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  • Rikmann, Erle (Institute of International and Social Studies, Tallinn University, 2012)
    Construction of Civil Society in Estonia: Discursive and Institutional Changes The dissertation is a study of the emergence of civil society in Estonia on a discursive as well as institutional level. More precisely, I analyse a process which might be called the construction of civil society , i.e., how a new set of knowledge (a new discourse) has appeared in Estonia; and how it has developed and become institutionalised in terms of both form and content. This development has, among other things, been influenced by a transmission of transnational models, but also by structural features of the recipient society. The study s theoretical framework and key concepts rely above all on an approach characteristic for the sociology of knowledge. In explaining Estonian developments and peculiarities, I also analyse the consequences of the rapid transformation that has taken place in the post-Soviet societies. The thesis consists of seven articles and an integrative summary chapter. The articles have been divided into three groups based on subjects: (i) Estonian civil society in its early development, (ii) the consolidation and the problems of civil society in Estonia, and (iii) Estonian civil society in a comparative perspective. I have combined different methods in order to obtain empirical sensitivity: I have studied NGOs through questionnaires and interviews with their representatives as well as through data from the registry. I have conducted in-depth interviews with other social groups or agents who have played an important role in the development of civil society with their specific values, social identities and knowledge of civil society. The use of multi-perspective methods and the theoretical framework of the sociology of knowledge provides the study with new information on the development of civil society in Estonia. It shows the social context in which the construction of civil society started, the main actors, and the special features of civil society in contemporary Estonia. Discursive and institutional developments seem to take place at different pace in different parts of society. This, in turn, has an impact on the domestication and naturalisation of new knowledge. Hence, the outcome may significantly differ from the original transnational model. This asymmetry of discursive and institutional changes causes tension in a society and its power structure. The selective nature of the domestication of transnational models in rapidly changing societies may also explain the differences in how civil society has developed in different post-Socialist countries. Keywords Estonia, civil society, discursive and institutional changes, Project Civil Society, domestication, objectivated knowledge
  • Rauramo, Suvi (2000)
    The principal purpose of this study is to examine the narrative conventions that computer games employ to create a spatially immersive storyworld. Adopting a comparative approach, the study seeks to trace similarities and disparities across media. Thirty-six PlayStation and PC games released between 1996 and 2000 constitute the material for analysis. Informed by narrative theory, the study investigates how computer games utilize elements of audiovisual narration. The study establishes that the world structure is the most important organizing entity in computer games. The underlying logic structure ultimately governs the gameplay. The world restricts the actions of the player significantly, even if it often attempts to hide the restrictions diegetically. The coherence and continuity of the world is a vital aspect of spatial immersion. The study confirms that navigation in the world is a central narrative force in computer games. The unfolding of the story, the movement of the camera, the shot transitions, and occasionally changes in the narrative point of view are induced either by the player's maneuvering the focalizing character in the story world or by the player's manipulation of the nondiegetic view. After analysing the basic narrative elements of the games - namely the world, its framing, and the transitions within the world - the study constructs the narrative points of view typical for computer games. Computer games use a variety of narrative points of view, which are labeled the first person point of view, the follow-up point of view, the fourth wall point of view, the bird's eye point of view, and the play god point of view. However, usually only one or two narrative points of view are utilized in a given game. Even when the character is the focalizer, the character's status is inferior to the world. This is highlighted by the preference for long shots, in which the character is minuscule, while the surrounding world features prominently. Furthermore, narration is often nondiegetic: the view is not connected to the character at all. Consequently, the world is the centre of the player's attention. Narration in games seems to be developing towards shorter shot lengths and more versatile usage of camera position and movement. The trend seems to be towards multiple narrative points of view and levels of narration, which is a fundamental requirement for sophisticated storytelling. Central sources are Edward Branigan's Narrative comprehension and film (1992) and Lev Manovich's The language of new media (forthcoming).
