Humanistinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Lahti, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study investigates grammatical accuracy as a part of Finnish upper secondary school students oral proficiency in German. It examines how the students, assessed on different proficiency levels, master the German word order and verbal inflection in their L2 speech. In addition, the study surveys the opinions of German language teachers about the concepts which occur in the proficiency level descriptions (e.g., comprehensibility, basic grammar error) and about the significance of grammatical accuracy for comprehensibility. The corpus consists of 1) videotaped test performances of 59 students, 2) CEFR-based proficiency level assessments of 12 Finnish German teachers, and 3) written answers and the recordings of assessment discussions of six German GFL teachers. The study was carried out mainly as a qualitative case study (methods including performance analysis and content analysis), but some quantitative methods were used, too (such as Multi-Facet Rasch Measurement analysis and descriptive statistics). The results illuminate how the mastery of word order and verbal inflection develop from one proficiency level to another. From the level A1.2 on, the word order of simple declarative clauses and questions, the infinitive forms and the present tense conjugation of haben and sein are mastered, followed by the present tense of regular verbs on the level A1.3 and the so-called verbal bracket structure and the present tense of irregular verbs on the level A2.1. On the level A2.2, the inversion in simple clauses and the present tense conjugation of modal verbs are acquired. From the level B1.1 on, the inversion is mastered also in complex phrases beginning with a subordinate clause. Moreover, the students master the word order of subordinate clauses and the perfect tense. The teacher comments reveal that the concepts used in the assessment scale are interpreted in various ways. Pronunciation, lack of fluency, and vocabulary problems are mentioned more often than deficiencies in grammar as factors that impair comprehensibility. However, the accumulation of errors is seen as distracting. Regarding distracting grammatical errors, errors in verbal inflection and syntax are mentioned the most often. These phenomena are highlighted in the definitions of a basic grammar error, too. Key words: oral proficiency, German language, grammatical accuracy, word order, verbal inflection, language assessment, comprehensibility
  • Shagal, Ksenia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The dissertation is a typological study of participles based on the concept of participle specifically designed for cross-linguistic comparison. In a few words, participles are defined as non-finite verb forms that can be employed for adnominal modification, e.g. the form written in the book [written by my supervisor]. The study is based on the data from more than 100 genetically and geographically diverse languages possessing the relevant forms. The data for the research comes mainly from descriptive grammars, but first-hand materials from native speakers, including those collected in several field trips, are also of utmost importance. The main theoretical aim of the dissertation is to describe the diversity of verb forms and clausal structures involved in participial relativization in the world s languages, as well as to examine the paradigms formed by participial forms. In different chapters of the dissertation, participles are examined with respect to several parameters, such as participial orientation, expression of temporal, aspectual and modal meanings, possibility of verbal and/or nominal agreement, encoding of arguments, and some others. Finally, all the parameters are considered together in the survey of participial systems. The findings reported in the dissertation are representative of a significant diversity in the morphology of participles, their syntactic behaviour and the oppositions they form in the system of the language. However, despite their versatility and multifunctionality, participles clearly exhibit enough idiosyncratic properties to be recognized as a crosslinguistically relevant category and studied in their own right.
