Faculty of Arts

 

Recent Submissions

  • Calvete, Ana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    What conceptions of ‘authenticity’ can we find in contemporary travel writing? Where do they come from and how can they be challenged? To answer these questions, this study maps out what seven travel writers portray as ‘authentic’ in relation to travel, to nature, to local populations and to artistic representations in travelogues published between 1970 and 2019, mostly in French and in English. In the field of criticism on travel writing, the concept of ‘authenticity’ has only been addressed head on in relation to tourists. Previous studies neglect to explain what travel writers deem ‘authentic’ in natural destinations, what an ‘authentic’ relation to nature or to the local inhabitants may be for them, and how ‘authenticity’ is redefined by semioticians who travel to hyperreal places. I argue that three conventional and constructed conceptions of ‘authenticity’ dominate the corpus under study: ‘authenticity’ as exoticism and reverence to tradition, as the belief in the ability of the wilderness to return the self to its original state, and as the postmodern acknowledgement of the limits of art and literature. I contend that some of these conceptions are legacies of the travel-writing and nature-writing genres, while others correspond to the authors’ own theories and approaches to writing or comply with postmodern aesthetics. The present study blends a formalist approach that brings to the fore the stylistic, rhetorical and compositional strategies devised by travel writers to achieve certain effects, and an ideological criticism of the premises and implications of their representational choices. Part I explores the conceptions of ‘authenticity’ upheld in travelogues that focus entirely or partly on the wilderness: Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, Colin Thubron’s In Siberia, Sara Wheeler’s Terra Incognita and Sylvain Tesson’s Consolations of the Forest and La panthère des neiges. Aided by Lawrence Buell’s and Greg Garrard’s ecocritical concept of “toxic discourse”, Chapter 1 shows that nature gives the travellers a sense of ‘authenticity’ when it is free of the elements of modern life that they seek to escape. In Chapter 2, I contend that the emphasis these travellers place on epiphanies and contemplation is uniquely illuminated by their indebtedness to the Transcendentalists. In Chapter 3, I argue that physical strain and endangerment give the travellers the opportunity to showcase and authenticate their performance as risk-taking adventurers. Chapter 4 focuses on the metaphors Matthiessen and Tesson use to express the immersive relation to nature for which they long, and which takes the shape of “Becoming-Animals” that are best accounted for with the help of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept. The predominance of a multifaceted self reflexivity in the texts of Tesson and Thubron leads me to argue that they abide by a postmodern conception of ‘authenticity’ that I discuss in Chapter 5. The focus shifts towards the conceptions of authenticity that underpin their approach to writing. I show that Tesson and Thubron conform to the postmodern convention that consists in mitigating their own authority and reflecting on the limits of the literary medium. Part II charts the conceptions of ‘authenticity’ that semioticians endorse in relation to artistic and literary representations and foreign cultures. In Chapter 6 and 7, I analyse Umberto Eco’s “Travels in Hyperreality”, and argue that Eco adheres to a postmodern conception of ‘authenticity’ that valorises irony, parody and the type of art that acknowledges its own artificial nature and encourages critical interpretations. Lastly, in Chapter 8, by analysing Roland Barthes’s Empire of Signs and Jean Baudrillard’s America in the light of their authors’ theoretical works, I show that they represent their destinations in an abstract way to match their preference for non referentiality and to avoid representational claims that they implicitly portray as inauthentic.
  • Leskelä, Leealaura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Tämän tutkimuksen aiheena on keskustelupuhe kehitysvammaisen henkilön ja ammattilaisena keskusteluun osallistuvan henkilön välillä. Kehitysvammaisen puhujan kieleen liittyvät kognitiiviset rajoitukset ilmenevät näissä tilanteissa usein erilaisina puhujien välisinä yhteistyön vaikeuksina. Seurauksena on kielellinen epäsymmetria, joka voi haastaa ammattilaisen tavanomaiset keinot ratkaista vuorovaikutuksessa eteen tulevia ongelmia. Tutkimusaineistona on 16 videoitua keskustelua, joissa kehitysvammaiset aikuiset henkilöt keskustelevat erityyppisissä, kahdenkeskisissä tilanteissa heidän kanssaan työskentelevien ammattilaisten kanssa. Tutkimus on laadullinen, ja tutkimusmetodina on keskustelunanalyysi. Tutkimus koostuu neljästä osatutkimuksesta, joissa käsitellään kielellisen epäsymmetrian eri ilmentymiä: korjaamisen keinoja ja pitkittyviä korjausjaksoja, puhujien erilaisia tiedollisia asemia ja niistä neuvottelemista, myönteisen palautteen antamista ja vastaanottoa ohjaustilanteissa sekä kehitysvammaisen puhujan kielellisen osallisuuden tukemista. Tutkimuksen päätavoitteena on selvittää, miten osallistujat näissä tilanteissa kielellisesti toimivat ja miten he ratkaisevat yhteistyön ajoittaisia haasteita. Tutkimuksen tuloksia voidaan soveltaa selkokielisen puheen ja vuorovaikutuksen ohjeistukseen, jota on kehitetty tukemaan vuorovaikutusta kielellisesti epäsymmetrisissä tilanteissa. Selkokielen tutkimus koskee Suomessa ja muissa maissa lähinnä kirjoitettua kieltä, joten puhuttua selkokieltä koskeva ohjeistus on vasta muotoutumassa. Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena on tuottaa yksityiskohtaista tietoa yhden kielellisesti haavoittuvan ryhmän vuorovaikutuksen erityiskysymyksistä ja saadun tiedon avulla kehittää selkopuheen ja -vuorovaikutuksen ohjeistusta. Tutkimuksen tulokset osoittavat, että puhujilla on useita keinoja toimia kielellisesti haastavissa tilanteissa. Ymmärrysvaikeuksien selvittämisessä olennaista oli ammattilaisen pyrkimys osallistaa kehitysvammainen puhuja mukaan korjaamiseen sen sijaan, että korjaustyö jäi vain ammattilaisen oman päättelyn varaan. Tiedollisia asemia koskevia ristiriitoja ammattilaiset ratkoivat hakemalla lisävarmistuksia jo vahvistettuun asiaan, tekemällä epäsuoria lisätiedusteluja sekä kyseenalaistamalla suoraan kehitysvammaisen puhujan kontribuution. Kaikkiin tapoihin liittyi piirteitä, jotka voivat sekä vahvistaa että heikentää kehitysvammaisen puhujan täyttä osallisuutta. Ohjaustilanteissa ammattilaiset antoivat kehitysvammaisille työntekijöille runsaasti myönteistä palautetta muotoillen arvioinnit kielellisesti yksinkertaisesti, ja arvioinnin vastaanotossa korostui kehitysvammaisen työntekijän sensitiivinen suuntautuminen tilanteen edellyttämään toimintaan. Kehitysvammaisen henkilön kielellistä osallisuutta ammattilaiset tukivat muun muassa erilaisia kysymyksiä esittämällä sekä tarttumalla kehitysvammaisen puhujan keskustelualoitteisiin, jolloin nämä pääsivät vaikuttamaan keskustelun kulkuun ja siinä käsiteltyihin aiheisiin. Kehitysvammaiset puhujat viittasivat usein itseensä persoonallisina, aktiivisina toimijoina, ammattilaiset taas ammattiroolinsa kautta. Tutkimuksessa ehdotetaan muokkauksia useisiin selkopuheen ja -vuorovaikutuksen suosituksiin sekä uusia suosituksia, jotka koskevat muun muassa puhujien erilaisia tiedollisia asemia keskustelussa, kehitysvammaisen puhujan rohkaisua itsearviointiin ohjaustilanteissa sekä ammattilaisen kokemaa ristipainetta yhdenvertaisuuden edistämisen ja kielellisen yksinkertaistamisen välillä. Yleisesti tutkimustulokset viittaavat siihen, että ohjeistus voi toimia keinovalikoimana kielellisesti ja vuorovaikutuksellisesti haastavissa tilanteissa ja avartaa ammattilaisten käsitystä siitä, millaisia kielellisiä erityistarpeita kehitysvammaisella puhujalla on. Ohjeistus ei kuitenkaan saa muodostua ammattilaisille heidän vuorovaikutuksellista liikkumavaraansa kaventavaksi säännöstöksi, vaan päinvastoin sen tulee lisätä heidän toimintamahdollisuuksiaan ja tietoisuuttaan kielen ja keskustelupuheen eri keinoista.