  • Jauhiainen, Ilmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The object of this work is Hegel's Logic, which comprises the first third of his philosophical System that also includes the Philosophy of Nature and the Philosophy of Spirit. The work is divided into two parts, where the first part investigates Hegel s Logic in itself or without an explicit reference to rest of Hegel's System. It is argued in the first part that Hegel's Logic contains a methodology for constructing examples of basic ontological categories. The starting point on which this construction is based is a structure Hegel calls Nothing, which I argue to be identical with an empty situation, that is, a situation with no objects in it. Examples of further categories are constructed, firstly, by making previous structures objects of new situations. This rule makes it possible for Hegel to introduce examples of ontological structures that contain objects as constituents. Secondly, Hegel takes also the very constructions he uses as constituents of further structures: thus, he is able to exemplify ontological categories involving causal relations. The final result of Hegel's Logic should then be a model of Hegel s Logic itself, or at least of its basic methods. The second part of the work focuses on the relation of Hegel's Logic to the other parts of Hegel's System. My interpretation tries to avoid, firstly, the extreme of taking Hegel's System as a grand metaphysical attempt to deduce what exists through abstract thinking, and secondly, the extreme of seeing Hegel's System as mere diluted Kantianism or a second-order investigation of theories concerning objects instead of actual objects. I suggest a third manner of reading Hegel's System, based on extending the constructivism of Hegel's Logic to the whole of his philosophical System. According to this interpretation, transitions between parts of Hegel's System should not be understood as proofs of any sort, but as constructions of one structure or its model from another structure. Hence, these transitions involve at least, and especially within the Philosophy of Nature, modelling of one type of object or phenomenon through characteristics of an object or phenomenon of another type, and in the best case, and especially within the Philosophy of Spirit, transformations of an object or phenomenon of one type into an object or phenomenon of another type. Thus, the transitions and descriptions within Hegel's System concern actual objects and not mere theories, but they still involve no fallacious deductions.
  • Kohonen, Petra (2013)
    The thesis examines how ethnic entrepreneurship is constructed and made sense of in the narrative accounts of nine adult children of small business owners. The issue is examined from four perspectives; first, through the research participants’ narrations of their parents’ routes to entrepreneurs and secondly, through the narratives of the personal experiences of growing up and taking part in the running of the family business. Thirdly, the interviewees’ constructions of their entrepreneurial work experiences are examined in a wider working life context. Fourth, the interviewees’ future visions in terms of work and possible entrepreneurial careers, are examined. The ethnic entrepreneur is examined as a social category and ethnic entrepreneurship as a symbolic space against which the research participants negotiate their own standing. Furthermore, an idea of the nonnormativity of children’s work and how it relates to a concept of a “proper” childhood is applied. Furthermore, the concept of belonging is applied in examining the interviewees’ negotiations about their positions and their sense of belonging in relation to the ethnic entrepreneur position. The data consists of nine thematic interviews with adult children of immigrant entrepreneurs. In the analysis of the data, a loose narrative framework is applied. The results of the study show that in the past narratives, the ethnic entrepreneur appeared as occupying a vulnerable position and in the majority, the position was constructed as somewhat forced rather than freely chosen. The narratives of past participation in the family firm produced three themes, through which entrepreneurial work was made sense, namely learning skillfulness, helping the parent, and work as a marker of difference. The narratives about the entrepreneurial work in a wider working life context indicated that participation in the family firm was constructed as a temporary phase before heading into an individual educational and occupational career. The family firm and “other jobs” were contrasted somewhat drastically. Lastly, the future narratives indicated that the interviewees either redefined their possible future entrepreneurial positions or strongly rejected and talked against an entrepreneurial future.