  • Hyytiäinen, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study explores teachers directives in Swedish lessons in Finnish schools. The aim is to find out how teachers use directives in their lessons to maintain classroom order and to give instructions about tasks that the pupils need to do. The data has been gathered in two lower secondary schools and in two upper secondary schools. The data consists of 32 lessons (approximately 25 hours). Four female teachers who all have Finnish as their first language take part in the study. As a method conversation analysis is used. The aim of the study is to find differences and similarities this kind of classroom interaction has with other types of institutional communication. I have chosen to analyse directives in two different contexts: one consisting of sequences of one pupil or many pupils disturbing the classroom order, and the other context consisting of sequences where the teacher gives instructions about the tasks the pupils are about to do. My data shows that directives in classroom interaction typically occur in these contexts. The difference between the contexts is in the respective order of the teachers directives and the pupils actions. In the context of the teacher maintaining classroom order, the pupils disturbance constitutes the first pair part in the adjacency pair, and the teacher s directive is the second pair part. This order is reversed in the sequences in which the teachers give instructions. In them the instructions constitute the first pair part of the adjacency pair, and the pupils response (i.e. action) is the second pair part. An important aspect in my analysis is the teacher s choise of language. Because the teacher and the pupils have Finnish as their first language, the teacher needs to choose whether to use the target language, Swedish, or her and the pupils first language, Finnish, in the directives. My study shows that the teachers utilize two different strategies when they choose the language of the directives. The matrix language, in other words, the main teaching language, can be either Swedish or Finnish, but all the teachers speak both languages during lessons, albeit in different proportions. The choise of language depends neither on the teachers nor the pupils language skills, but on the content of the lesson. Grammar in particular is taught in Finnish, and the more routine the directive is, the more likely it is to be given in Swedish. Even bilingual directives are common in the data. The teachers can codeswitch from Swedish to Finnish when, for example, a word is new to the pupils, and from Finnish to Swedish when a longer directive sequence includes a more routine part. My study shows that directives are more often used to give instructions about the tasks than to maintain classroom order. In my data, the latter directives does not occur in every lesson. Because of this, directives that the teacher uses to give instructions about the tasks are important, as they offer the pupils a chance to hear Swedish, as well as to learn pragmatic skills, provided the directives are given in Swedish. Finnish can be utilized as a resource in teaching. Pupils can ask questions also in Finnish, and the teacher can introduce new vocabulary and give the translations of Swedish words. The pupils questions give the teachers valuable information about which words and concepts the pupils find difficult. Bilingualism is not brought up in my data, but it is a norm which is accepted by all the participants. Keywords: conversation analysis, institutional interaction, directive, teaching in Swedish, classroom order, instruction
  • Silén, Daniela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    For some reason the Swedish role poem has attracted very little attention among literary scholars, and this dissertation is the first attempt to make up for this shortage. Since Romanticism, lyric poetry focusing on the personal feelings and emotions of the poet has been the dominating form of poetry. The role poem instead presents the reader with a speaking "I" separate from the poet. The dissertation revolves around questions about how the speaking "I" of the role poem is constructed, and discusses the function of the role poem. The tension created by different levels of meaning; i.e. the mimetic and the rhetoric, and how this tension renders the poem ambiguous, is discussed in length. The dissertation also investigates features of the role poem that change and features that remain unaltered when Classicism changes into Romanticism. The material for this dissertation consists of a selection of poems ranging from approximately 1760 to 1840 and authors include Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795), Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817), Frans Michael Franzén (1772-1847), Erik Gustaf Geijer (1783-1847), Julia Nyberg (1785-1854) who wrote under the pseudonym Euphrosyne, Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1793-1866), Wilhelm von Braun (1813-1860) and Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877). The theoretical approach to the material is on one hand the use of the concepts of the mimetic I and the rhetoric I that has been used in modernist lyric research, and on the other hand the use of classical rhetoric, focusing on characterization and the method called sermocinatio. The analysis shows that sermocinatio can be considered a possible origin of the Swedish role poem, and the concepts mimetic I rhetoric I have proved useful for describing the tension created between the role poem's different levels of meaning. The tension created activates the reader to regard the poem from a wider perspective, drawing attention to the construction of the poem. The analysis shows that the Swedish role poem can be defined as a poem where the speaker is someone separate from the author, speaking in first tense. The speaker is always the center of attention. The role poem also displays a tension between its different levels of meaning that can be referred to as its mimetic and its rhetorical aspects. The speaker is usually a representative of a larger group of people, for example a certain profession.