  • Niva, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The Finnish progressive construction in expressions of intentions and prediction This thesis investigates the use of the Finnish progressive construction in expressions of intentions and prediction, making it part of the research of the Finnish language and specifically the research of Finnish grammar. The progressive construction is a grammatical construction that consists of (1) the verb olla ‘be’ in a finite form and (2) an infinite verb form in the inessive case (e.g., olla tekemässä ‘be doing’, olla menossa ‘be going’). The progressive construction has several semantic functions, of which the most central ones are (i) the expression of location, (ii) the expression of progressivity (i.e., ongoingness) and (iii) the expression of intentions and prediction. Function (iii) has been discussed the least in the linguistic literature, which creates a gap that this thesis wishes to fill by describing and analyzing this function. The study of the progressive construction forms a part of the research of tense and aspect: progressivity is an aspectual category, while intention and prediction, in turn, are closely linked to the expression of futurity – i.e., tense. This thesis also approaches the progressive construction from the viewpoint of language change, as the polysemy of the construction, the variation occurring in the construction and the uses of the construction all suggest ongoing change in Finnish. The ongoing development in the focus of attention is the use of the progressive construction as a future construction. The investigation of aspectual and temporal features is essentially linked with the morphosyntax, semantics and functions of the expressions with a progressive construction. The theoretical framework of this study is Construction Grammar, which examines the language system in terms of constructions functioning as wholes and as a network formed by these constructions. The study is corpus-based, using the internet forum found in the Suomi24 corpus as well as the corpora of Early Modern Finnish and Old Literary Finnish as its material. The analysis of the material is first and foremost qualitative, exploiting the concepts and methodological systematicity of Construction Grammar. The thesis shows that the progressive construction complements the repertoire of the expressions of futurity in Finnish. The progressive construction rarely expresses a purely temporal location, but rather, it for example emphasises the speaker’s intention or describes events that have fuzzy boundaries temporally and contentwise. Elements that express the bounded aspect have an effect on the future interpretations of the progressive construction, but they cannot fully explain them. The progressive construction is indeed a dynamic means of expressing intentions and prediction, and the expressive function of intentions and prediction is a property of the construction functioning as a whole. One constructional change involved in the use of the progressive construction expressing intentions and prediction is that the construction also occurs with an object complement that has partitive case marking, even if a total object would be expected when the expression entails futurity. This study also shows that the Finnish progressive construction can be divided into subconstructions on the basis of the elements in the construction and the complements taken by the construction. Each subconstruction has its particular semantic functions, and different subconstructions may motivate one another. For example, it is shown that the progressive construction with the verb tulla ‘come’ (e.g., olla tulossa ‘be coming’) has already existed before Modern Finnish. In Modern Finnish, the progressive construction with a motion verb (e.g., olla menossa ‘be going’) is a typical choice for expressing intentions and prediction, and it may provide a general model for the present development of the use of the progressive construction.
  • Herneaho, Irina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Former linguistic research on the immigration debate has traditionally focused on anti-immigration movements and discourses. In this study, by contrast, interest lies in discursive strategies used by a pro-asylum seeker activist group Right to Live / Stop Deportations, founded following the so-called “refugee crisis” of 2015. The data consist of 78 blog posts written by activists and published in 2017. In accordance with the tradition of Critical Discourse Studies, this research explores the way language and power intersect, placing special emphasis on the emancipatory potential of language. Methodologically, the research draws on e.g. Systemic Functional linguistics, genre theories and visual grammar, as well as Bakhtinian dialogism and research on intertextuality. The aim of the study is to find out what kind of intertextual relations are constructed in the data. Focus is both on interdiscursivity, which refers to relations that texts construct with discourses, genres and practices, and manifest intertextuality, that is, referring to specific other texts and utterances. The central concepts of the analysis are frame and voice, the first of which is connected to interdiscursivity and the latter to manifest intertextuality. In this research, frame is defined as an abstract model that regulates and motivates discursive choices. Based on the analysis, the data are divided into three categories: 1) humanitarian frame, 2) journalistic frame and 3) political-administrative frame. In some of the blog posts, both humanitarian and journalistic frame are activated. All frames have their own characteristics, manifested in different linguistic and visual means, practices and assumed recipients. The analysis demonstrates that, despite their diversity, the texts in the data are organised in accordance with interdiscursive relations. Furthermore, the results highlight different functions that the blog is used for in activism: the blog posts are tools not only for direct action, but also for knowledge production and influencing political decisions and policy-making. The second central concept of the analysis, voice, refers to representations of speech and writing that are metadiscursively differentiated from the surrounding text. The voice of the asylum seekers is represented in two different ways: experiential voice emphasises individuality, whereas collective voice constructs political agency. In addition to the voice of the asylum seekers, focus is also on the other voices represented in the data and linguistic means that are used to regulate them. The analysis shows that external voices are a central tool for constructing viewpoints and ideology in the data. Institutional voices, in particular, are adopted in the texts to support the argumentation of the activists. Moreover, voices can also be marked as alien by, for example, questioning the truth value of the utterance. Represented voices also echo and refer to previous statements and arguments used in the immigration debate, thus connecting the texts intertextually to a wider discussion about migration. As a whole, all voices are not treated equally in the data but placed in a hierarchical order where the voice of asylum seekers typically receives the most space and weight.
