Väitöskirjat: Recent submissions

Now showing items 1-20 of 7146
  • Hasan, Shah (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In modern pig production there has been a steady increase in the litter size during recent decades. Large litters represent a major challenge for the sow, increase the farrowing duration and compromise sow welfare by prolonging this stressful process. Moreover, the continuous increase in litter size is a major cause of pre-weaning piglet mortality by increasing the proportion of low birth weight piglets, which are less vital and have reduced colostrum intake. Approximately 30% of hyper-prolific sows produce insufficient colostrum for their piglets. Colostrum plays an essential role in the health, survival and growth of piglets by providing energy, immunoglobulins, growth factors and many other bioactive components. Both colostrum yield and its composition are highly variable among sows, yet mechanisms and factors that regulate colostrogenesis are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate sow colostrum IgG concentration on farm using a Brix refractometer, to thus improve the management of neonatal piglets immediately after initiation of farrowing. We established colostrum evaluation criteria, to be used at herd level, by comparing the Brix results with those from ELISA. We aimed to investigate sow physiology around farrowing, acute phase protein (APP) response and their association with colostrum yield (CY), colostrum composition and piglet colostrum intake (CI). The impact of sow CY, colostrum composition and quality on piglet performance were also investigated. We also aimed to determine the effects of yeast hydrolysate (YD) and resin acid-enriched composition (RAC) inclusion in sows’ gestation and lactation diets on CY, colostrum immunoglobulins, nutritional composition and subsequent litter performance. We also sought to determine the influence of these two feed additives on the taxonomic profile of the hindgut microbiota of sows. Additionally we aimed to determine whether changing the gut microbiota of sows influences the microbial colonization of piglets after birth. There was a correlation between Brix refractometer measurement of colostrum and the corresponding IgG concentration measurements of ELISA (r = 0.63, P < 0.001). A classification of colostrum quality was suggested; low levels of IgG (14.5 ± 1.8 mg/ml) were recorded for colostrum samples with Brix readings below 20%. Borderline colostrum IgG content (43.8 ± 2.3 mg/ml) had Brix readings of 20% to 24%, adequate colostrum IgG content (50.7 ± 2.1 mg/ml) had Brix readings of 25% to 29% and very good IgG colostrum content (78.6 ± 8.4 mg/ml) had Brix readings >30%. Sow CY was positively correlated with plasma haptoglobin (Hp) (P = 0.029), number of live-born piglets (P < 0.01) and negatively correlated with farrowing duration (P = 0.01). Piglet CI was positively associated with piglet weight at birth (P < 0.001) and negatively associated with the number of live-born piglets in the litter (P < 0.001). Both piglet CI and birth weight were positively associated with piglet average daily gain (ADG) (P < 0.001). Risk for piglet death, or a piglet being treated with an antibiotic before weaning, increase with a decrease in sow back fat thickness at farrowing (P = 0.04). Similarly, we found that piglets of litters with low BWB and low CI had a higher risk of death before weaning (P < 0.001). Piglets born from sows having lower levels of colostrum IgA and serum amyloid A (SAA) and high plasma progesterone at the end of farrowing had higher risk of neonatal diarrhea (P = 0.04; P = 0.05; P = 0.04). Piglets born from sows having higher back fat thickness at weaning had higher risk of developing weaning diarrhea (P = 0.02). There was a significant increase in CY in sows fed with YD during gestation (P = 0.04) and a higher level of fat in their colostrum (P = 0.01). In RAC fed sows there was a significant increase in colostrum IgG content. Piglets weaning weights of RAC fed sows were higher in two trial herds. Inclusion of YD and RAC in gestation and lactation diet increased the abundance of beneficial and fermentative fecal bacteria (Roseburia, Paraprevotella, Eubacterium, Romboutsia and Clostridium sensu stricto) significantly (P < 0.01) while, opportunistic pathogens, especially Proteobacteria, were suppressed. In addition, piglets from the sows fed YD had more beneficial microbial populations with higher diversity and fewer opportunistic pathogens at one week of age. However, feeding YD, higher CY, colostrum composition and piglet birth weight were all correlated with specific sow gut microbiota. In conclusion, Brix measurement of a sow’s fresh colostrum is an inexpensive, rapid and sufficiently accurate method of estimating IgG concentration, providing indication of differentiation between good and poor IgG content of colostrum. Although colostrum is vital for piglet survival, both CY and composition are highly variable among sows. Sow body condition and physiological status around farrowing affect CY and colostrum immunoglobulin contents. Piglet survival and risk of death before weaning also depend on CI. Therefore, to support CY and CI, measures should be taken to ease the process of farrowing, increase piglet vitality and improve colostrum availability for piglets. Functional feed ingredients such as YD and RAC may increase colostrum availability, improve colostrum IgG and its energy content for neonate piglets, and also promote beneficial maternal microbial sources for neonates.
  • Hietajärvi, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis examined how adolescents’ engagement with digital media is associated with academic and emotional functioning and the continuities and discontinuities between these two contexts. Towards that end, the gap hypothesis, that is, the hypothesis that students who prefer learning with digital media outside of school are less engaged in traditional school, was examined both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The first aim was to determine the multidimensional structure of socio-digital participation orientations that students’ different digital activities reflect. The second aim was to examine the extent to which the orientations of socio-digital participation are related to academic and emotional functioning cross-sectionally and in different educational levels. The third aim was to examine the longitudinal relations of socio-digital engagement with academic well-being and achievement, especially focusing on the direction of the effects. This thesis consists of five original studies, which relied on interview data and larger scale questionnaire data. The first main finding was that the variation in digital activities can be explained with a complex structure of socio-digital participation orientations, which appear to be consistent across different age groups. Of all forms of digital participation, youths reported spending the majority of their screen time engaging in friendship-driven digital social networking. However, some adolescents reported socio-digital engagement that reached out to a wider audience, building an extended network of developing expertise in the process. The second main finding was that there truly appeared to be a gap between adolescents’ digital and academic engagement. The results revealed that motivationally indifferent students were more likely to engage in social media and gaming. Students who preferred digital learning but did not have the chance to digitally engage at school experienced a decrease in school engagement over time. Moreover, cynicism towards school and feelings of inadequacy predicted increased engagement with social media and action gaming. The third main finding was that digital participation yields both demands and resources and that these are tied together via multiple processes. Social media engagement was cross-sectionally related to lower study engagement and/or to higher symptoms of burnout, especially exhaustion. Longitudinally, social media engagement and emotional exhaustion were reciprocally related at the within-person level; exhaustion predicted an increase in social media engagement and vice versa. In turn, knowledge-oriented digital engagement was cross-sectionally related to higher study engagement, and digital learning preference predicted higher schoolwork engagement over time. To conclude, adolescents’ socio-digital engagement is fundamentally multidimensional and should be treated as such. The results showed support to the gap hypothesis, but the results also suggest that the manifestation of this gap is dependent on multiple factors, both individual and contextual. The gap might emerge because of out-of-school digital engagement that is not recognized in school or the gap might emerge due to problems in school leading to increased time spent with digital media. Intensive socio-digital engagement may also increase the daily psychological demands to such an extent that it hinders schoolwork, leading to symptoms of school burnout, but it can also increase the psychological resources supporting schoolwork given that congruence with academic practices is achieved.