  • Ruokolainen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Holm, Ruurik (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Constructive (intuitionist, anti-realist) semantics has thus far been lacking an adequate concept of truth in infinity concerning factual (i.e., empirical, non-mathematical) sentences. One consequence of this problem is the difficulty of incorporating inductive reasoning in constructive semantics. It is not possible to formulate a notion for probable truth in infinity if there is no adequate notion of what truth in infinity is. One needs a notion of a constructive possible world based on sensory experience. Moreover, a constructive probability measure must be defined over these constructively possible empirical worlds. This study defines a particular kind of approach to the concept of truth in infinity for Rudolf Carnap's inductive logic. The new approach is based on truth in the consecutive finite domains of individuals. This concept will be given a constructive interpretation. What can be verifiably said about an empirical statement with respect to this concept of truth, will be explained, for which purpose a constructive notion of epistemic probability will be introduced. The aim of this study is also to improve Carnap's inductive logic. The study addresses the problem of justifying the use of an "inductivist" method in Carnap's lambda-continuum. A correction rule for adjusting the inductive method itself in the course of obtaining evidence will be introduced. Together with the constructive interpretation of probability, the correction rule yields positive prior probabilities for universal generalizations in infinite domains.
  • Hellman, Matilda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The four scientific articles comprising this doctoral dissertation offer new information on the presentation and construction of addiction in the mass media during the period 1968 - 2008. Diachronic surveys as well as quantitative and qualitative content analyses were undertaken to discern trends during the period in question and to investigate underlying conceptions of the problems in contemporary media presentations. The research material for the first three articles consists of a sample of 200 texts from Finland s biggest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, from the period 1968 - 2006. The fourth study examines English-language tabloid material published on the Internet in 2005 - 2008. A number of principal trends are identified. In addition to a significant increase in addiction reporting over time, the study shows that an internalisation of addiction problems took place in the media presentations under study. The phenomenon is portrayed and tackled from within the problems themselves, often from the viewpoint of the individuals concerned. The tone becomes more personal, and technical and detailed accounts are more and more frequent. Secondly, the concept of addiction is broadened. This can be dated to the 1990s. The concept undergoes a conventionalisation: it is used more frequently in a manner that is not thought to require explanation. The word riippuvuus (the closest equivalent to addiction in Finnish) was adopted more commonly in the reporting at the same time, in the 1990s. Thirdly, the results highlight individual self-governance as a superordinate principle in contemporary descriptions of addiction. If the principal demarcation in earlier texts was between us and them , it is now focused primarily on the individual s competence and ability to govern the self, to restrain and master one's behaviour. Finally, in the fourth study investigating textual constructions of female celebrities (Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears and Kate Moss) in Internet tabloids, various relations and functions of addiction problems, intoxication, body and gender were observed to function as cultural symbols. Addiction becomes a sign, or a style, that represents different significations in relation to the main characters in the tabloid stories. Tabloids, as a genre, play an important role by introducing other images of the problems than those featured in mainstream media. The study is positioned within the framework of modernity theory and its views on the need for self-reflexivity and biographies as tools for the creation and definition of the self. Traditional institutions such as the church, occupation, family etc. no longer play an important role in self-definition. This circumstance creates a need for a culture conveying stories of success and failure in relation to which the individual can position their own behaviour and life content. I propose that addiction , as a theme in media reporting, resolves the conflict that emanates from the ambivalence between the accessibility and the individualisation of consumer society, on the one hand, and the problematic behavioural patterns (addictions) that they may induce, on the other.