  • Syrjänen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This study investigates the epistemic role and value of prediction in science: do predictions, and what kind of predictions, justify belief in scientific theories? In the philosophy of science, the epistemic role of prediction has been understood mainly in terms of novel prediction. Scientific theories are considered to gain special epistemic support if they predict novel empirical results that were not used in their construction. This view has played a central role in two debates in the field: prediction vs. accommodation and scientific realism vs. anti-realism. In the former debate, predictivists seek to explain why novel predictions confirm the theory more strongly than accommodations, i.e. empirical results that were used in the construction of the theory. In the latter debate, predictivists argue that novel prediction is one of the most important criteria of empirical success that justifies realist commitment to scientific theories. Novelty-based predictivism has been defended through two strategies. One strategy is negative: it argues that novel prediction should be preferred because accommodation is associated with negative epistemic consequences. Another strategy is positive: it holds that only novel predictive success calls for a realist explanation. This study evaluates and rejects both strategies. After other epistemic factors and the problems of novel prediction itself are taken into account, there are no general or substantial epistemic advantages to novel prediction due to the problems of accommodation. After the competitive context of scientific practice where novel predictions are pursued is taken into account, there is no need for a realist explanation in cases of novel success. In accordance, novelty-based predictivism is rejected as a viable approach to the epistemic role and value of prediction in science in this study. In place of novelty-based predictivism, the study advocates another, logical approach to scientific prediction. It is argued that what matters for scientific confirmation is the predictivity or predictive performance of the theory itself. A new predictive virtues approach is introduced, which argues that the predictivity of a scientific theory is a more multifaceted property than has been previously recognized in the philosophical literature. Four predictive virtues are introduced which probe in different ways the predictivity of a scientific theory: veridicality, specificity, scope, and counterfactual depth. The new approach is evaluated against problems and puzzles that face predictivist theories of scientific confirmation. It is argued that the new approach provides better solutions to these problems than previous predictivist accounts, and thus it constitutes a way forward in addressing both epistemic and pragmatic issues related to scientific prediction.
  • De Martino, Gianluca (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The subject of this work is the cult of goddess Hera in the Greek colony of Poseidonia, in Southern Italy. The work focuses on the process through which the local Italic Lucanians preserved and continued the cult after they had taken control of the city from the Greeks sometime between 420 and 410 BCE. Archaeological material, such as votive clay figurines, and the topographical and architectural features of several cultic places were employed as the primary data sources. By combining evidence from the iconographic typologies of the clay figurines and the topography and the architecture of both Greek and Lucanian sanctuaries, this work postulates that the absorption and the reshaping of the cult of Hera was a natural process for the Lucanians, since they had long had deities who shared the same attributes as Hera in their own religion. Scholars have studied the cult of Hera in Poseidonia almost exclusively as a Greek phenomenon. The Lucanians have been considered only as adopters of the cult following a unidirectional Hellenisation process. Older research has dismissed or underestimated the influence of the Lucanians on the cult and their decisive role in preserving it until the Roman Imperial period. If one dismisses a sort of pervasive Hellenisation as the reason behind the appropriation of the cult by the Lucanians, then the causes may lay in the nature of Poseidoniate Hera herself, and in specific features of the Lucanian religion. The Hera of Poseidonia had her roots in that particular Hera worshipped in the Argolid in mainland Greece. This Argive Hera had pre-Homeric features, according to which she was the patron goddess of vegetation and fertility, with a strong chthonic character. The Achaean cities of Magna Graecia, including Poseidonia, held Hera as one of their main deities. Archaeological evidence suggests that her cult in Poseidonia continued and thrived when the Lucanians, a non-Greek population, came into control of the city. In fact, most of the votive gifts dedicated to Hera in Poseidonia are dated to the Lucanian period. The Greeks and the Lucanians created a multicultural society, which was reflected by their shared religious worship of the goddess. This process was facilitated by the fact that several Lucanian female deities, and particularly Mefitis, the main goddess of Lucanian religion, shared similar attributes with Poseidoniate Hera. Comparing the votive figurines recovered from Paestan sanctuaries dedicated to Hera and the topographical features of her sanctuaries to the main features of Lucanian cultic places, and to the iconography of votive gifts dedicated in Lucanian sanctuaries, this research suggests that widely shared religious similarities enabled the continuation of the cult of Hera in Poseidonia/Paestum. In addition, by taking into consideration Lucanian religion and the architectonic and topographic planning of its shrines, it is possible to suggest possible solutions to several problematic issues related to the cult of Hera in the Lucanian period, such as the changes in the iconography of the goddess in votive figurines, and certain architectonic features introduced in the Lucanian period that are reminiscent of Lucanian construction practices. Concerning ritual practices, the increase in common ritual dining was the result of the arrival of chthonic cults in Lucanian Paestum, or at least the addition of chthonic aspects typical of the agrarian and chthonic cults of the Lucanian inland to existing Greek cults. This was true for the cult of Hera as well. The archaeological evidence suggests the arrival of Lucanian rural chthonic religious practices connected with common ritual dining in the form of bone finds related to chthonic cults (dogs, cockerels), the development of peculiar forms of incense burners, and the presence of sacrificial pits and water channels associated with altars. The cult of Hera thrived throughout the Greek and Lucanian periods until the foundation of the Roman colony of Paestum in 273 BCE, when it was incorporated into the cult of the Capitoline Triad and gradually lost its primacy to cults favoured by the new Roman colonists.