  • Maaranen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study observes the interaction between humans and the environment in southern Finland. It comprises four case studies in which the landscape is viewed either as an object or then as a context. The theoretical approach of this research is mainly interpretive archaeology. The main methods and data derive from both archaeology and geography. In addition, historical source materials and knowledge about history are employed throughout. The points of view of the study come from Alicja Iwánska (1971) and comprise the following orientations: cognitive; moral; activistic; and aesthetic, of which the study emphasizes experience. The first case study elaborates the changes in the agricultural landscape from the Stone Age to the present-day. It results in four phases of landscape change, which are defined as the landscapes of experimental, early, traditional and intensive agriculture. The basis for the classification of the phases connects to means of livelihood, technology in use and natural geographical features. The second case study concerns the coastal people and communities of the Baltic Sea during the Middle Ages. The study shows that the Baltic Sea connected people more than separated them. It was a space of communication for people living on the shores of the sea and for seafarers sailing along it. In addition, societies of the Baltic Sea were active, multicultural and capable of interacting with many kinds of actors. The third case study is about the meanings of the places where the churches and fortifi-cations were located during the Middle Ages and the 16th century. The results of the research reveal that these places, together with their buildings, were employed as tools for their builders to communicate with the local inhabitants and people travelling through the region. In addition, the places where the churches were located, together with their buildings, indi-cated that the community was organised and connected to the European Catholic culture. The fourth case study concerns preservation of landscapes produced by past human activities. It covers present-day traditional rural biotopes and archaeological sites. The study suggests that society s values seem to connect in preservation and management processes and direct choices in different ways. Values and assessment of the traditional rural biotopes are more distinct. With regard to archaeological sites, there is need for further improvement in both the assessment and definition of values. Key words: environment, landscape, interaction, interpretive archaeology
  • Haapanen, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This research focused on the process of quoting in written journalism by asking 1) how journalistic interviews are recontextualised into quotations, and 2) what factors influence the outcome of this process. Mainly three types of data were exploited: recordings of authentic interviews conducted by journalists, published articles based on these interviews, and retrospective interviews with the journalists involved. The journalistic interview and the published article and its quotations were compared using the method of version analysis. Stimulated recall was then used to reconstruct the decision-making of the informant-journalists during their quoting. Finally, the findings were further analysed from the point of view of media concepts, in order to reveal the interdependencies of the everyday process of quoting and the fundamental aspects of production, such as publishers’ purposes, the needs and interests of the audience, and the current journalistic culture. The main findings were that modifications within quoting range from minor revisions to substantial alterations, both in terms of their linguistic form and situational meaning. On a larger scale, the interactive turn exchange between the journalist and the interviewee(s) is often simplified in several respects in the published article. A common means for doing so is obscuring the original involvement of the journalist. This phenomenon was labelled monologisation. Furthermore, the original journalistic interviews that are conducted specifically to gather raw material for written media items comprise much more than a plain series of questions and answers. Instead, the interaction in these interviews is often equal in terms of turn exchange and participatory roles. The research identified nine practices that characterise the linking of interviews and quotations as intertextual chains. The primary factor governing the quoting was revealed to be the objective(s) of the emerging article rather than the demand for “directness”. Furthermore, quoting was shown to be influenced by established institutional settings, which can also contradict each other. For these reasons, quoting turned out to be an internal negotiation process between aspects which originate from various fundamental conditions of media publishing and journalistic work. The findings imply that future research and the training of journalists should treat quoting in a more holistic way. On the other hand, this research also equips readers with tools to improve their critical media literacy. Furthermore, the results bear relevance to literacy education in schools, where newspapers are commonly exploited as complementary teaching materials. Keywords: Applied linguistics, media linguistics, print media; version analysis, stimulated recall, media concept; quoting, quotations, direct speech, journalistic interviews; recontextualisation, intertextual chain, monologisation.