  • Pienimäki, Hanna-Mari (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Language is a medium of communication but it is also used to construe and negotiate meaning in our social environment. Language can signal group membership and construe identity as a member of a particular group. If people have more than one language in their repertoires, competence becomes a key factor in defining to what degree people choose to identify themselves as part of a specific community of language speakers. My research studies how identity and competence are construed by non-native English speakers. Most English speakers have learned the language in addition to their mother tongue(s), and use it to communicate with other non-native speakers of English. In these situations English is used as a lingua franca (ELF) a contact language between speakers who do not share a first language (L1). In these contexts it is typical that people have learned English as a foreign language (EFL) in school. Typically L2 speakers are taught to communicate with native speakers of the language, and thus foreign language teaching often defines competence in the L2 by comparing learners proficiency level to a native speaker model. This view perceives L2 speakers as learners of the language, and defines their competence in the L2 by the degree learners are able to acquire the target language norms. In lingua franca contexts competence is defined quite differently. Competence in ELF means the ability to use the language successfully with people from various cultural backgrounds, and the ability to negotiate norms to ensure mutual understanding, which, at times, might even mean deviating from the target language norms. The concept of identity is also defined differently in EFL and ELF contexts. In foreign language teaching, speakers are learners who constantly develop their skills with hopes to eventully achieve a native-like competence. In ELF contexts, on the other hand, speakers are seen as users of the language who do not necessarily benefit from a native-like competence level per se. Because ELF users should be able to communicate with people from various backgrounds, achieving a native-like competence might not be enough to ensure successful communication with other L2 English speakers. The purpose of this research was to study how L2 English speakers construe identity as learners and users of English and their competence in the language. The data was collected by interviewing Finnish university students majoring in English philology. The data consists of four interviews in which participants describe themselves as learners and users of English. I approached the data from a discourse analytical point of view, and analyzed the construed interpretative repertoires of identity and competence. My findings show that the construed learner and user identities are context-dependent. The identity that becomes salient in the interpretative repertoires in a given context depends on how the interviewees want to depict themselves in that given environment. The ideals of good language also guide the construction of the interpretative repertoires of identity. The repertoires that idealize native-like language use construe learner identity while the repertoires that emphasize communication skills construe the user identity. My research also indicates that the interpretative repertoires of competence are multifaceted. Competence is construed as intuitive, native-speaker-like knowledge about English language structures, as well as different cognitive and performative skills and abilities. These are, for example, the ability to think in English and to communicate successfully with people from various different backgrounds.
  • Korhonen, Juho Topias (2012)
    The thesis construes the cultural field of transitology from the point of view of its historical development and characteristics. Transitology specifically and transition studies generally mushroomed in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union. Transitology is a specific term for a field of transition studies to which particular attributes are controversially connected. These attributes include nomotheticity, ahistoricity, positivism and determinism. Of interest is the fact, that transitology represents a field of academia concerned with guiding policy recommendations in a process that aimed to democratize and market liberalize post-socialist countries in Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union. This instigated a close connection between the social scientific debates and actual policy. The thesis advances in a twofold manner to investigate the effects of the connections and historical factors behind the nature and applicability of transitology. First, it constructs a historical narrative of the developments of social sciences, transition studies, socialist social sciences and post-socialist space. Through different conjunctures each of these levels brought about its own meaning to the manner in which transitology consolidated its existence. Secondly, the thesis observes the form and nature of the relation of transitological research to its own premises and to its subject matter. A historical and radical perspective of social scientific thought is applied to detect the form of the relations. These perspectives are mainly world-systems analysis and the political economy of Stephen Gill. The relations under observation are then set into a wider context of social sciences and cultural competition with the help of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological thought. Academic labour is perceived analogously to a Marxist perspective of labour as a social process. The thesis concludes transitology to have attained specific character for a variety of reasons. In general these reasons are seen to stem from an interaction of the state of social scientific thought in the late 80s and early 90 and the historical state of the post-socialist space. Observing the effects and developments occurring from this interplay, the thesis claims transitological thought to have consolidated itself as a constituting cleavage of the post-socialist cultural and political space rather than dissolved into a myriad of approaches. In such a situation, in which a dislodgment between the temporal and spatial dimensions of the cultural field of research and academia and the object if its study has occurred, it becomes vehemently important to focus on the relation and type of research conducted and its direct and indirect implications to its subject matter.