  • Kohonen, Siria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This dissertation focuses on analysing the ways in which people in early modern Finland and Karelia encountered and interpreted their traditional healing practices and performances, and how they represented these interpretations in recollections and narratives that they told to folklore collectors. The Finnish-Karelian healing tradition was closely connected to a worldview in which otherworldly and supranormal influences were considered to be able to affect an individual’s health, and it included many magical and ritualistic performances. Earlier studies on the subject have mostly concentrated on the perspective of ritual specialists, whereas this study focuses on the perspective of the lay people. The material corpus analysed in the study comprises over 600 archive units from the Folklore Archive of Finnish Literature Society. These archive materials consist of recollections about traditional healing situations, incantation texts, and narratives about healers. The materials were collected via ethnographic interviews from all over Finland and Karelia between 1880 and 1939. Especially in the rural provinces, the period could be described as pre-industrial and early modern, since the consequences of modernization appeared rather late there. The theoretical background of the study combines the research fields of folklore studies, ritual studies, and the cognitive science of religion. In the analyses, the study focuses on cognitive theories about memory schemas and dual processing of the mind, medical theories about the placebo effect, and folkloristic performance theories. The research methods include contextualizing, schema analysis, and theory-based qualitative analysis. From a broader methodological perspective, the study aims to both understand and explain the studied phenomena. Via the analyses in three separate research articles, this study presents that the cognitive processes of the human mind have significantly guided the ways in which the healing tradition was interpreted and represented in recollections and narratives. The study proposes that the recollections and narratives about past healing performances can be considered as metacommentaries and representations of the healing tradition, reflecting many of the same cognitive schemas that were involved in the actual healing situations. Furthermore, the analyses conclude that certain forms of intuitive thinking connected to rituals and magical thinking have mingled with the cultural aspects of the healing tradition. Finally, the study proposes that certain functions stimulating the placebo effect – such as repetitions and elaborateness of procedures – have been emphasized in the healing tradition. This dissertation is a cross-disciplinary project that aims to introduce new theoretical and methodological perspectives to folklore studies. The study proposes that the theories about the human mind and its functions can enrich the folkloristic understanding about the Finnish-Karelian healing tradition, and that historical ethnographic materials can provide valuable research data for the application of cognitive theories. Most importantly, the study demonstrates how different cultural and cognitive aspects appear and mingle with each other in the context of traditional healing.
  • Liimatainen, Tuire (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This study examines ethnic boundary-drawing and its practical implications in the nexus of migrancy and national minorityness. The term “Sweden-Finn” is commonly used in reference to Finnish postwar migrants and their descendants in Sweden. However, in 2000, Sweden-Finns were also recognized as a national minority in Sweden, acknowledging the much longer historical presence of Finns and the Finnish language in the territories that today constitute the Swedish state. During the past decade, Sweden-Finnishness has been increasingly discussed in Sweden from the perspectives of the new Swedish-born generations and within the constantly evolving field of minority politics. Whereas immigrants and national minorities, the so called “new” and “old” minorities, are generally treated separately in both research and policy, this research asks alternatively how the top-down political recategorization of Finnish migrants into the Sweden-Finnish national minority impacts the construction of ethnicity on individual and collective levels. In the 2010s, social media have become key arenas for ethnic organizations, media, activists and individuals to connect, organize, express identities and build communities. Examining prominently emerged Sweden-Finnish ethnopolitical campaigning and activism on social media in the period of 2013–2019, this study focuses on the interaction between the national minority recognition and the legacies of migration on the individual and collective level representations of identity and culture, articulations of belonging and perceptions of power relations. As primary material, the study looks into the Twitter-campaign #Vågafinska by the Finnish-language radio channel Sisuradio, Instagram-campaign #Stoltsverigefinne by the youth umbrella organization Sweden-Finnish Youth in Sweden (RSN), and two anonymous Instagram-accounts Tukholman sissit and Göteborgin sissit. The analysis focuses on both the content of the campaigns, generated by individual social media users, and the group-making efforts of ethnopolitical actors and activists. The theoretical framework of the study draws from the interdisciplinary fields of ethnic studies, discourse studies and social movement studies. Adopting a critical and constructivist approach, this study departs employing “identity”, “ethnicity” or “ethnic groups” as units of analysis and thinks instead in terms of identifications, categories, group-making projects and processes. This approach is complemented with critical intersectionally informed thinking which sets ethnicity as part of broader systems of social boundaries and divisions. Insights drawn from social movement studies focus on the strand of literature examining the nexus of social media and collective identity, which provides tools to assess the logics and technological affordances of these novel platforms in group-making processes. Methodologically, the study utilizes a combination of thematic analysis and discourse analysis, acknowledging the key role of language in the construction of social reality. The main findings of this study show that “Sweden-Finnishness” is an internally complex and contradictory category and its representation impacted by various social categories such as age, generation, class, nationhood, citizenship and “race”. The study identifies five discourses of Sweden-Finnishness, which are (1) diasporic, (2) transnational, (3) hyphenated, (4) minority, and (5) autochthonous discourse. These discourses build on contrasting interpretations of the history of Finns and the Finnish language in Sweden and thus position Sweden-Finnishness differently in relation to both Finnish and Swedish national narratives and imaginations of a nation. The analysis of the material further shows how these different discourses operate in diverse, overlapping and contradictory ways in enacting and experiencing ethnicity through categories and memberships, various language-related questions, visual and symbolic expressions of culture, and attachments to places. These findings suggest that the recognition of Sweden-Finns as a national minority makes ethnic boundaries salient through reinforcing linguistic and cultural distinctiveness but also narratives of otherness. Paradoxically, the ethnic boundary between Finnishness and Swedishness emerges simultaneously as increasingly blurry due to the assumed cultural and visual similarity of Finns and Swedes, which can be seen as an outcome of the decades-long social and ethnic climb of Finnish migrants in Sweden. The analysis also reveals an apparent tension between the individualistic character of social media and the need of ethnic organizations and activism to essentialize and simplify a shared identity in order to express Sweden-Finnishness despite its multidimensional character. At the same time, it is evident that differentiated interpretations of Sweden-Finnishness are also present among those who seek to represent the group and thus contribute to its reification in divergent ways. This emphasizes the central role of “ethnopolitical entrepreneurs” in leading and remembering collective action in the landscape of social media, but also the analytical importance to look at the top-down expectations that are casted upon minorities. The findings of this study further suggest that due to their visuality and materiality, social media are particularly important platforms to express and enact ethnicity especially in the case of a largely invisible, unnoticed and silent group striving to display difference and distinctiveness. This thesis argues for a more nuanced understanding of Sweden-Finnishness, which considers the different histories, national narratives, political processes, ethnopolitical endeavors as well as individual backgrounds and experiences of Finns in Sweden. This recalibration helps to understand complex articulations of ethnicity, identity and culture as well as ethnopolitical hopes and claims in the increasingly diversifying society. I suggest that instead of Sweden-Finnishness, it is analytically more sustainable to talk about Finnishnesses in Sweden.
