitä, jos se ei halua anoa rahoitusta valtiolta.
  • Pulkkinen, Mari (Mari Pulkkinen, 2016)
    Loss through death is a core experience in human life, for humanity necessitates the acceptance of mortality. In the field of cultural studies, contemporary Finnish grief is an unfamiliar subject as a theoretical as well as empirical phenomenon. I approach loss as a holistic experience of a unique individual. It is deeply subjective but also inherently shared. I pursue this by developing an analytical tool: a conceptual and theoretical perspective on grief which manifests itself in the dimensions of emotions and cognition, deeds and actions, as well as words and grammar. By this I refer to the emotional-cognitive, ritual-conative and linguistic-conceptual nature of grief. Moreover, the experience of loss cannot be understood without also paying attention to its contexts: the life course and the cultural-societal frame of death culture. The data consist of letters written by 159 grieving Finns of different ages and backgrounds. In order to collect the data, advertisements were placed in the print media and on the Internet in 2003 2005. The goal of the analysis is to understand the losses that Finns living the 21st century have experienced over the course of their lives. My approach is deliberately critical. Mourning is still, in the spirit of modernity, often seen as an individual psychological process grief work the stages of which remain largely unchanged regardless of varying circumstances. Its perceived aims are recovery and coping. When understood as an experience, loss claims its place in the human life course the same way as other life events do: as inherently meaningful and permanent. Read closely, in terms of emotions and cognition, grief appears hidden and hard to reach. Emotions are manifold and ambiguous. They should not be approached based on designation only. The grieving also feel as sense of grief in their bodies, cry in private, and experience incomprehensibility beyond the psychological definition of shock. In the light of deeds and action, grief gains the attributes of performance, and in that sense is work indeed. The traditional rituals as well as grief s bureaucracy and everyday obligations are all vigorously performed and dealt with. This separates action from its ritual meaning. From the point of view of words and grammar, grief is silent and wordless. Wordlessness is selective and chosen but also subjective: the experience escapes expression. The human life course is the arena of progressive time where both the grieving and grief have their own uncontrollable time. Neither the experience nor the ties cease to exist. In the changing death culture the ability of others to express their condolences and sympathize is often seen as inadequate. This applies also to encounters with professionals who are expected to be humane. The medication of the grieving bespeaks the desire to control. The varied perceptions of the hereafter often utilize Christian imagery and suggest that the dead watch over the living. They are created out of need, and are based on the hope of something existing beyond the end. Despite its communality, the death culture of the past cannot always be seen as a more gentle background for the experience of loss; it is sometimes even the opposite. This brings to mind the distinct nature of grief, which is not contingent on the era lived in.