  • Kähkönen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Chen, Jiao (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    China’s high-speed economic growth has accelerated consumers’ disposable income evidently. With the improvement of living standards, people have increasingly been concerned about their life quality, especially when buying consumables like food, toys and clothing as well as durable commodities like furniture for their children. In the past ten years, the Chinese children's furniture market has developed rapidly, making up 9% of total furniture market. However, no studies concerning the analysis of consumer behavior in this market segment exist so far. The objective of this study is to fill this gap by examining Chinese consumers’ perceptions of children’s furniture based on their socio-demographics, their attitudes towards product, supplier and environmental attributes. The empirical part of the study focused on analyzing quantitative data, which were collected by using a structured questionnaire in Shanghai and Shenzhen of China.The data were analyzed by a wide array of statistical analysis methods using SPSS software package. The final sample size was made up of 299 respondents. The data reveal that females accounted for 67% of the total respondents, with 63% of all respondents being in the range of 31-40 years old and 23% in the range of 20-30 years old. The results indicate that safety and environmental friendliness were the primary consideration for parents to purchase children’s furniture. And supplier quality was detected as the central dimension when respondents perceived different attributes of children’s furniture. In addition, 83% of the respondents chose solid wood as the primary raw material for children’s furniture, and 35% of them stated that they were willing to pay 6-10% more for environmentally friendly children's furniture. The choice of environmentally friendly products was closely connected with consumers’ lifestyle and majority of respondents expressed positive attitudes towards healthy and sustainable lifestyle. However, Chinese consumers showed low brand awareness in the children’s furniture market and their price expectations on solid wood furniture were below current market levels. Nevertheless, the Chinese children’s furniture presents a tremendous market potential not only for wooden furniture producers but also for both domestic and international wood raw material suppliers.
  • Niva, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Taking the appropriation of objects as a theoretical starting point, this study makes a distinction between a conceptual and practical level of adopting new objects and products in everyday life. The study applies the concept of appropriation in social food research and examines consumers appropriation of functional foods, i.e., foods developed to improve health and well-being or reduce the risk of disease beyond the usual nutritional effects of foods. The study uses the concept of appropriation to understand the adoption and the process of making functional foods our own . First, the study focuses on the conceptual appropriation by analysing consumers interpretations and opinions on functional foods. Second, it analyses the use of functional foods and examines the role of sociodemographic and food- and health-related background factors in the use of functional foods. Both quantitative and qualitative data were used in the study. Altogether 1210 Finns representative of the population took part in a survey carried out in 2002 as computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). The survey examined the acceptability and use of functional foods in Finland. In 2004, eight focus group discussions were organised for 45 users and non-users of cholesterol-lowering spreads. The qualitative study focused on consumers interpretative perspectives on healthy eating and functional foods. The findings are reported in four original articles and a summary article. The results show that the appropriation of functional foods is a multifaceted phenomenon. The conceptual appropriation is related to consumers interpretations of functional foods in the context of healthy foods and healthy eating; their trust in the products, their manufacturers, research and control; and the relationship of functional foods and the ideal of natural foods. The analysis of the practical appropriation of four different types of foods marketed as functional showed that there are sociodemographic differences between users and non-users of the products, but more importantly, the differences are related to consumers food- and health-related views and practices. Consumers ways of appropriating functional foods in the conceptual and practical sense take shape in a complex web of ideas and everyday practices concerning food, health and eating as a whole. The results also indicate that the conceptual and practical appropriation are not necessarily uniform or coherent processes. Consumers interpret healthy eating and functional foods from a variety of perspectives and there is a multiplicity of rationales of using functional foods. Appropriation embraces many opposing dimensions simultaneously: good experiences and doubts, approval and criticism, expectations and things taken for granted.