  • Jokinen, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Väitöskirja Lapin ympäristökiistojen kulttuuriset tekijät tarkastelee millaisia kulttuurisia merkityksiä Lapin luonto ja sen käyttö saa paikallisten ihmisten ja maankäyttöä ohjaavan hallinnon parissa. Sosiaalinen ja kulttuurinen kestävyys sekä konfliktinhallinta ovat väitöskirjan läpäiseviä peruskäsitteitä ja teemoja, joiden toteutumista tarkastellaan useiden eri tapaustutkimusten kautta. Tutkimuksen maantieteellinen pääpaino on saamelaisten kotiseutualueella Ylä-Lapissa, ei kuitenkaan tiukasti sinne rajautuen. Väitöskirja koostuu seitsemästä erillisartikkelista, jotka on julkaistu kotimaisissa ja ulkomaisissa tieteellisissä sarjoissa. Artikkeleiden teoreettinen viitekehys ankkuroituu luonnonvarojen ja ympäristökiistojen hallintaa koskeviin sekä kulttuurintutkimuksen jaettujen merkitysten teorioihin. Käytetyt aineistot ovat kysely- ja haastattelututkimusaineistoja – aineistot sekä analyysimenetelmät ovat siten määrällisiä ja laadullisia. Tutkimus asettuu yhteiskuntatieteellisen ympäristötutkimuksen kenttään. Tutkimuksen keskeisiä havaintoja on, että Lappiin sijoittuvia ympäristökiistoja ja niiden hallintaa luonnehtii toimijoiden moninaisuus ja kohtaamattomuus. Osapuolten roolit ja motiivit ympäristökiistojen käsittelyssä ovat usein epäselvät tai ongelmalliset, eikä jaettua ymmärrystä kiistan luonteesta, syistä ja mahdollisista seurauksista useinkaan synny. Suomalaiselta yhteiskunnalta ja valtion maita hallinnoivalta Metsähallitukselta on puuttunut sellaisia institutionaalisia rakenteita ja toimintatapoja, jotka ovat kulttuurisensitiivisiä ja kykenevät sosiaalisesti kestävästi hallinnoimaan Lapin luonnonvaroja ja niitä koskevia kiistoja. Uusia aiempaa parempia toimintatapoja on kuitenkin viime vuosina otettu käyttöön. Lapissa korostuu perinteisten elinkeinojen kuten poronhoidon ja luonnonvarojen kotitarvekäytön merkitys ja arvostus, mutta niiden saamia kulttuurisia sisältöjä ei aina tunnisteta. Väitöskirjan teesi on, että luonnonkäytön ja ympäristökiistojen hallinnassa tarvitaan kulttuurisensitiivistä otetta. Nopean kulttuurimuutoksen läpikäyneessä Ylä-Lapissa menneisyys on vahvasti läsnä ja selittää paikallisten ihmisten luonnonkäyttöön liittämiä arvostuksia ja merkityksiä. Luonnonsuojelu on varsinkin Ylä-Lapissa merkittävä maankäyttömuoto, jonka toteuttaminen kaipaa kulttuuriset tekijät tunnistavia ja avoimempia lähestymistapoja saavuttaakseen paikallisväestön hyväksynnän ja tuen. Luonnonsuojeluhankkeissa kannattaa jatkossa hyödyntää luontoon ja sen käyttöön liittyvää kulttuurista tietoa yhdessä ekologisen tiedon kanssa, jotta hankkeet saavat myönteisen vastaanoton.
  • Hänninen, Reetta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    LIGHT AND LIVELY? The first wave of female journalists in Helsingin Sanomat in the interwar period This doctoral dissertation studies female journalists in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on the interwar period. Helsingin Sanomat was, and it still is, the largest newspaper in Finland. The main focus is in years 1927–1939. Even before the late 1920’s the newspaper was aimed at the general public. However, since 1927 Helsingin Sanomat took a turn to serve even more popular and reader-friendly content with its new owner and manager Eljas Erkko. In my thesis I show, how the amount of the female journalists started to increase as Eljas Erkko reshaped the newspaper and its editorial staff. In 1926 there was not a single woman in the editing office, yet in 1939 before the break of the Winter War there were 11 women. The main research questions are: who were these women, why were they hired and what was it like to work in a masculine working environment? The study is based on various archive materials and formerly unexamined correspondence and it brings forth forgotten figures and hidden work women performed. I argue, that the amount of female journalists started to grow earlier than previous studies had recognized. It was not the Second World War that brought women in the editing office, but the commercialization and the aim to increase circulation. As writers, women were considered to be lively, light and approachable. Therefore, they were beneficial to a newspaper trying to reach a wider audience. Seere Salminen, industrious writer who was famous for her amusing columns, took advantage of these expectations and was the highest paid woman in the editing office. What is more, female journalists were essential when targeting female readers. Women ”held the markets in their hands”, as a Finnish advertisers’ journal put it in 1934, and as consumers they were crucial to the advertisers, their clients and the newspapers. This is why some of the female journalists were supposed to produce material, for example fashion columns, specifically addressed for female readers. In the newsroom, there was also room for a female reporter, who was writing so called hard news. For reporter and arts critic Vappu Roos the journalistic work opened doors that were normally closed. It also gave Roos power to raise the awareness of the topics she felt meaningful, such as the importance of family planning and the availability of contraceptives.
