Browsing by Author "Kyllönen, Katri"

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  • Kyllönen, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    This thesis focuses on religion s role in the resolution of immigrants conflicts. In this thesis, I examine the kind of conflicts that immigrants face in Finland, which actors are involved, and what means are available to resolve these conflicts. The subject is examined through mediators , immigrants , and the church s immigrant workers perspectives. The topic of the thesis is sensitive and not only largely unexplored, but also uncharted as a whole in Finland. The study creates a foundation for immigrants conflict research in Finland, and complements the ongoing research on religion s role in conflict mediation. This thesis is an empirical monograph, which is based on 30 theme interviews collected in different parts of Finland. The interview data consists of eight interviews from both mediators and immigrants and the rest of the fourteen interviews concern the church s immigrant workers. This is based on the fact that the church s immigrant workers constitute the main data of the research, because the thesis focuses on examining their action as conflict mediators. Two other data groups join in a supporting role for the main data, highlighting their views on the research subjects. I have analyzed the interviews using mainly inductive qualitative content analysis, but also using abductive, theory directive content analysis. The thesis is not only multi-perspectival, but also interdisciplinary in being located between the fields of sociology of religion, immigrant research, and conflict resolution. Of these three, conflict resolution occupies centre stage, which arises from the theoretical choices I have made. The thesis is based on the theories of conflict resolution and examines the role of culture and especially religion in conflict resolution and particularly in conflict mediation. I also apply Jacob Bercovitch and S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana s theory of characteristics and strengths of the religious mediators to the church s immigrant workers as immigrants conflict mediators. Examination of the research questions through three different perspectives highlighted similarities and differences, shortages and opportunities to cooperate, and also highlighted findings that can increase mutual understanding. The results show that not only for mediators, but also for immigrants and the church s immigrant workers, mediation is a natural way of solving conflicts. Differences between different actors arise in the way they mediate conflicts and how they see the role of culture and religion in conflict mediation. The results reveal that immigrants have quite high expectations towards both religion s and the church s role in conflict mediation. The results also reveal that the mediation carried out by the church s immigrant workers, which rises above religious boundaries, counts as a significant addition to the mediation of immigrants conflicts. The thesis backs up earlier research findings which have shown that religion has significance in conflict mediation if religion plays a central role in the parties social lives and in the definition of their identities. The results also complement earlier research findings of the subject by showing that religious actors are not only potential mediators in international conflicts, but also potential mediators in national conflicts that are related to immigrants. In addition, the results show that religion helps to build bridges to immigrants even if a different religion is involved. The thesis emphasizes the importance of open discussion also about sensitive issues in connection with immigration, like conflicts.