  • Ollila, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    High food prices can be a barrier to healthy eating because some of the food products may be perceived as expensive. Understanding the role of price in food purchase situations is important, but only a few studies document attitudes towards expensiveness or cheapness in foods. In this thesis, the role of food price in food choice and consumers attitudes towards food prices were investigated and the aim was to measure the food price attitudes. Food price attitudes were hypothesized to have an impact on consumers willingness to pay judgements and their willingness to buy premium-priced food products. First, using qualitative data consisting of 40 thematic interviews the experiences of the expensiveness and cheapness in foods were explored by using functional food products as a target product category. Second, a Food Price Attitude Scale was developed using four quantitative surveys representing Finnish consumers (2001 N=1158; 2002 N=1156; 2004a N=1113; 2004b N=1027). Food price attitudes were confirmed to compose a multidimensional construct and consumers may perceive positive and negative attitudes towards both high and low food prices. Finnish consumers were clustered into four groups based on their food price attitudes. In the first group, 29% of respondents were negative towards high food prices and they were willing to seek low food prices, whereas respondents in another group (22%) were positive towards high food prices. Additionally, in the third group consumers (17%) were willing to pay for high quality but still looked for low food prices. In the fourth group, consumers (32%) were willing to look for low food prices, unwilling to pay for high quality, but high-priced food was appreciated if offered to others. It was found in qualitative data that consumers willingness to accept high prices in foods was connected to price fairness and to justifications. Feelings of fairness or unfairness might be a core element of food price attitudes. Using quantitative methods, it was confirmed that positive attitudes towards high food prices in terms of high quality enhanced consumers willingness to buy food products with certain benefits (e.g., a health claim). Additionally, the favourable attitude towards low food prices lowered the willingness to pay estimates. This type of tendency, however, can create a possible bias in small convenient samples. In the food price-related research, it is advisable to take into account food price attitudes as possible background variables. The Food Price Attitude Scale needs further development to increase construct validity even though, in the present study, it was shown to be a reliable measure with good predictive and discriminant validity. The theoretical and managerial implications of the results for a better understanding of the role of price in consumers food purchases are discussed.
  • Tuomi, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Kehittynyt teknologia mahdollistaa kuluttajien osallistumisen hyödykkeiden suunnitteluun ja valmistamiseen aikaisempaa enemmän. Kuluttajan rooli tuotteiden ja palveluiden arvoketjussa on nähty viime vuosikymmeninä merkittävänä kuluttaja- ja markkinointitieteissä. Keskusteluissa on tuotu esiin, että kuluttajien osallistuminen yhdessä yrityksen kanssa tuotteiden suunnitteluun, valmistamiseen sekä kokemiseen loisi arvoa kuluttajille. Tutkielma tarkastelee kuluttajien kokemuksia osallistumisesta tuotteiden ja brändien kehitykseen joukkoistamistyökalun avulla. Yritykset voivat joukkoistamisen avulla ulkoistaa suunnitteluprosessin isommalle joukolle toimijoita kuin perinteisesti on tehty ja samalla osallistaa kuluttajia tuotteiden ja brändien kehitykseen. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena on tarkastella sitä, osallistuvatko kuluttajat joukkoistamismenetelmällä tehtyyn kampanjaan ja miten he kokevat kampanjan ja siihen osallistumisen. Tutkimusta varten tehtiin ensin pilotointi, jossa hyödynnettin joukkoistamista. 17 000 kuluttajaa osallistui kampanjaan. Kampanjaan osallistuneiden joukosta valittiin 11 kuluttajaa puolistrukturoituun haastatteluun. Heiltä kysyttiin kokemuksia osallistumisesta. Kuluttajien kokemuksia analysointiin teoria-ohjaavan analyysin avulla, jossa aineistoa käsiteltiin kuluttajan arvonluomista koskevan kirjallisuuden avulla sekä aikaisemman joukkoistamista käsittelevän tutkimuksen avulla. Kuluttajat kokevat osallistumisen pääosin ajan vietteeksi. Samalla he kuitenkin osoittivat kiinnostusta osallistua laajemminkin hyödykkeiden kehittämiseen yhdessä yrityksen kanssa. Kuluttajien osallistuminen kampanjaan riippui tilannetekijöistä ja osallistuminen loi sekä hedonistisia että utilitaristisia arvon kokemuksia kuluttajalle samaan tapaan kuin kuluttaja kokee saavansa arvoa muissakin kulutustapahtumissa. Hedonistiset kokemukset ilmenivät kampanjaan osallistumisen toimimisena ajanvietteenä ja miellyttävänä kokemuksena osallistumisesta kampanjaan kuluttajalle. Utilitariset arvot ilmenivät arvostuksena tiedosta uusista tuotteista, palkinnon saamisen arvostamisen ja ennen kaikkea vaikuttamisesta yrityksen tuotteisiin. Tulokset osoittavat teorian oletusten mukaisesti kuluttaja on aktiivinen ja halukas olemaan kanssa käymisissä yrityksen kanssa muun muassa uuden teknologian avulla kuten myös perinteisimmillä keinoilla.