  • Reijonen, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral dissertation covers the batucada and it focuses on Os 27 Amigos bateria and Oscar Pereira de Souza's, its director's, perceptions of the batucada. He was the last active master of Rio de Janeiro's oldest Deixa Falar Portela tradition. The central questions are: How did batucada develop and how are the baterias organized? What are the instruments, rhythms, and functions of batucada? What are the elements of batucada? How is the quality of batucada estimated, and what are the criteria? How can the rhythm of batucada be analyzed? What is the harmony of batucada and how it is created? The first section covers the history of the batucada and the organization of baterias, as well as the instruments rhythmic functions and the bateria's structural elements. The qualitative criteria of the batucada are examined at the end of this section. The early batucada rhythm is reconstructed based on Silva's Bum bum vocalization. The rhythmic is analyzed based on the theory of a basic rhythm diminuted rhythm music level. Os 27 Amigos and their contemporary batucadas rhythmic characteristics are compared. In the last section, we examine the harmony of the baterias from the 2002-2003 period. After that, we examine de Souza's perceptions of harmony as a driving factor in the way a bateria plays. In the end is a study on the harmonic structure of Os 27 Amigos bateria and what it is based on. The central methods of this work are the teacher - student method, field work, the paradigmatic method, electronic methods, notations, deduction, experimental work and the three-tiered rhythm analysis. Based on the results, it can be said that the batucada has a very developed musical grammar and terminology. The batucada's development is heavily based on the development of the surdos, which is grounded, in turn, on a much older concept of music, based on the African cuicas. Two different rhythmic paradigms, an older harmonic on and a newer, anharmonic one, have developed from this. The batucada is based on multiple clave and marker rhythms. This structure and the divisive form of the batucada can be shown clearly. This work is the first one to delve deep into the musical structure of the batucada and the concepts and terms related to it. It documents the oldest batucada tradition and forms a starting point for further study on the batucada and a wider study of the samba. Its results also shed light on the central structures of Afro-Brazilian, African, and other similar styles of music and thus enables a deeper than previously possible analysis of them, as long as all the relevant musico-cultural conventions are observed.
  • Pahomov, Miikul (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Researchers of the Finnic languages have presented various views on the position of Ludian. It has been regarded as an independent language by some and a dialect of Karelian (or Vepsian) by others. Researchers have also pondered whether the Ludians are their own people or a Karelian (or Vepsian) tribe. The goal of this research is to define the historical and taxonomical position of the language variety spoken by the Ludian people. This study is the first comprehensive examination of the history of Ludian and its speakers. The primary research method is the historical-comparative method, supplemented where applicable with language sociology. The historical investigation is mainly based on written sources, while the linguistic analysis is based on material collected by the author in Kuujärvi, in comparison with other available material. The focus is on the structural features of the language. Today, Ludian is one of the most endangered Finnic languages, with at most 300 speakers. Material is not available for all dialects spoken at the start of the 20th century, as those spoken beyond the eastern border of the area were extinct by the 1940s. The number of Ludian speakers at the start of the 20th century can be estimated at 15,000 - 20,000. Ludians self-identification differs from the official classifications used in Russia. An analysis of Kuujärvi Ludian reveals that it shares features with other Ludian dialects, but also with Karelian-Olonets and Vepsian. Classifying Ludian as a Karelian dialect is problematic, as it is difficult to pinpoint any features shared by both Ludian and Karelian-Olonets but not by Vepsian. Nor can Vepsian be viewed as a substrate of Ludian and Olonets due to its phonological properties. Compared to Vepsian, Ludian contains more evidence of the ancient language from which Ludian, Olonets and Vepsian are presumed to originate. Based on the many similarities between Ludian and Olonets, it can be ascertained that, for example, Southeast Olonets, and developed based on Kuujärvi Ludian. The South Karelian dialects can be divided into those on the Olonets side and the Ludian side. South Karelian, which is on the Ludian side and has features that extend into the Inner-Russian Karelian dialects, is more closely connected to Ludian than to Vepsian. This view is also supported by the Ludian features in North Karelian. Based on diachronic criteria, Ludian, Olonets and Vepsian stand in contrast to North Karelian. Structurally, however, Ludian, Olonets and Onega Vepsian differ greatly from the other Vepsian varieties. Olonets and South Karelian show Ludian substrate features and cannot be studied without regard for Ludian. With their own system clearly distinct from those of the neighbouring varieties, the Ludian dialects do not fulfil the criteria of mixed dialects but can rather be considered an independent variety. An investigation from above-mentioned perspectives demonstrates that Ludian must be approached as its own areal phenomenon.