  • Vihonen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Background: Blood glucose disturbance is commonly seen in critically ill patients and it is associated with a poorer outcome. Aim of the study: To (a) describe how common blood glucose disturbance is in the prehospital setting and its association with short-term mortality and morbidity, (b) describe the very early mechanisms of stress-induced hyperglycaemia, and (c) examine whether blood glucose could be added as an additional parameter to a “track and trigger” scoring system for better discrimination of risk of death. Material and Methods: This study was conducted in areas of district of Helsinki and Uusimaa between 2006-2015 including one prospective and three retrospective sub-studies: 28 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients regardless of initial arrythmia type (III), 152 ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients (I), 3568 hypoglycaemic patients without diabetes from (II), and 27141 patients with all parameters to include in National Early Warning Score and a blood glucose measurement (IV). Results: Hyperglycaemia was common (76-93%) and hypoglycaemia less (2-11%), depending on the study design (I-IV). Of those, diabetes was not previously diagnosed in 62-71% (I, III, and IV). A greater change in blood glucose level during prehospital phase in ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients was associated with 30-day mortality (non-survivors +1.2±5.1 vs survivors -0.3±2.4 mmol/l [mean±SD], p=0.03) (I). When diabetes was not considered alcohol [41%, (CI95% 40-43)] was the most possible cause of hypoglycaemia episode encountered by emergency medical service (II). In out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients hyperglycaemia was common (11.2 mmol/l, IQR 8.8-15.7) showing a decrease of 2.2 mmol/l, IQR -3.6 to -0.2 in blood glucose level from prehospital to hospital admission blood sampling 96 min (IQR 85-119) (III). Insulin (10.1 mU/l, IQR 4.2-5.2) and glucagon 141 ng/l, IQR 105-240 levels were low, and glucagon-like-peptide 1 level increased 2-8- fold (6.3 ng/ml, IQR 5.2-9.0) from fasting level (III). All studied biomarkers had great interindividual variation, and this was not associated with a change in blood glucose level (III). Blood glucose improved National Early Warning Score discrimination capability for risk of death at 24-hours and at 30-days Hyperglycaemia: 24-hour risk of mortality: OR 1.54, (1.11-2.12) and 30-day risk of mortality: OR 1.41, (1.20-1.66) and hypoglycaemia: 24-hour risk of mortality: OR 5.46, (2.87-9.64) and 30-day risk of mortality: OR 2.33, (1.47-3.52)  (IV). The association was improved according to likelihood ratio tests (p<0.001). Reclassification tests additionally confirmed the improvement of the model (continuous net reclassification index at 24-hours risk of mortality was 0.413, CI95% 0.281-0.545, p<0.001; at 30 days, it was 0.254, CI95% 0.197 -3.11, p<0.001; and integrated discrimination improvement was at 30 days risk of mortality 0.002, CI95% 0.001-0.003, p<0.001) (IV). Conclusions: Disturbance of blood glucose homeostasis was commonly observed already in prehospital surroundings and seemed to be associated with an elevated mortality. When added to the National Early Warning Score, especially when hypoglycaemia was present, discrimination of risk of short-term death seemed to be improved. In contrast with the insulin resistance and excess counterregulatory hormones typically seen in stress-induced hyperglycaemia, the initial physiological mechanisms of blood glucose disturbance seemed to differ because both insulin and glucagon levels were found to be initially low.
  • Pursi, Annukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines playful encounters in early childhood education between adults and children under the age of three. The role of the adult in facilitating and sustaining playful encounters in a multi-party context is of particular interest. The study consists of a summary and four original articles. The research material consists of video observations (150 h) of naturally occurring interaction between adults and children in one municipal toddler classroom. Taking a conversation analysis (CA) approach, the research addresses three questions: (1) How are multiparty playful encounters observable and recognizable from the flow of interaction? (2) How are multi-party playful encounters organized between adults and children in a toddler classroom? (3) What is the adult’s role in facilitating and sustaining multi-party playful encounters? Methodologically, the research develops analytical terminology and a systematic framework which Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) researchers can use to study multi-party playful encounters in natural group-care settings. Theoretically, the research produces new scientific knowledge about the organization of playful and emotional stance taking during adult-child playful encounters. The pedagogical contribution of the research is to explain how adult conduct can shape opportunities for multi-party playful encounters in toddler classrooms. The results contribute to theoretical and pedagogical discussion about adults’ roles in children’s play. Overall, the findings can enhance the understanding of ECEC as ECEPC (Early Childhood Education, Play and Care). The study shows how CA can encourage dialogue with ECEC theory and practice by providing a more detailed picture of practices that are described in stocks of interactional knowledge such as the Finnish National Curriculum guidelines on Early Childhood Education and Care.
  • Lyytinen, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Viruses are obligate parasites infecting the cells from all the three domains of life: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses contain ribonucleic acid as their genomic element instead of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). There are three main types of RNA viruses: positive-sense single-stranded [(+)ssRNA], negative-sense single-stranded [(-)ssRNA] and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses. This Thesis is focused on revealing molecular details of replication and assembly of two dsRNA viruses: Pseudomonas phage phi6 (phi6) and human picobirnavirus (hPBV). Double-stranded RNA viruses need to carry an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inside their virion to the host in order to be able to replicate their genome. We characterized the hPBV RdRp enzymatically and structurally and revealed the similarities of this RdRp to the other known small dsRNA virus RdRps like phi6 RdRp, which has been extensively studied. We showed that hPBV RdRp has a canonical cupped right-hand polymerase structure, it can replicate and transcribe homologous and heterologous template RNA in the absence of capsid proteins and it also possesses terminal nucleotidyl transferase activity. This is only the second dsRNA virus RdRp reported with this activity. The assembly of these two viruses is relatively different due to the differences in their structures. Phi6 has three layers and a lipid-protein envelope as its outermost layer whereas hPBV does not have any lipids in its structure and is composed of only one layer of capsid proteins surrounding the dsRNA genome. The assembly of the inner protein layers of phi6 is very well-known whereas as the envelope formation and the assembly of hPBV capsid layer is largely uncharacterized. Our results suggest that hPBV might use a co-assembly of its capsid proteins and genomic RNA precursors as its assembly strategy. The envelope assembly of phi6 was studied expressing phi6 membrane proteins in Escherichia coli bacteria. Our results revealed that only one small membrane protein P9 can induce phi6-specific vesicle formation in E. coli cells. Also, heterologous green fluorescent protein can be added to the vesicles by co-expressing non-structural P12 protein. This study reveals interesting molecular details about the genome replication and assembly of hPBV, a relatively unknown opportunistic human pathogen, and the envelopment process of phi6. These results are biologically interesting and may have also biotechnological applications in the future.