  • Koskenniemi, Aino (2014)
    This study offers three theoretical perspectives on meaning construction in adbusting, a form culture jamming meant to interfere in processes of advertising that uphold the dominant ideology of consumerism. The study proposes a new holistic frame of interpretation for understanding the construction of meaning with and within adbusting. The practice is seen as a form of ideology critique that can and should be studied from three points of view: as semiotic warfare, material intervention, and social activity. First, as semiotic warfare, adbusting aims at subverting meanings by the use of ridicule and distancing, as well as by disarming stereotypes. The study also proposes that spoof ads could be analysed as types of deconstructions, that is, as activities of exposing how meanings are generated and upheld by the usually implicit use of binary oppositions of which the other end is situated hierarchically superior to the other. In addition, the semiotic warfare in which adbusting takes part materialises in acts of hijacking platforms used by advertisers. Second, adbusting is seen as a material practice. The study suggests that images constructed in adbusting should be understood as material things that can retain some type of agency and possibly be or become performative. The study also shows how the choice of both the material form and platform of adbusting can have effects on the meanings constructed of the practice and its imagery. Third, the construction of meaning of and in adbusting is studied from a social perspective. It is concluded that both personal and collective identities as well as emotions have an effect on what meanings are constructed of and in the practice and how. The role of images in upholding collectives and constructing communities of resistance is also determined to be significant in the case of adbusting. Finally, an analysis of the presented holistic frame of interpretation links the construction of meaning with questions over the use of public space, with different conceptions of “an active public”, and with ideas of emancipation. The study goes on to propose that the deconstruction and reconstruction of meaning in adbusting should be understood as a much broader phenomenon than presented in previous research.
  • Hossain, Md Motaher (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Bangladesh, often better known to the outside world as a country of natural calamities, is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Despite rapid urbanization, more than 75% of the people still live in rural areas. The density of the rural population is also one of the highest in the world. Being a poor and low-income country, its main challenge is to eradicate poverty through increasing equitable income. Since its independence in 1971, Bangladesh has experienced many ups and downs, but over the past three decades, its gross domestic product (GDP) has grown at an impressive rate. Consequently, the country s economy is developing and the country has outperformed many low-income countries in terms of several social indicators. Bangladesh has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary school enrollment. A sharp decline in child and infant mortality rates, increased per capita income, and improved food security have placed Bangladesh on the track to achieving in the near future the status of a middle-income country. All these developments have influenced the consumption pattern of the country. This study explores the consumption scenario of rural Bangladesh, its changing consumption patterns, the relationship between technology and consumption in rural Bangladesh, cultural consumption in rural Bangladesh, and the myriad reasons why consumers nevertheless feel compelled to consume chemically treated foods. Data were collected in two phases in the summers of 2006 and 2008. In 2006, the empirical data were collected from the following three sources: interviews with consumers, producers/sellers, and doctors and pharmacists; observations of sellers/producers; and reviews of articles published in the national English and Bengali (the national language of Bangladesh) daily newspapers. A total of 110 consumers, 25 sellers/producers, 7 doctors, and 7 pharmacists were interviewed and observed. In 2008, data were collected through semi-structured in-depth qualitative interviews, ethnography, and unstructured conversations substantiated by secondary sources and photographs; the total number of persons interviewed was 22. -- Data were also collected on the consumption of food, clothing, housing, education, medical facilities, marriage and dowry, the division of labor, household decision making, different festivals such as Eid (for Muslims), the Bengali New Year, and Durga puja (for Hindus), and leisure. Qualitative methods were applied to the data analysis and were supported by secondary quantitative data. The findings of this study suggest that the consumption patterns of rural Bangladeshis are changing over time along with economic and social development, and that technology has rendered aspects of daily life more convenient. This study identified the perceptions and experiences of rural people regarding technologies in use and explored how culture is associated with consumption. This study identified the reasons behind the use of hazardous chemicals (e.g. calcium carbide, sodium cyclamate, cyanide and formalin, etc.) in foods as well as the extent to which food producers/sellers used such chemicals. In addition, this study assessed consumer perceptions of and attitudes toward these contaminated food items and explored how adulterated foods and food stuffs affect consumer health. This study also showed that consumers were aware that various foods and food stuffs contained hazardous chemicals, and that these adulterated foods and food stuffs were harmful to their health.