  • Leinonen, Anu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This work examines: 1) how Kurds and their demands for cultural and political rights were represented in the Turkish-language mainstream press (1999 2005), and 2) the debates over proposals to change the conceptualizations of the citizenship of Turkey within attempts for a resolution to Turkey s Kurdish issue (in 2005 and 2009). To achieve this, news and columns published in the Milliyet, Zaman, Yeni Şafak, Cumhuriyet and Sabah national dailies were examined through five (qualitative) case studies. The analysis is based on selected tools and approaches of critical discourse analysis, influenced by frame analysis. The research problem concerns the reasons behind Turkey s inability to resolve its Kurdish issue, namely these are explored in the continued importance of Turkish nationalist discourses and the shortcomings of the public discourse on the Kurdish issue. To contextualize the debates analyzed, the work includes chapters on: the formation of the Turkish nation-state, and how the citizenship of Turkey and membership in the Turkish nation were formulated (1920s and 1930s); the tracing of these formulations and related minority policies vis-à-vis the Kurdish speaking population over time; and the development of Kurdish nationalism from the 1960s onwards, and pro-Kurdish political activities from 1990 onward. In addition, there is a chapter on the Turkish-language press. From the analyses I derived three interconnected main arguments. First, until 2003 there were no concrete groups, or even individuals labeled as Kurds in the news reports, but rather roundabout labels were used. Because Kurdishness remained an abstract category, we are led to approach claims of a recognition of a Kurdish reality in Turkey in the 1990s with caution. Rather, it was only in the early 2000s that a more sustained discursive transformation took place. Second, the successful utilization of state-centric and security-oriented conservative nationalist discourse by the main opposition party, the CHP (Republican People's Party) to counter the ruling AKP s (Justice and Development Party) attempt for a resolution to Turkey s Kurdish issue in 2009 points towards the continuing power of various stands of nationalist discourse in Turkey. Conservative (Kemalist) nationalism was used as a powerful instrument in a situation of political polarization. Third, while the multicultural state of affairs may have become increasingly acknowledged, even by 2009 there was almost no support for group rights and only limited support for affirmative action. Demands for minority rights continued to be discussed within a framework of security rather than as issues of justice, and the idea of minority right was still presented as an existential threat to the state.
  • Lähteenmäki, Marja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The rapid change in the built environment accelerated the preservation discussion from the 1960s onwards. The traditional preservation criteria, which were the bases of city planning, excluded industrial buildings. Authenticity, historical and aesthetic values were given priority and interest was focused primarily on individual buildings, whereas industrial areas usually consisted of several buildings and were defined by continuous change and practicality. The architectural or historical value of industrial buildings was given only secondary importance. Moreover, the size and the volume of the individual plants and of the entire areas presented both practical and economic problems. A detailed account of the preservation processes of the Verkatehdas and Finlayson industrial areas shows the changes that took place in the attitudes towards industrial heritage during the research period. To understand the complex ways in which the preservation discussion interrelates with the processes of society, the cases were approached from different points of view. The context is the entire city of Tampere and its citizens. The study thus combines the research traditions of art history, urban studies, literature, geography and social and political history. With the chosen concepts, national landscape and industrial heritage, the study seeks answers for the questions how and why the industrial areas by the Tammerkoski rapids became a valuable industrial heritage and how the representations of the city have influenced the preservation discussion. The meanings of the national landscape were formed through a discussion in which historical images were combined with the present. The political and economic actors have had an important role in the definition of industrial heritage. The theoretical standpoint is in urban studies, which sees the city as consisting not only of its built form, but also of its cultural practices. That is, meanings attached to places are constructed in connection with the city s built form and its citizens. Moreover, meanings and values are produced and reproduced in social practices of different discourses. In other words, meanings are collective, shared by a group of people, and can therefore be inconsistent. The hegemonic discourse is city planning in which valuation discussion takes place. City planning advocates modernist ideas, and the need for the continuous progress and welfare of society, amongst other things. In the preservation conflicts the arguments for demolition and the grounds for city planning and political decision-making processes are questioned. In the long term these arguments influence the preservation criteria, the city planning course and the general attitude towards industrial heritage. The role of preservation officials and experts has been of great importance in the valuation of industrial heritage. Yet only the acceptance of citizens has changed the industrial buildings into a valuable heritage. The remembered and imagined representations of the national landscape strengthen the citizens connection to their own and to a collective past and present. The value of industrial heritage cannot be measured on economic grounds since it is composed of values that are important to citizens. Old pictures and stories of the past now serve new uses in representing the industrial heritage of the city. The national landscape pictured from afar represents the collective heritage of the citizens. Even though there is agreement on the importance and value of industrial heritage, the less important or the less authentic factory buildings tend not to be preserved. When we acknowledge that the character of industry is undergoing continuous change, and that the value of industrial building is bound up with their many different functions over the years, then we are closer to comprehending the meaning and value of industrial heritage. Much is still to be done to place individual factories within industrial heritage criteria.