  • Romu, K. R. Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This work considers with the origin, age and geological environment of the concealed continental crust of Vestfjella, western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica (WDML). In the Jurassic, the bedrock of Vestfjella experienced the latest major period of extension and rifting. The WDML Jurassic crust has been correlated with the Karoo Large Igneous Province of Africa, and with the Archean and Proterozoic domains, where exposed, of the Archean Kaapvaal Craton and Mesoproterozoic Natal Belt of Africa. The lamproite-hosted xenoliths investigated in this study show metamorphic (including metasomatic) modification from their primary geochemical composition. In the classification of the examined samples, the mineral mode proved to be superior to geochemical classification in protolith identification. The zircon populations of arc affinity metatonalite, quartz metadiorite and metagranite xenoliths record a thermal event at 1150–590 Ma. However, the evolution of the WDML Proterozoic crust began earlier, in the Mesoproterozoic, with arc magmatism at ca. 1450–1300 Ma. The accretion of arc terrains and development of the continental Namaqua–Natal–Maud belt by the Grenvillean-Kibaran orogeny was followed by the break-up of the Rodinia Supercontinent. Granite crystallization at ca. 1100–1090 Ma and at 1050–990 Ma records crustal anatexis, cooling and Neoproterozoic mylonitic deformation. The Proterozoic zircon ages are similar to the crustal domains in the Natal Belt of southern Africa, the Maud Belt of central Dronning Maud Land and remote Mesoproterozoic basement exposed in the West Falkland Islands and Haag nunataks, West Antarctica. The initial εNd (1450) of +7.1 for a pargasite-rich garnet-free metagabbro and the initial εNd (180) of -8.5 for a garnet-bearing metagabbro resemble the isotopic signature of enriched lithospheric mantle and old enriched crust. The present-day Nd isotope composition of these xenoliths conforms to the array of the Triassic Karoo igneous province gabbroic rocks and granulite xenoliths (Proterozoic or undefined), similar to the Lesotho lower crustal xenoliths. The youngest xenolith zircon age, 165 Ma, records crustal heating and A-type granite magmatism post-dating the Karoo magmatism in WDML. The Vestfjella crust cooled below 300 °C at ca. 100 Ma ago (Rb-Sr). This work provides new direct information on the concealed Precambrian of East Antarctica, the regional geology of East Antarctica and southern Africa, and geological processes in the Vestfjella bedrock. The results may be used to resolve the palaeogeography of the supercontinents Rodinia and Gondwana and to interpret existing and forthcoming chronological, geochemical and geophysical data.
  • Ahola, Marja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study aims to understand and explain prehistoric funerary practices from the perspective of Finnish Stone Age hunter-gatherer and early pastoralist earth graves located in mainland Finland. These structures date primarily from the Late Mesolithic to the end of the Middle Neolithic (ca. 6800–2300 cal BC) and represent a unique challenge to archaeological research. This is because unburnt bone material — including human remains — along with other perishable materials are generally not preserved in the acidic soils of Finland. Accordingly, the only feature that marks a Stone Age earth grave is the presence of ochre or stained soil, sometimes together with grave goods typical for that period. This thesis presents a compilation of material remains and archival information from Stone Age earth grave sites and research material as a whole. This approach aims to demonstrate that, whilst Finnish Stone Age earth graves primarily lack human remains and other perishable materials, we can still gain important new insights into Stone Age funerary practices. Consequently, the objective of this thesis lies in systematically studying the earth grave materials, attempting to understand the rituals behind them, and using these data to interpret mortuary practices and cosmology. Based on the results described and discussed in this thesis, the Stone Age mortuary tradition in the Finnish territory represents a complex set of practices that includes not only the archaeologically visible earth grave tradition, but also other means of ritually disposing of the dead body. Accordingly, when we refer to Stone Age mortuary practices in the Finnish territory, we are not speaking of ‘inhumations in simple pit graves’, but of the material remains of complicated rituals that give meaning to and place death within the cosmology of those people. Indeed, the systematic archaeological research conducted in this thesis revealed that both adults and subadults were given earth graves, a tradition also known from better-preserved Stone Age cemeteries in nearby regions of Finland. Similarly, Stone Age people used — and did not use — certain artefacts or raw materials in their funerary practice, in clearly ritualised ways and, for example, to emphasise the identity of the community. When comparing the data in this thesis to other ritual practices known from that specific period and region, Finnish Stone Age earth graves seem to encode an animistic–shamanistic cosmology. Indeed, similar to, for example, prehistoric rock art sites, the Stone Age hunter-gatherer cemeteries are also situated next to topographic features possibly connected to supernatural powers, whilst the graves themselves were furnished with objects that might have been considered living. Simultaneously, an intentional connection to past generations was also sought by positioning new burials amongst older ones or by reusing old cemeteries. To conclude, even if the Finnish Stone Age earth graves primarily lack human remains and other perishable materials, the graves are not as poorly preserved as one might assume. On the contrary, when the earth grave material was investigated as a whole and subjected both to new analyses and theoretical understanding, we gain important new insights into Stone Age mortuary practices and cosmology.
  • Mercier, Stephanie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Over the period Shakespeare was writing there was a fundamental evolution in the meaning of “commodity” from something beneficial or serving one’s interest to something to be sold for personal profit. One important aspect of Shakespeare’s theatre is its ability to show how the new notion of “commodity” could also mean trading men and women. Commodity can, therefore, already be associated with “commodification” (OED 1974). Moreover, the process can be recognised across the social scale. The social values of early modern society as mirrored in Shakespeare’s theatre, rather than being an individual matter, are thus shown to be part of a collective process. As studies have shown, the most obvious early modern human commodity was the prostitute and, through association with the Southwark district of London, where Shakespeare’s works were being performed, so were the “hired men”, or players. Yet, Shakespeare’s theatre accords a degree of agency (the ability to make choices and act on those choices) to both, especially women, who were considered as belonging to men (either their fathers or husbands) or as prostitutes, but who are nonetheless given some space for manoeuvre by the playwright. The same cannot always be said for male characters when they come into contact with commodity. In Shakespeare’s plays, where commodity is often at the core of power relations, male authority is shown to be frail and corrupt; it becomes deviant and often makes male characters subservient to unjust laws or demonstrate dishonourable behaviour. In this thesis I show that once authority has been decentred by commodity for profit, it can be further destabilised across society. Shakespeare’s male characters are thus shown to be as objectified as their female counterparts. The phenomenon was already a familiar one within the army, since soldiers had for centuries been mere cannon fodder. It is significant that commodification also affects other male characters, who seem, at best, submissive dupes to commodity (they are either their own victims of commodity desire or gulls to commodity scams) or, at worst, commodified themselves. Even the soldier-king is not exempt from a substantial loss of agency in Shakespeare’s representation of England’s feudalistic culture being replaced by mercantilism. I approach the representation of commodity empirically and from a variety of theoretical perspectives: essentially Gender Studies, New Economic Criticism and Close Reading. I demonstrate that “commodity” was a textual and physical source of structural alteration that was itself undergoing important changes. I show that Shakespeare’s was a theatre of commodities regardless of status and rank. Moreover, Shakespeare approaches commodity from a variety of perspectives, ranging from the comic and light-hearted, to the serious, derisive, and tragic. Most importantly, as commodity becomes increasingly perceptible on stage, some characters lose sight of themselves while others better manage to adjust to the increasing predisposition for commodities. In short, I explore three essential questions: What does Shakespeare’s representation of commodity show us about early modern society? How does Shakespeare’s representation of commodity relate to wider significations of value? Why should we consider the issue on a societal rather than an individual level?