  • Fellin, Giulio (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The topic of this thesis lies in the intersection between proof theory and alge- braic logic. The main object of discussion, constructive reasoning, was intro- duced at the beginning of the 20th century by Brouwer, who followed Kant’s explanation of human intuition of spacial forms and time points: these are constructed step by step in a finite process by certain rules, mimicking con- structions with straightedge and compass and the construction of natural numbers, respectively. The aim of the present thesis is to show how classical reasoning, which admits some forms of indirect reasoning, can be made more constructive. The central tool that we are using are induction principles, methods that cap- ture infinite collections of objects by considering their process of generation instead of the whole class. We start by studying the interplay between cer- tain structures that satisfy induction and the calculi for some non-classical logics. We then use inductive methods to prove a few conservation theorems, which contribute to answering the question of which parts of classical logic and mathematics can be made constructive.
  • Ijäs, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The Royal Armouries MS I.33 is the oldest European work describing fighting technique (fight book) known to exist, produced in Southern Germany in the early fourteenth century. In its extant form, the manuscript is made up of 32 leaves, each page having two illustrations that depict fencing moves with a one-handed sword and a small round shield. The illustrations are accompanied by text paragraphs in Latin, incorporating a total of twenty-two distinct lines of didactic poetry and several technical terms in German. The present study investigates the content of I.33 through its language and genre. Being a fight book, I.33 should display generic features expected of a fight book by authors and readers alike. I.33 is, however, the oldest known representative of the genre, and fighting manuals have no classical models to speak of. Though I.33 does not appear to be a copy, the compilatory nature of later fight books suggests that its component parts may have been compiled from existing sources. The study addresses the following questions: what is the position of I.33 within the literary tradition of fight books? How has I.33 been composed as a work? What is the meaning that I.33 is trying to convey? The methodology follows philological close reading, taking into account language, history, and the materiality of the book. The historical and literary context of I.33 is established, followed by a codicological analysis of the manuscript, a documentation of the Latin language of the captions, an analysis of the metrical features and content of the verse, and a survey of the identifiable generic phenomena in the context of attested fight book literature. All consideration of the text takes into account the content it is trying to convey, i.e., the technical knowledge of fencing. Fighting technique is understood as a kind of knowledge that governs practice. This knowledge is conceptualized on the level of detail that is directly implied by its concrete formulations in the text and illustrations. I.33 appears to be among the first attempts to codify the art of fencing, representing the earliest phase of the emerging fight book literature. I.33 does, however, appear more developed than the bulk of the subsequent German literature attested from the turn of the fifteenth century onwards: the content of I.33 is organized around various guard positions representing the division of the art, and the sections are made up of sequences of illustrations with captions indicating the actions of each character. Traces of the literary devices and technical concepts appearing in I.33 can be found in later medieval German and Italian literature in less coherent forms. The illustrations, their division into sections, and the captions have been made in this order as separate phases, which are sometimes at odds with each other. Thus, I.33 exhibits features that suggest compilation and commentary, as seen in later fight books as well. The captions comment on the illustrations and the characters, drawing attention to their repetitive nature and occasional oddities, suggesting that their author was composing a commentary of existing illustrations. A reference to the otherwise unknown Alkersleiben and the didactic verse cited suggest that existing literary sources were used when composing the captions. The quires seem to have been unbound for a considerable time. Seven leaves in all appear to have been lost at an unknown time after the codex was finished. I.33 was produced with the intention of establishing and securing a system of knowledge on fighting technique deemed important enough to be recorded in book form, providing a set of cognitive tools for thinking about fencing: the seven guards provide a typology of fencing exchanges, and the three phases of guard, besieging, and langort provide a framework for analysing individual exchanges. In addition, attention is drawn to several individual pieces of technical knowledge.
  • Liimatta, Aatu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis comprises four studies which focus on register variation—the way language is used differently in different situational contexts and for different communicative purposes—within the social media platform Reddit. In particular, the focus of the present work is on variation in communicative function across Reddit comments of different lengths. Even though text length is often considered a confounding factor in corpus-linguistic studies, its role in various types of linguistic variation, including register variation, has received remarkably little study. In order to study register variation across Reddit, the present work makes use of large-scale datasets of Reddit comments. First, I implement a multi-dimensional register analysis (Biber, 1988), and extract three dimensions of register variation from comment threads from a group of thirty-seven subreddits. This study acts as a proof-of-concept pilot study to confirm that register analysis is a meaningful approach to Reddit data. In the three following studies, I propose and develop the idea of lengthwise methods, which make use of the fact that texts which are different in length can be difficult to compare with each other, but texts of the exact same length can be compared trivially. I then make use of such methods and a large-scale one-month dataset of Reddit comments to investigate the relationship between situationally and communicatively motivated linguistic choices, i.e. register variation, and the length of Reddit comments. The results show that comment length and communicative function are linked. Looking at Reddit as a whole, there are clear tendencies in feature distributions which suggest that, for example, narrative content tends to favor longer comments more, whereas interpersonal content tends to favor shorter comments. However, further analysis breaking the data into subcorpora for different subreddits, thematic subforums of Reddit, shows that in many cases, the functional associations of comments of various lengths may differ greatly from one subreddit to another. In other words, there is no single communicative function fulfilled by comments of specific length. The functions nonetheless follow interpretable patterns, but the exact patterns depend on the register. These results highlight the importance of taking into consideration an often overlooked variable, text length, in many linguistic analyses.