  • Haapoja, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Kalevalaic runo singing was a tradition of metered oral poetry. During the last 200 years, runo songs have been one of the main interests of folklorists in Finland. The vast archival collections of manuscripts and recordings have had an important role in the Finnish nation-building process. Across the last twenty years, professional folk musicians have revitalized the singing of such poetry: runo singing can now be heard in concert halls, and in jam sessions; it has become a visible part of the today s professional folk music field. The archival collections of runo songs provide resources and models for making this music, but new and creative innovations are emphasized in the field. This study examines how the relationship between past and present is constructed in the field of contemporary Kalevalaic runo singing in Finland. The data consist of interviews with professional folk musicians, participant observation and media texts such as newspaper articles, TV documentaries and publications and discussions on the Internet. The methodological foundation of the research combines theories on the concepts of nationalism, authenticity and tradition. The methods of analysis stem from practices of ethnographic research, including autoethnography. In the context of contemporary folk music, a strong bond is formed between past and present performers and songs, and this bond is given both permanence and significance. In the discourses of the data, the relationship between past and present is analyzed on four levels: 1. on the personal level, in which the emotions, experiences and fates of present and past performers are seen as intertwined in the process of singing; 2. on the national level, where the use of Kalevalaic songs is justified by referring to our national past and the kinship of Finno-Ugric peoples; 3. on the level of performances, where the references to past songs are made by using certain authentic generic features that are used to either maximize or minimize the intertextual gap; 4. on the level of cultural mediation, in which the relationship between past and present singers and songs is formed by naming the cultural expression as tradition. The study offers a novel point of view on the contemporary value of the runo singing tradition and, furthermore, on the ideological and discursive processes whereby traditions are made significant.
  • Härkönen, Mitra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study examines the lived experiences of oppression and opportunities encountered by Tibetan Buddhist nuns. The theoretical approach of the research is intersectionality, which aims at describing and analyzing the interconnection of different oppressive status positions and institutions and giving voice to marginalized groups. My study investigates how the intersections of the nuns female gender, their Buddhist religion and their Tibetan nationality on the one hand produce subordination and an unequal distribution of power and, on the other hand, provide the nuns with opportunities and agency. The study is based on research material collected during three field research trips to the traditionally Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham in the People s Republic of China, and one trip to a Tibetan exile community in Himachal Pradesh in India. The data was collected through multi-sited ethnography. The primary material comprises the life story interviews of 38 nuns. In addition, 49 focused and semi-structured interviews with lay Tibetans and some monks and nuns were conducted and thematically analyzed in order to gain more information about the significance of Tibetan monasticism in the present-day Tibetan society. The analysis shows that power structures and relations that disadvantage nuns as women, as religious practitioners, and as Tibetans are constructed and maintained in different domains of power. In the structural domain, traditional but still dominant institutions such as the distribution of work, marriage and educational practices, as well as religious institutions disadvantage Tibetan nuns. In the disciplinary domain of power, the nuns find themselves monitored by traditional culture and the Chinese authorities. The unequal distribution of power in these domains is justified by hegemonic ideas based on religious and cultural beliefs, ideas of religion and modernity, and religion and gender. These domains of power find their expression in the everyday life of people in the interpersonal sphere. Moreover, the analysis also reveals that many of the nuns were highly active in choosing and determining their life course. It can be suggested that monastic life offers Tibetan women freedom from the suffering faced by laywomen. The juncture of their gender, religion and nationality also provides them with agency that can be understood as resistance. This becomes most evident in their nationalism, which is both visible and more subtle. Finally, monastic life offers them religious agency as compassionate bodhisattvas, who aim to not only benefit other living beings but also themselves. The research shows that depending on the intersection of her status positions, the Tibetan nun can be either disadvantaged or privileged, or in some cases, both at the same time.