  • Gripenberg, Lidia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This is an account of the interaction of Finnish Roma with East European Roma in Finland. I will argue that this interaction is strongly influenced by these peoples’ engagement with Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity and nationality. Within the frame of this study, Finnish Roma refers to Finnish Kale, a distinctive group somewhat similar to the sinti, a branch of the European Roma population who live mostly in German-speaking countries. Finnish Kale have settled in Finland for more than 500 years: they are Finnish citizens and speak Finnish in addition to a local dialect of Romani. The East European Roma in Finland include representatives of different Roma groups, with different self-appellations, who have recently migrated to Finland from former socialist states of Europe, mostly Bulgaria and Romania, or who repeatedly visit Finland from those former socialist states. Pentecostal Finnish Kale have been in contact with East European Roma since the historic fall of the “Iron Curtain” in 1989 and the opening of the borders of the former Socialist European bloc countries to those European countries considered to be in the ‘Western’ bloc. The nature of that relationship changed at the beginning of 2007, when Bulgaria and Romania entered the EU and their citizens were able to visit and look for employment in Finland. This is the first extensive anthropological study on the interaction of different Roma groups in Finland and in general. The subject is interesting because it provides an opportunity to examine the interplay of different forms of identity – ethnic, religious and national. The research is based on an ethnographic description of encounters between Finnish and Eastern European Roma in Finland that took place over a period of 14 months of intensive fieldwork (2014-2015), supported by the insights and understanding gained through more than 20 years of personal friendship with Finnish and Bulgarian Roma, as well as one and a half years of social work amongst Finnish Kale. The theoretical frame is provided by research literature on Roma in the fields of anthropology and ethnology as well as anthropological studies on ethnicity, ethnic identity, Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity as well as nationality. My argument is that the social dynamics between nationality, ethnicity and religious identification determines the particular kind of sense of belonging that Roma in Helsinki have, which in turn affects the type of relation members of different Roma groups feel towards one another. Through exploring multiple everyday interactions between this groups, I have been able to show that religious belonging is the key factor that draws different groups together, due to the mutual trust and obligation that such belonging entails. The research contributes to the understanding of identity as a constantly ongoing process of identification as well as to the understanding of the role of spirituality in shaping people’s course of life.
  • Koivisto, Nuppu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Abstract: Electric Lights, Champagne, and a Wiener Damenkapelle: Ladies’ Salon Orchestras and Transnational Variety Show Networks in Finland, 1877–1916 In this doctoral dissertation, I examine the concert tours of ladies’ salon orchestras in Finnish cities from the 1870s to the First World War. These orchestras, which usually advertised themselves as ”Viennese” (Wiener Damenkapellen) and consisted of circa 10 to 15 musicians, were extremely popular in Europe at the turn of the century. They performed in urban hotels, restaurants, and cafés, where they entertained the customers by playing light, popular melodies. The orchestras’ modus operandi was based on international concert tours which could last for up to several months or even years. Thus, there were dozens of ladies’ orchestras performing in the larger Finnish cities – Turku, Viipuri, Tampere, and Helsinki – during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, where their performances formed a significant part of middle-class, urban entertainment. The aim of my study is to establish how the orchestras’ tours around the Baltic Sea region were organized, and what kind of a reception they received in Finnish cities. Special attention is paid to the musicians’ socioeconomic position, as well as to the orchestras’ touring routes, concert programming, and public image. The sources consulted consist mostly of newspaper clippings and biographical archival evidence, as well as photos, caricatures, literatury depictions and memoirs concerning the orchestras’ reception history. Methodologically, the dissertation draws on the traditions of transnationalism. The concerts of ladies’ salon orchestras in Finnish cities are examined as a part of late nineteenth-century cultural networks which transcended national and linguistic borders. I argue that the archetypical Viennese ladies’ orchestra may be analyzed as a cultural product which pervaded Europe in a relatively standardized form. In addition, the orchestras conveyed new musical trends from one area to another. Even though ladies’ salon orchestras have been previously studied especially in Sweden and Germany, they have not been considered within the context of of transnationalism. However, points of reference regarding the transnational perspective may be found in scholarly publications on the social and cultural history of music by both international and Finnish academics. My key argument is that the transnational nature of ladies’ salon orchestras as well as their role in cultural transfer was evident on four different levels in nineteenth-century Finland: the orchestras’ professional networks, their tour-based way of life, their choice of repertoire, as well as their public image. First of all, ladies’ orchestras developed as part of the institutionalizing restaurant and variety show entertainment, which was based on cross-border networks of artists and impresarios. Second, the model for ladies’ orchestras’ concert tours may be found in Central European traditions of itinerant family ensembles which saw musicians travel around Europe and the world. Third, ladies’ orchestras, via their daily concerts, disseminated new tunes and musical styles to their touring destinations. Fourth, the orchestras’ marketing strategies were based on national and regional attributes which were meant to evoke impressions of the cosmopolitan Vienna on the one hand and local musical traditions on the other.
  • Yliverronen, Virpi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation examines the handicrafts of young children during their preschool education. The perspective expands towards the technology education of young children and investigative activities as a pursuit to notice the close connection of these learning areas in terms of the nature of the contents and activities. The dissertation’s empirical section orients children’s work on handicraft tasks via three sub-studies. The study represents a qualitative case study where the objective was to produce the most accurate description of the entirety of the subject being examined. The research was strongly contextual by nature. Video material captured during real-action circumstances and analyses based on this material formed this dissertation’s most extensive, and at the same time, the most important research material of all sub-studies. In the first sub-study, the intention was to determine how preschoolers perceived, verbalised and interpreted the craft-making process and how they used nonverbal expressions when explaining a learned skill. The aim of the second sub-study was to clarify the ability of preschoolers’ to execute a personal and plan-following handicraft process in a holistic context. The focus of the third sub-study was the appearance of preschoolers´ verbal and embodied collaboration during co-operative design situations and what kinds of roles were formed during peer-group work. The results of the sub-studies indicate that handicrafts’ conventional, cyclically repeating steps of perceiving, making and interpreting can be found in preschoolers’ processes. Children learn through experience and interpret what they have learned using gestures, especially when verbal expression feels difficult. According to this, gestures are closely linked to the children’s thinking and reveal the understanding associated with the task. Preschoolers are capable of designing individual products, and during the making phase, they consider different material and colour choices, as well as product details. During collaboration, they can organize their own group actions and are able to work co-operatively with a verbal design task. As a result, they can produce feasible drawing plans for the given task. With minimal help from adults, preschoolers are able to follow a logical, holistic handicraft process suited to their capabilities. A handicraft design and making process includes many natural possibilities for collaboration and co-operative practise. Since preschoolers are only practising collaboration skills, setting up chances for co-operative learning during handicraft activities is recommended.