  • Tuomi, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Female pop singers are the subject of many articles in newspapers, tabloids, women’s magazines, and youth magazines. They are affectedly portrayed in statements like: ”Jenni Vartiainen took power” or admirably “Chisu + 24 other heroes” or alluding gossip like ”Anna Abreu and the price of success: security cameras protect her at home”. Why are female pop singers associated with these attributes, in particular? These media headlines and statements epitomise the purpose of my research: a critical analysis of media texts that construct female pop singer. Theoretically and methodologically this research draws from cultural and feminist musicology and discursive reading. Each of the three main categories of my research looks at one gender-related theme in the construction of female pop culture in media texts: money, body and authenticity. My approach highlights intersectionality. Other theoretical and analytical concepts guiding the research include hegemonic masculinity, confessionality, authenticity and ingénue. The research aims to contribute to the body of work on Finnish contemporary pop singers. The research material consists of newspaper interviews with three Finnish contemporary artists, Anna Abreu, Chisu, and Jenni Vartiainen, and articles written about them, published in three of Finland's highest print circulation newspapers, youth magazines and glossy magazines in 2007–2012. The material consist of total 345 articles of which 272 in newspapers, 47 in youth magazines, and 26 in glossy magazines. I explore the discursive construction of female pop singers in media texts in order to reveal the social reality that enables and limits the female pop singer's agency as singers and songwriters in contemporary Finnish popular culture. The most important result is that the agency of female pop singers is well reflected in print media texts, although many critics still write about female pop singers in gendered ways. Further, the results show that in Finland of the early 2000s female pop singers are involved in the decision processes of their music making. In addition to singing, female pop singers also play instruments and write lyrics, sometimes also compose and produce. This reinforcement of agency in media texts results in an increase in musical authenticity and possibly constitutes a break with the traditional gender roles in music. As a consequence of the fact that female pop singers are represented in terms of income (a traditionally male dominated discourse), also other skills related to music making, such as song writing, are brought to the foreground in media texts.
  • Seitovirta, Robert (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This doctoral dissertation explores issues of post-national identities in transcultural German literature. In the 19th century, the idea that languages are tied to ethnicity and national identity overtook Europe, hence also affecting how nations and communities were presented in literature. The ethnification and territorialization of languages implied a national possession and signaled that lingual entitlement is debatable. Since literature generally reflects communities and can contribute substantially to their invention, in this study literary representations of national and lingual identities are read as imaginings of alternative communities. I examine three authors who all share the same literary language of German, yet have different backgrounds and approaches to it. "Der Verschollene" (1911–1914) by Franz Kafka, "Das nackte Auge" (2004) by Yōko Tawada and "Sterne erben, Sterne färben" (2007) by Marica Bodrožić all portray different aspects of writing outside of national boundaries. Essentially the studied texts are connected by a transcultural approach that tackles issues arising from a discrepancy between lingual and national identities. Each novel emphasizes the necessity of a transnational and transcultural approach in a unique way, thus encompassing how German can be foremost understood as a transcultural European language. By deconstructing dichotomies through various narrative strategies, these authors participate in a discourse rendering how different boundaries, whether they be lingual, national or imaginary, can be crossed. My research utilizes and discusses the theoretical concepts of transculturality, protonationalism, minor literature and deterritorialization as well as theories concerning imagology, world literature and autobiographical writing. I employ these concepts in order to demonstrate the interplay between politics of national identity and the literary representations of identities in the chosen works. The texts are analysed through close reading with a focus on border-crossings, autobiographical elements, their portrayal of communities and whether they can be considered representative of so-called World Literature. Starting the analysis in the context of the contemporary nationalist discourse of the Habsburg Empire permits lifting Kafka’s novel out of its early 20th-century context and placing it in perspective within a framework of the recent research literature. Such a strategy thus enables me to unravel the question of national and lingual discrepancy within a specifically literary context. Hence, the model analysis can be further extended and employed on the contemporary novels of Tawada and Bodrožić. By showing how Kafka, Tawada and Bodrožić each demonstrate literary autonomy, I will indicate how the question ‘Who has the right to write in German?’ remains a valid political concern.
  • Schirrmann, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Abstract for Dissertation of Petra Schirrmann The German Radio Play in Finland The radio play made its first breakthrough in Germany in the 1920s. The influence of radio play production from the German speaking countries in Finland has been visible throughout the history of the medium but has so far not been investigated. The main aim of this thesis is to reconstruct the history of Finnish-German contacts in the field of the radio play. The main emphasis is on the period through the 1980s when the medium and radio play was fully established. The relevant material was collected from the Yle (Yleisradio / Finnish Broadcasting Company) archives and the special collection of the National Library of Finland. A recurring problem in gaining access to the radio plays was dealing the diversity, and frequent deficiency of archiving-methods especially at Yle and other institutions such as national theatres, libraries and private archives. The conditions and the status of radio plays as a media product are here defined by the term “Dispositiv” introduced by Knut Hickethier in 1995 and used to describe radio productions and communication in 2010. In this context the focus lies on the conditions of radio production, programmes and reception The thesis has revealed that in 80 years of radio play nearly 340 radio plays with German background were aired at the Finnish Radio Theatre of Yle. Since the early 1920s, German theatre plays, and later German radio plays were translated and adapted for the Finnish Radio Theatre. One of the reasons for the airing of German manuscripts was that until the late 1960s German was the first foreign language at most Finnish schools and the Finnish editors were familiar with the German language and interested in the culture of the German speaking countries. Moreover, the good and intensive cooperation between the Finnish journalists and their German colleagues made it easy to import for German radio play manuscripts to Finland. The vital interest in Germany and its culture that the directors of the Finnish Radio Theatre showed over a period of 80 years ensured that German radio plays remained a consistently firm factor in the programme of Yle over the whole period. In addition to conducting a media analysis and its productions applying different aspects of the method “Dispositiv” referring to Finnish and German radio and discussing the radio play as a genre, the thesis uses material from extensive interviews with Yle dramaturge Outi Valle concerning her work for Yle in East and West-Berlin during the 1980s and subsequently in Finland. Valle is a contemporary witness of radio play production during the time of the Cold War. She provides a lively portrait of the Finnish Radio Theatre during the 1980s and she reveals the practicalities of the import of German radio plays to Finland for presentation to the Finnish audience. This thesis not only fills the gap in research on Finnish-German cultural media relations concerning radio play but also discusses relevant aspects of Finnish-German relations in literature, society and politics as well.