  • Räisä, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies (Nordica) Tiina Räisä, 2016. Media rituals as class- and culture-dependent discourses and functions. Lucia in Hufvudstadsbladet and the construction of Svenskfinland. Abstract This study is an empirical and interdisciplinary examination of Lucia in the Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL) daily newspaper. My aim is to give visibility to a longstanding media text that has become important for the Swedish-speaking people in Finland. I define Lucia as a media ritual and use it as an example to investigate how media institutions, through a reproduction of texts, construct culture and, over time, also symbolic communities such as Svenskfinland. The theoretical aim is to emphasize ritual as a powerful context which has an impact on how language users choose their words, and also, to highlight rituals as constituting borders, and thus, influencing the construction of distinctive and collective identities. The research material consists of articles produced by the HBL at the beginning of each, new ritual season. The focus is exclusively put on the Lucia practices produced and distributed by the HBL rather than on any other Finnish or Scandinavian Lucia traditions. I have also excluded the events of the actual Lucia day, 13 December, and have instead concentrated only on those media texts by which the media institution launches the initial phase of the media ritual. I analyse the reproduction of three participatory groups: Lucia candidates, the trio (also called the Lucia jury) and the various groups that receive the proceeds of the fundraising campaign connected to the media ritual. For a synchronic analysis, I have studied media texts from every ten years during 1950 2012 and have applied a diachronic perspective to establish how the ritual and its meanings have changed over time. The interdisciplinary approach is reflected by the methodological choices. The concept of sequence has been used both in conversation analysis and anthropology to deconstruct the elements of an event. I apply sequence to organize and analyse the different systematic forms of repetition. Names and name-like expressions as well as various verb phrases (active and static conditions of being and doing, as well as quality) are communicated sequentially, thus reflecting the ritual demands of logic and strategy. My study is situated in a constructivist tradition in that language is not taken for granted, but is rather seen as a practice which constructs meaning-making. Words become significant symbols that have an impact on the discursive development of the media ritual and resources that manifest the various functions and tasks distributed to the participatory groups by the media institution. The concept of ritual makes is possible to evaluate the difference between what is presented as natural but which is in fact a means of constructing the social, that is, culture and ideology. The dissertation underlines the social consequences of the discourses and functions established by the ritual context. Media rituals are structurally, functional and culture specific phenomena, implying both who belong to the social centre who are placed in the periphery. I claim that the mythical construction of nation and culture implications for the diversified society and the integration process. It is by highlighting the repeated symbolic practices distributed by journalists and accepted by the public that one can understand the impact of the ritualised media practices that lead to constructions of inclusion and exclusion. Key words: ritual, media rituals, ritualization, myth, construction, discourse, function, sequence, strategy, media language, repetition, symbol, onomastics, participatory groups, types, identity, culture, class, gender, social centre, consensus, inclusion, exclusion
  • Rundgren, Heta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Situated at the intersection between comparative literature and gender studies, this dissertation theorizes what I term the postnormâle novel. It deploys readings of four contemporary European novels along with a corpus of literary and feminist theory. The novels include Doris Lessing s The Golden Notebook (1962), Märta Tikkanen's Manrape (1975), Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005-2007) and Virginie Despentes's Apocalypse baby (2010). My analysis of these texts examines the way in which the postnormâle novel reclaims social discourses of sexual difference for a mass audience while subtly displacing realist conventions in order to inscribe women s or lesbians experience of sexual conflict into the text. A four step process is used to study the work. First, I anchor the novels to a realist real , and study the function of detail within the postnormâle aesthetic. Then I chart the sociogram feminism in the novels and their reception. Thirdly, I read the narrative of what I call counter-rape , and lastly the inscription of woman-desire and the figuration the constitution even of entr elles, a feminist space. The perspective of my study is postmodern, which implies a suspension but not a disbelief of the twofold question of literary status and literary evaluation, in order to focus on texts in their contexts. In this process, I aim to rethink the link between the notions of the feminine and the queer in light of contemporary feminist and lesbian perspectives.