  • Kavin, Galan (2012)
    The master's thesis examines the impact of the petroleum industry in the Niger Delta. The theoretical premise is that corporations have decisively established structural power over the nationstate system, using developmentalism as a blueprint. As a result, power is becoming less accountable to egalitarian or even representative political institutions, and increasingly reacts only to stimuli that threaten revenues. It is UI the corporate nature to place profits before people unless the former are threatened. What means are available to the people of the Niger Delta to do so? How can the industry's reaction be interpreted? The thesis presents ethnographically derived theoretical views of the state and corporate capitalism, to provide a basis for anaiyzing the emerging corporate social responsibility discourse. The study addresses the question, is "corporate social responsibility" a contradiction in terms? The thesis is primarily based on interviews conducted in the Niger Delta over three months during 2008, and references a range of relevant publications. The research presented is an acknowledgement of the contributions of anticolonialist struggles towards anthropological knowledge, and considers their contemporary relevance. The methods and theoretical focus correspond to a recent branch of anthropology known as "liberation ecology." However, the text challenges the "paradox of plenty" narrative common to research about the Niger Delta, by acknowledging that historically, the parallel processes of elite enrichment and mass impoverishment are the standard operating procedure for the corporate institution; not an aberration. The social role of oil has allowed corporations to concentrate unprecedented wealth in very few hands, while causing unprecedented damage to the ecosystems that sustain all life. In Nigeria's oil producing Niger River Delta, this disparity has provoked a regional uprising against the state-oil company alliance that demonstrates an escaiating trend of direct action. The Nigerian federal government's dependence on oil revenue is articulated by expioring the nature of its relationship to the Niger Delta region. The term "shell state" is introduced to define states whose jovernance structures remain intact yet ineffective, and serve the individuals occupying government posts rather than the citizens of the state. It is argued that externally, shell states resemble the Weberian state model, but like shell companies, their primary function is to obscure the actual exercise of power and distribution of resources. Nigeria, as a shell state under a comparatively direct form of corporate ruie, provides a model for a mo realistic understanding of how global corporations govern in practice. Analysis of the Nigerian shell state's record leads to insights regarding how the domestic elite has been co-opted into the corporatocracy value system, the ethnicized structure of this arrangement, and the implications for the people suffering its consequences in the Niger Delta, especially regarding structural power and resource control.
  • Viitasaari, Anna (2012)
    Genetic engineering is a new technological field, incurring new risks. This work examines the regulation of this process and its products, genetically modified organisms (GMO). The mode of analysis is a comparison of the American and European regulatory approaches concerning this field. The concept of risk plays an important role in determining the way the new technology is perceived 1 and subsequently regulated. Scientific testing, in particular Risk Assessment techniques, has come to be the primary form of legitimating the use of GMOs. This work will explore the current GMO policy 1 regulations and the way that scientific knowledge has influenced policy making. The central aim of the work is to determine whether these methods are able to ensure the protection of human, animal, and environmental health. The application of the Precautionary Principle will be suggested as an alternative to the current regulatory approach.