  • Mäkelä, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The dissertation examines the urban renewal of Kallio district of Helsinki in 1933–1986. Kallio was originally a worker’s residence district situating next to Sörnäinen factory and harbour area. From the 1890 onwards, Kallio area (the sub-district known today as Linjat) was built with wooden houses typical Finnish housing style of the era and quickly became the most densely populated area in Helsinki. Urban renewal taken place in Kallio was part of the international phenomenon largely affected by the architectural ideology of modernism. It affected city centres or its surroundings – often particularly the traditional workers districts, such as Kallio. During the renewal period, extensive demolition of wooden houses and the construction of undeveloped plots in accordance with the new ideas of the time were carried out. As a result of the renewal, the western part of Kallio became an area reflecting the international modernism ideology of urban design, with its numerous new buildings. The research methods used in this research have included extensive archival material review, map analysis, literature review, and interviews. The key source material has included the material produced by the City of Helsinki's administration, such as the records of the City Board, the Real Estate Board, and the Town Planning Board with necessary appendixes, as well as the decisions of the City Council. Building permit applications, historiographies produced by different actors, minutes of general meetings, professional magazines and newspaper articles have also been some of the key source material. The aim of the map analyses is to show how the built environment of Kallio developed at different stages of the study period. I have illustrated this change in terms of planning, new construction, conversion into parks, the development of the street network and the key nomenclature. Scientific literature has been used as a background to describe the phenomena occurred and the general atmosphere of different periods. The interviewees have been city officials who have previously been responsible for Kallio's town planning, residents who have experienced the reform themselves, and researchers. The main result of the study has been the essential role of the City of Helsinki regarding the change of the built environment in Kallio district. Changes in building rights based on city’s decisions have significantly guided planning and construction. The city was also responsible for detail planning in the area and integrated the development of Kallio into the expanding centre of Helsinki by locating some of its key public buildings there. The city also provided plots of land in the area for many ac-tors for their construction projects and was actively involved in various types of real estate transactions. It is also noteworthy that, despite the city's strong role, the development in Kallio has been a coincidence in many aspects. It has been significantly affected by economic booms and busts, sudden phenomena such as the outbreak of the Winter War, the lack of funding for construction, and changes in legislation governing construction and finance. Despite the city's otherwise central role, the actual construction of housing was carried out mainly by private construction companies. Kallio’s renewal process was a “puzzle for decades”. From today's point of view, the renewal in Kallio can be seen partly successful but also partly a warning example of how the existing urban environment should be developed.
  • Kolehmainen, Tuula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In this dissertation, I examine the themes of Black male vulnerability and stereotypes in the works of Toni Cade Bambara, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Gloria Naylor. The dates of publications of the selected works span from the 1960s up until the 1990s. This was a period when African American women were quite often criticized for negative representations of Black men in their fictional works. It is true that the male characters seem—at first glance—quite negatively represented: many of them are prone to physical, emotional, or sexual violence. I contend, however, that while the male characters in the selected works are, at times, apparently represented in stereotypical terms, these works in fact deconstruct and resist those very same stereotypes through representations of Black male vulnerability. Through their prose, these authors took part in the political discussion on race and gender. Moreover, all of them have been involved with Black feminism and womanism, and their works have most often been studied from the female viewpoint. According to Black feminist thought, the experience of African American women lies in the intersections of oppression according to both gender and race. My analysis shows the male characters, too, are victims of discrimination based on various kinds of social stratification. I have an intersectional approach and consider other forms of oppression, such as ableism, classism, and homophobia to analyze how Black male vulnerability is also produced at the intersections of social identity. While being vulnerable in general means being open to either physical or emotional attack or injury, as well as being dependent on others due to life situation, disability, age, etc. (OED), Black male vulnerability refers to “the material disadvantages Black males face due to incarceration, unemployment, police brutality, homicide, domestic and sexual abuse throughout society” (Curry 2017, 29). The present-day abuses primarily produced by racism, bias, and White supremacy result from the historical racist brutalization and disenfranchisement. In academia, Black masculinity is often understood as a form of patriarchy, but my research reveals how Black male vulnerability is constructed through a racialized form of gender oppression. This shows the importance of including Black male vulnerability in the study of Black masculinity.
  • Weiland-Särmälä, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This dissertation examines the lifestyle and immaterial heritage of a pastor family in the late 19th and early 20th century Finland. The main perspective of my presentation is to observe immaterial and material heritage, both of which I examine through a specific pastor family, the Kjäldströms. The main characters of my study are Elin von Rehausen (1859-1928) and Oscar Kjäldström (1857-1955). The background of the couple is an interesting combination of an old noble family and a rising bourgeoisie family. Elin and Oscar married in 1883 and had six children. I consider how they combined values from their respective backgrounds as well as the kind of new values they perhaps created as a religious priest family. In my study The Kjäldströms represent an example of “modern pastor” family . (Uuden polven papisto). The term used refers partly to Oscar’s background but also to their work with the so-called “fallen people”. The modern pastor families differed from the older period of “Clergy Dynasties” in nearly every perspective: starting with their background, strategies and networks, but also with their ideologies and values. I define the immaterial heritage mainly based on Giovanni Levi’s classical research of “La herencia immaterial”. For Levi, the immaterial heritage was about social status, social reputation and prestige. In short: his main idea of immaterial heritage was an ideal in which networks and tools could be transformed from “father to son”. In my study I define immaterial heritage in a wider perspective than Levi does. For me it is rather a basic concept, which includes family strategies and networks, but also ideologies, values, habits and lifestyle. In my study I claim that also material things can possess immaterial values and immaterial heritage. As my main source, I have used a large family archive. My aim is to observe how immaterial and material heritage moved on from generation to generation in this specific family. In The Kjäldströms family the heritage given to next generation was mostly immaterial: a religious way of life with strong moral values. I also study how immaterial heritage was transformed during the process. The study takes place in the field of history, particularly microhistory, however, I also use methods on the field of oral history, memory studies and art history. In terms of a theoretical framework, I have applied Pierre Bourdieu’s theory on social capital, which I understand as a sum of either actual or virtual resources. The approach used in the research is also partly based on Pierre Bourdieu’s Field Theory by using his concept of ”Habitus”. This dissertation shows that by examining the lifestyle of a modern priest family, their social relations, values and their work, one can find the lifestyle of intelligentsia/ upper class was not unitary but varied within the group.