  • Karppinen, Helena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The aim of this study was to explore older people’s wishes concerning their length of life, self-perceptions of their health, wellbeing and functioning, and lastly whether their documented living wills (LWs) are associated with care at the end of life. The study was based on random samples of 75–96-year-old community-dwelling people in Helsinki (HEVA [the Helsinki Aging Study 1989, 1999 and 2009] and DEBATE [Drugs and Evidence-BAsed medicine in The Elderly 2000–2010]). In the DEBATE study the association between baseline will-to-live (WTL) and survival in the next ten years was analysed in a follow-up study of 283 participants (Study I). A wish to live up to 100 years, with reasons for this wish was explored in a cross-sectional study (Study II) concerning 1405 participants in the HEVA 2009 study. Changes in self-rated health (SRH), psychological wellbeing (PWB) and disability were rated, comparing cohorts in 1989, 1999 and 2009 (Study III, with 4898 participants). The association between baseline LWs and end-of-life care of 207 deceased DEBATE participants with cardiovascular disease (Study IV) was evaluated in a ten-year follow-up study. A long WTL was more common in males, in younger people, and in those with good SRH. In a ten-year follow-up study, baseline WTL was a strong predictor of survival irrespective of age, gender and comorbidities (Study I). In Study II, 33% of the respondents were willing to become centenarians, some of them conditionally if functioning remained sufficient. A wish not to live extremely long was associated with fear of the future, negative attitudes and anticipation of diseases or disabilities. When comparing age cohorts over 20 years (Study III), SRH and PWB improved from 1989 to 2009, but levelling-off of previously detected improvements in physical functioning were worrisome. Living wills (Study IV) did not seem to affect the intensity of received care at the close of life. However, death occurred more often at home among those who had completed a LW at baseline, compared with those without a prior LW (17% vs. 6%). Even though self-perceptions have been regarded as increasingly important, studies on WTL among older people have been scarce. Treatment options and specific health conditions were not in the scope of the present study, but instead, the results emphasize the importance of listening to older people themselves when planning their treatment plans and when developing future preventive and rehabilitative measures to support their WTL, quality of life, and functioning. The results of the present work suggest that increasing psychological wellbeing and care more congruent with patient preferences is possible. However, levelling-off of improving physical functioning among older people and the oldest-old is a study result that may demand more resources in social and health services than previously predicted. Discussions about preferences, living wills and their documentation in health files is suggested to take place early in primary care, even before severe diseases or disabilities.
  • Friedmacher, Florian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a prenatal defect in the integrity of the developing diaphragm, which results in pulmonary hypoplasia (PH) with alveolar immaturity. PH leads to life-threatening respiratory insufficiency at birth, thus remaining a major cause of neonatal mortality in CDH. Lipid-containing interstitial fibroblasts (LIFs) are crucial for fetal lung growth by stimulating alveolarization and surfactant phospholipid production in alveolar epithelial cells type II (AECII), which in turn increases alveolar maturation. Thymocyte antigen 1 (Thy-1) is a strongly expressed cell surface protein in LIFs, which plays a key role in alveolar lipid homeostasis by upregulating adipocyte differentiation-related protein (Adrp). Adrp is necessary for the intracellular uptake of neutral lipids into LIFs and their transport to AECII. Furthermore, LIFs express leptin (Lep), which binds to its receptor (Lep-R) on AECII, thus stimulating de novo synthesis and secretion of surfactant proteins. As Thy-1-/- knockout animals show a phenotype similar to PH in human CDH with impaired alveolar development and reduced proliferation of LIFs, the first objective of this study was to identify disruptions in Thy-1 signaling in hypoplastic rat lungs with toxicological induced CDH, which may have an adverse effect on the expression and lipid content of pulmonary LIFs. In addition, as it has been demonstrated that retinoids positively affect the proliferation of LIFs and expression of Lep and Lep-R in developing rat lungs, the second objective was to investigate if prenatal administration of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) may have the potential to attenuate PH in this rodent CDH model by improving fetal alveolarization and surfactant production. This study revealed that disruption of the Thy-1/Adrp signaling cascade in hypoplastic rat lungs leads to a reduction of pulmonary LIFs with significantly fewer cytoplasmatic lipid inclusions and impaired alveolar mesenchymal cell differentiation, which may contribute to decreased alveolar development and PH in the nitrofen-induced CDH model. Prenatal treatment with ATRA may therefore have a therapeutic potential in attenuating CDH-associated PH by increasing the overall number of LIFs and lipid droplets through an upregulation of Adrp transcripts and corresponding protein expression, and consequently enhances Lep-mediated surfactant phospholipid synthesis, which in turn stimulates fetal alveolarization, distal airway maturation and de novo surfactant production.
  • Hatanpää, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Precursors have a critical role in depositing thin films using chemical vapor phase methods, including atomic layer deposition. In these methods, precursor molecules are transported through the gas phase to the substrate where thin films of solid material are formed as a result of chemical reactions on the surface or in the vicinity of the surface. While a right choice of the precursor or precursor combination is needed to make the film growth possible, the choice will also, together with growth parameters, affect the structure, morphology, purity, electrical, optical, mechanical, and other properties of the forming films. New precursors are needed for new materials and to make better processes for known materials, or to make known materials in a way that fulfills the requirements of a specific application. Essential requirements for ALD precursors are volatility, thermal stability, and sufficient reactivity. Because of the different properties of the elements, finding precursors fulfilling all the requirements is easy for some elements and extremely difficult for some others. The required properties are pursued by molecular design, i.e., by choosing or tailoring the right kind of ligands and compounds. This dissertation is about ALD precursors. The general requirements for ALD precursors, factors affecting those, and ways to pursue them are first assessed. Then the design and development process and the methods typically used for studying the precursors are dealt with. The experimental part of this dissertation is divided into five parts. Each part deals with a selected case of process-driven precursor development. Compounds developed in the work are 1) β-diketonates of alkaline-earth metals, especially magnesium, 2) cyclopentadienyl compounds of alkaline earth metals as precursors for oxide materials, 3) various bismuth compounds as precursors for oxide materials, 4) various silver compounds as precursors for silver thin films, and 5) alkylsilyl compounds of chalcogens and pnictogens as precursors for chalcogenides and pnictides The invented and synthesized precursors have enabled ALD of many materials of technological interest. Among these thin film materials are, e.g. (Sr,Ba)TiO3, Bi4Ti3O12, and Ge2Sb2Te5 that may be used in memory applications, and metallic silver that can be used, e.g. in substrates for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.