  • Styrman, Avril (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This doctoral dissertation introduces economical unification as a method of analysis and shows how it is applied in dealing with some topics that are central in contemporary philosophy. The method resembles a production line that consists of three successive elements which are interconnected in two stages: Economy > Ontology > Applications In the first stage, an economically unified ontology is explicated by applying the principle of economy, which is an evaluation criterion of alternative ontologies. An economically unified ontology is an empirically sufficient, metaphysically minimal and generally virtuous world-view or a belief system of a human being. In the second stage everything else is dealt with in terms of the ontology. The central argument is that economical unification is a more progressive method than plain conceptual analysis which proceeds in the absence of an economically unified ontology and without the principle of economy. Its progressiveness results from having economy as an unambiguous evaluation criterion, which enables explicating a stable and minimal unified ontology which functions as a common base for all topics, and which enables defining and disambiguating meanings of concepts, thereby facilitating their genuine understanding and resolving problems around them, more efficiently than without an economically unified ontology, and without an unambiguous evaluation criterion that would enable explicating it. The progressiveness of the method is substantiated by applying it in disambiguating some of the central concepts that are dealt with in contemporary philosophy such as time, truth and possibility, and in resolving problems around them. The method works: unification efficiently resolves problems whose central source is disunification itself. In other words, the absence of an economically unified ontology is a central source of problems and ambiguities in contemporary philosophy; in economical unification such problems are resolved by removing their source; their source is removed by replacing the absence of an economically unified ontology by bringing it in the center of the analysis. The holistic method that handles special topics in the top-down order by relying on an understandable world-view, is very different from traditional conceptual analysis that proceeds in the absence of an economically unified ontology, and even in the absence of having it as the goal, i.e., without economy or the degree of virtuousness as the criterion. Moreover, the method was formulated in order to systematically overcome those limitations of plain conceptual analysis which result from their absence. Traditional conceptual analysis proceeds typically by investigating isolated topics and various angles to them, but this does not manage to interconnect the isolated topics and thus does not resolve problems which are due to the isolation itself. It is practically impossible to unify many things by concentrating on one thing only, and the optimal rate of progress in philosophy and in science in general cannot be achieved if the analysis is limited into investigating isolated fragments. In order to achieve the optimal rate of progress, unification is needed in counterbalancing specialization. By looking at many individual pieces together, one can start streamlining them into a functional totality. In this process much is revealed about what kinds of parts are needed in the totality and what are not. The totality consists of interrelated parts, but in economical unification the overall picture of reality guides the development of its parts at least as strongly as the requirements for the parts guide the development of the totality. Economical unification can thus be seen merely as the project getting hold of the natural order where the totality and its parts interact, and whose alternative is to keep on investigating details of isolated parts blindfolded without worrying about their roles in a totality, for all parts that are applicable do have a role in a totality. One can and one should scrutinize any suggested totality and replace it when a better one is available, but not before a better one has been presented. This holds for contemporary paradigmatic theories and for everything that comes after them. This brings the focus to the question of what is the objective meaning of better. The suggested answer is: the more economically unified, the better. The most important starting point in the project of economical unification is the acceptance of the principle of economy or the degree of virtuousness as the evaluation criterion, for without a commonly accepted and acknowledged criterion the path towards consensus is unnecessarily long and painful. The easiest way of accepting economy as the criterion is understanding that its general acceptance would accelerate the progress rate of science, including philosophy: virtuousness as the criterion of theories likely results into more virtuous science, faster than without it. Once we have a common criterion, people no longer have to settle on agreeing to disagree, but people have leaped forward into evaluating which theory is objectively better. Everything can be scrutinised, including economy, but rejecting it without replacing it with a more progressive criterion means that one does not fully appreciate progress.