  • Salminen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Blockbuster franchises have come to dominate the cinematic landscape of the 21st century and a significant portion of popular culture in the US. The blockbuster as a genre emerged in the mid-1970s and provided a basis for film franchises that regularly received new installments in the last twenty years. The new films continue the stories that began in previous films or tell new stories using new iterations of familiar characters and settings. Because audiences’ expectations for diversity and representation have changed since the 1970s, the new films reflect these changes in their casts of characters. These changes are most visible in these franchises’ gender representations. The new films are layered with the narrative elements of the previous films and thus need to engage with the nostalgic expectations of different generations of viewers. Adapting the material for a new era has produced franchises that narrate gender in two opposing ways. One narrative found in the new Star Wars films, for example, depicts gender as a flexible category, one that does not limit the potential of a character. The other narrative presents gender as a rigid identity with little room for variance. This confined narrative can be found in the DC-comics extended universe films, such as Batman v Superman. Examining these two narratives is the central premise of this dissertation. Since blockbuster cinema has traditionally been viewed as a neutral ground in popular culture, this disparity that emerged in the 2010s represents a significant change. The franchises analyzed in this work are Alien, DCEU, Jurassic Park, Mad Max, Star Trek, and Star Wars. The films from these franchises that are discussed are those released between 2009 and 2020. This work uses post-classical narratology with a contextual approach to understanding how gender is narrated through characters. This approach also focuses not on structure but on content that details impressions in cultural, historical, thematic, and ideological contexts. The results of this dissertation suggest that two opposing gender narratives are competing for dominance in blockbuster cinema and that the erosion of the conservative hegemony in the US is also visible: That gender narrative which is most associated with conservative values has difficulties maintaining cultural relevance as the more fluid narratives of gender gain more ground.
  • Seppänen, Hanneli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This work examines the Chivalric Christian presence of Arthurian women on the edge of power in Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur. It replies to two main research questions: How does Chivalric Christianity intersect the female religiousness in Le Morte, and how is Malory's perspective of Chivalric Christianity portrayed in the narratives of women. What does the representation of women in Malory's work reveal about their Chivalric Christian life on the edge of power, and what opportunities do Malory's women have to seize and utilize power for advancing their own goals in their marginal existence? This work suggests a religious and gendered way of reading women's narratives specifically in Le Morte Darthur and generally in Arthurian literature. It proposes that the omnipresence of Chivalric Christianity is manifested in the lives of the three women who represent the primary focus of this study. It also demonstrates that these women temporarily rise from the margins of power to grasp their moment and have either a political or emotional influence on the entire Maloruan literary world. Their reach to impact and influence is imminent and achievable for a transient moment, but their avenues to power are narrow and short. malory's work, written in 1469-1470 and printed after his death in 1485, is based on writings from the sixth to twelfth centuries and on their transformation into later fictional, spiritually allegorical texts composed mainly during the thirteenth century. Some of the thirteenth−century sources confirm that a religiously pious ethic had a profound impact on Malory's intentions for his work. A reading of Malory's sources, especially for his tale of the Sankgreall, has provided this study with a predominant Chivalric Christian perception of the legend of the holy grail. The concept of a storyworld guides the reading since Le Morte Darthur is an imaginary tale, located in the Middle Ages and populated by fictional medieval characters, however not limited or designated by time. The fictiveness of Malory's characters requires a different approach than real medieval people. A narratological character analysis is used to examine the cast of characters in Malory's literary universe. The thesis is divided into ten chapters, of which the first five shape the scene and build a historical and theoretical framework for the study, They provide the background for investigation, read the previous research with a focus on women's religiousness, contribute to an understanding of Malory's sources and his own religious perspectives, and provide this thesis with the necessary theoretical foundation. Themes of predestination, a good death, and a lifelong Christian journey − exemplified by Elaine of Corbin, Elayne of Ascolat, and Morgawse − are illuminated in their respective chapters. The topics of the Code of Chivalry and courtly love, power, and mystery of the Sankgreall, as well as purity and virginity, are in this work framed by Chivalric Christianity. The more general value of this study lies in the way it extends our recognition of late-medieval perspectives towards religion and history. Specifically, the study shows that the narratives or other historical writings were used to highlight and share Christian teachings. The examples of how to conduct a proper Christian life could be revealed to the readers through the moral and ethical attitudes and achievements of the literary characters, not necessarily by direct models.
  • Tkacheva, Tatiana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This dissertation focuses on the most recent changes that occurred in the Russian political regime and the instruments facilitating such adaptive changes. Based on the existing literature, this study relies on the premise that regional chief executives (also referred to as governors) are among the most important institutional pillars of the Russian political regime, and any significant changes in the regional politics and especially regarding the institution of the governorship in Russia may have political consequences for the national regime as well. In this respect, I consider the restoration of popular gubernatorial elections in Russia in 2012 as the beginning of the most recent stage of center-regional relations, and thus, the starting point for new developments in the Russian regime from a regional standpoint. The dissertation builds on the comparative literature on electoral authoritarianism by focusing on Russia as an example of this type of regime and on three political prerequisites for how it maintains its authoritarian rule: manipulating the electoral processes, placing excessive power in the hands of the president to manage the elites, and finding new ways to use the structures of the dominant party to its advantage. I suggest that the most recent regime developments in Russia show the transformation of the main political strategy of Russia’s authoritarian leadership and the introduction of new authoritarian add-ins to ensure the implementation of the new strategy, thus leading to regime consolidation and its gradual hegemonization. If previously the Kremlin had been mostly oriented towards maintaining the regional subordinates’ capacity to show high electoral support, the most recent trend, as this study shows, is the decreasing importance of electoral loyalty per se, the diminishing agency of governors, and a shift in the main Kremlin strategy towards minimizing the perceived political risks for further regime continuity. While contributing mainly to an understanding of contemporary Russian politics, these findings also add to a broader discussion on the trajectories, adaptation, and consolidation of electoral authoritarian regimes as well as the instruments of their political survival. The dissertation uses the empirical example of Russia to demonstrate that even under the consolidated institutional and political arrangements for maintaining authoritarian rule, autocrats are not only introducing significant transformations to the institutional and legal environment to adjust to the ongoing challenges of preserving the political status-quo, but also regularly developing hidden add-ins to the already well-established institutions and instruments to maintain authoritarian rule. Thus, this study gives a clearer picture of the dynamics of electoral authoritarian regimes and the trajectories of their possible transformations from competitive regimes into a more hegemonic type of regime and suggests avenues for developing both the theoretical apparatus and the empirical toolkit for further studies.

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