  • Porkka, Jouko (Diakonia University of Applied Sciences, 2019)
    Young confirmed volunteers’ (YCVs) motivation, religiosity, and community in the confirmation work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) are examined. The history of YCV activity is studied in order to understand it today. Motivation theories, theories on religious commitment, sense of community, and community of practice form the theoretical foundation of this study. This dissertation is composed of four articles, which pave the way for solving the main research question. The whole study sheds light on the matter of the YCVs’ motivations, expectations, experiences, and religiosity. The influence of YCV activity on their attitudes and opinions is another topic addressed. Furthermore, the analysis touches on the broader question of how all of this influences the YCVs’ lives. Two kinds of data and thus two research methods are used. The data examined in the first article describing the history of YCV activity consists of statistics from various sources in the ELCF. The other data was collected from the YCVs via questionnaires and from an international study on confirmation work and Christian youth work in Finland. Two separate international studies have been done on the topic, the first in 2007/2008 and the second in 2012/2013. In both, data was collected separately at the beginning and at the end of that confirmation time during which the YCVs were volunteering. Altogether four different sets of data on the YCVs were collected. Because there were significant changes in Finnish society between the first and the second data sets, the sets could be used to assess the impact of these changes on YCVs’ opinion, which was found to differ from the views of confirmands at large. The broad data also enabled an international comparison between confirmands and at some level also between volunteers in different countires. The quantitative data was analysed statistically using the SPSS tool. Wenger’s model of social learning is successfully applied to the phenomenon. The key result is that in YCV activity, learning occurs through doing when the objects of learning are models of acting. Learning modifies belonging, committing, and relating to a community. Learning also changes an individual’s identity by giving the individual more readiness to understand things, to act, and to feel a sense of belonging to a community. Following this model, each confirmation group may form a Christian community of practice with confirmands (novices), YCVs (veterans) and assistant teachers (experts). This means that in confirmation work, each of the confirmands finds their own role based on their motivation, skills, and interests. The confirmands receive the support of YCVs and assistant leaders in discovering the meaning of Christian faith, which is the aim of the confirmation work. However it is a tad difficult to determine the role of, pastors, youth workers or other paid staff in this applied model. It was also recognized that YCVs are a very diverse group of adolescents with various ways of believing and motivations to volunteer. However, the diversity is perhaps one of the assets of YCV activity. When working as a group, people with different strengths need and reinforce each other. The role of paid staff is to support this diversity and openess in the YCV community. When there is space enough for YCVs with different motivations and ways of believing, positive youth development occurs automatically. YCVs learn useful things, which are meaningful in their future, such as leadership, tolerance, and understanding and living Christianity. Although the results show that YCV activity has a positive influence on the development of many of the YCVs, this is not always the case. Some YCVs also experience bitter disappointments and negative experiences. Key words. Adolescent, motivation, religiosity, religious commitment, sense of community, community of practice, confirmation work, young confirmed volunteers (YCVs), volunteering, Christian nurturing, quantitative research.
  • Köhler, Harry (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Healing communication. Effective communication by physicians at patient encounters The primary task of health care is to promote health and treat illness. When the patient and physician meet, the primary goal of communication by the physician is to support this primary task. There is a wealth of research on patient-physician communication, but often this research is unsystematic. Also, the criteria for high-quality communication are diffuse and seem often to rely on the subjective experiences of the patient. This study has been conducted to examine the effect of communication from the point of view of treatment and health promotion of the patient. The study material for this study is used to examine the communication of the physician from the points of view of management communication and learning. Thus, the physician’s aim and responsibility are to induce the patient to benefit his/her own treatment and rehabilitation or cure by the patient’s own actions. The goal is to identify the factors related to the efficacy of communication with the help of the concepts of managerial communication and constructive learning. The study material for this thesis is twofold. The observational material generated at patient visits is analyzed qualitatively. This will identify a therapeutic method of communication which will be tested with the help of feedback material obtained at patient inquiries related to office visits to physicians. For the implementation of the test, 12 physicians were trained in the method of therapeutic communication, which was simplified into a set of two questions and a summary. The first set of data consists of 36 office visits (patient-physician encounters), the second of 59 replies to inquiries of patients by 12 physicians. The result will identify the reflection-construction process of the patient. In other words: each patient reflects upon the physician’s communication in his/her own way and constructs an action model according to which he/she will act during the treatment period. This action model may promote health, but it may also impair health, e.g., if it makes it possible for the patient to neglect treatment instructions. Another observation is that the physician’s attention to the patient’s entire sphere if experiences and values – rather than focusing purely on medical matters – seems to support the patient’s reliance on the treatment, the patient’s reflection and his/her construction of an action model that supports treatment. The third observation is that the learning process of the patient leading to changes in the patient’s attitudes and actions does not have to require excessive time. Indeed, the change process may start rapidly. These observations form the base of a communication model in three stages. The present study shows that as few as only two well-formulated questions may change the patient’s desire and capability to promote his/her health. Technological development will give the physician a new means to make clinical work and treatment more effective. The personal encounter between patient and physician will nevertheless be valuable. There are legitimate reasons to state that communication by a physician that support the rehabilitation of patients is good and responsible.
  • Lintuvuori, Meri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The fundamental idea of the Finnish education system is that everyone has the right to basic education. According to the Basic Education Act, pupils are entitled to sufficient support for learning and schooling whenever the need arises. The Finnish 'Education for All' reform was completed in the late 1990s when the responsibility for the education of children with the most severe intellectual disabilities and children in reformatory school was moved to the education system. Equality and justice have been the cornerstones of basic education from the beginning of the comprehensive school in the 1970s. One of the aims of education is “to secure adequate equity in education throughout the country”. The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning and schooling support system in Finnish basic education as well as the municipal level differences in the provision of this support. The study had two main aims. The first was to analyse the support system and its development, and the second was to analyse the official statistics on special education. This thesis consists of three sub-studies. Study I describes the current support system and the related statistics at the national level. Study II analyses the regional and municipal level differences in learning and schooling support. Study III analyses the evolution of the support system from the late 1970s to the present. The data used in this dissertation were mainly secondary data. The main data consisted of time series compiled by Statistics Finland in 1979–2016. In addition, the basic education legislation was used as the basis for analyses and descriptions. Further, three empirical data sets were used to analyse the system: principal survey data (N = 1 113) and two pupil level data sets collected in 2012 (N = 8 875) (Hautamäki et al. 2013) and 2014 (N = 11 601) (Hotulainen et al. 2016). These data and methods were used in order to understand and describe the phenomenon formulated in the research tasks. Document analysis that utilises both quantitative (official statistics) and qualitative (legislation, educational policy documents, previous studies) data is typical of research conducted in the framework of educational policy and comparative education. The results showed that the provision of learning and schooling support differed between the municipalities, as the realisation of support provisions are based on local support system traditions developed over time. Firstly, according to the results, the municipalities varied in terms of how and where they organised their support. The shares of pupils with an individualised curriculum also differed. From the equality perspective, the provision of support varied considerably and for this reason, I propose that it needs further analysis. Secondly, from the normative perspective, intensified support (Tier 2) ought to be provided along with mainstream education using flexible teaching arrangements. Thus, the placement of students in Tier 2 is not recorded in statistics. Survey data indicated that in some schools students receiving intensified support studied in small group settings, in which they were all either Tier 2 or Tier 2 and 3 students. These arrangements should be further examined because, in contrast to the decision regarding special support (Tier 3), the decision regarding intensified support (Tier 2) is not made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Thirdly, the findings suggest that the variation between municipalities in the shares of pupils with an individualised curriculum is so great that, in terms of equality and equity, the need to regulate this individualisation should be further examined. The findings of this study indicate that the official statistics on special education are important as a dataset that describes the support system. However, statistical time series have some limitations as they do not, for example, cover the whole support system. In the future, the official statistics on special education will utilise the KOSKI register as a source of information and according to the results, it is important that these official statistics are compiled with at least the same accuracy as today.
  • Mattila, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study has been motivated by a specific characteristic of Finnish family policy: on one hand, the state supports relatively lengthy childcare at home and on the other hand, state-supported day care is available and guaranteed to all children under schooling age at a relatively low cost to families. These forms of support have been made available to give parents of children under three years of age the choice between paid employment and caring full-time at home. Regardless of the element of choice, Finnish childcare policies are still subject to ongoing criticism and debate. Some argue that the current system enhances a gendered division of labour, and others say it does not offer the possibility of free choice for parents either. In this study it is examined how mothers of young children justify their choices on whether to keep on caring for their child at home or to go to work after (the first year of) parental leave. Based on an analysis of these justifications, the question under scrutiny is how the financial situation of the family, mothers’ perceptions on the benefit of the child, the personal relations of the mothers and the significance they attach to paid employment affect this choice. In addition to the justifications given by the interviewees, secondary data on public discourse has been compiled to highlight specific characteristics of the interview data and to reflect its content in the framework of wider public debate of the same era. The primary data consists of the interviews of 35 mothers whose youngest child was two years of age at the time. The mothers were in spousal relationships, they possessed relatively high levels of education and they lived in the Greater Helsinki area or in its vicinity. The secondary data on public discourse consists of 101 articles and it has been compiled from the publications Helsingin Sanomat (a daily newspaper), Tulva and Meidän Perhe (periodicals). The data has been collected in 2009–2012. The justifications have been analysed with content analysis enhanced with concepts from Perelman’s argumentation theory. The theoretical framework of the study is a relational perspective that emphasises how the endeavours and actions of individuals are constructed within the preconditions of the relations they inhabit. In this study money, perceptions on the benefit of the child, personal relations and how interviewees related to work were essential factors in the choices the mothers made. In the analysis, the personal relations that figured the most in mothers’ choices were those to the child, spouse, the child’s grandparents and mothers in a similar situation. A mother’s relation to work is regarded here as one relation, even though it consists of various relations that tie her to collectively geared action. What is essential is that changes in one relation are reflected in other relations and they all are in constant flux. Mothers go back to work in order to contribute to the standard of living of the family, but also for the sake of financial independence and because they wish to share the responsibility of providing for the family with their spouse. On the other hand, the practice of shared family finances and a sufficiently high income of the spouse make it easier to choose between home and work. Mothers and their spouses might discuss these matters explicitly, but consensus is not always reached. A mother’s perception on the benefit of the child is almost always compatible with the choice she has made. The criteria presented for a choice are related to an affective attachment with the child, an environment that suits the age and developmental phase of the child and the possibility to receive good early education, the company of other children and time with parents. Some mothers highlight the practice of sharing parental leave between spouses as benefit for the child. In addition, a mother being content is seen to be reflected in the child. Also, a suitable phase for beginning day care is seen to be defined by the child’s personal characteristics and how suitable a mother thinks she is to care for her child full-time. The forms of distributing labour and financial resources that had developed within spousal relations and the possibility to change them make way to different solutions in different ways. To some mothers, a symmetrical distribution of responsibilities is important, whereas to others, a clear division of responsibilities and the possibility to take care of the child at home is important. Childcare from close relatives supports taking part in paid employment and the possibility to share everyday routines with other mothers in the same situation supports caring at home. The quality of the paid employment available, the terms of employment contracts, the individual employment trajectories of the mothers and the meanings the mothers gave to work all affected their justifications on when to return to work. Debates in the media concerning mothers at work or caring for their children polarise views on what kind of choices should be supported by family policy. Giving reasons for the benefits of one alternative contributes to criticising structures supporting the other alternative, which may be interpreted as criticising the other alternative as a choice. In interview-based articles, the polarisation is created by either interviewing public figures who have been successful in their work and invest a lot of time in it, or by interviewing women taking care of children at home whose profession is not always mentioned. As a conventional choice is not a piece of news, it is not usually presented in the media, which means the media tends to emphasise either a successful career or devoting oneself to one’s children. The conclusion reached by the study is, that by examining singular endeavours that guide choices as a whole, it is possible to find a common denominator linking the endeavours together. This common denominator and the goal guiding mothers’ choices can be called a life that feels meaningful and which draws together endeavours that are held important or valuable. One’s life and one’s everyday reality should feel suitable and meaningful in the present, but the choices made should also guide the life of the mothers and their families to a direction that seems to bring beneficial outcomes. In this endeavour, the choice made by a mother of a young child to go to work or to care at home is part of the ongoing process of ordering relations going on in her personal relations and working life, and ending up with a choice with either alternative is not self-evident.