Humanistinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Ahonen, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The amount of information collected by personal health records, smartphone ecosystems, and other cloud services has increased enormously in recent years. This has, for instance, led to new ways of automated physical exercise assessment, but this also introduces the potential for novel methods and applications in the automated evaluation of various mental factors such as cognitive state and stress. Extracting such latent variables holds considerable promise, in particular in group-level analysis. Furthermore, the current initiatives and research programs collecting masses of health data from large cohorts create opportunities for developing the methodology. The lack of targeted research is partially hindering the development of the analysis of obscure factors, progress of machine learning and other algorithmic solutions, and the evolution of novel applications and technologies. As described in this introduction, various features inherent in biosignals increase the complexity in the research. In this thesis I provide an introduction to the emerging ubiquitous recording of physiological signals, its effects on the industry, opportunities for organizations and management, and data analytics and measurement techniques. The aim is to seek the future prospects of systemic scenarios and large-scale initiatives. The original publications reviewed in this thesis seek biosignals for features responsive for cognitive states such as stress and, more interestingly, second-order factors derived from inter-individual responses and activations. By introducing more complex features to psychophysiological research, group analytics can be further developed. Second-order analyses provide robust signal features and may lead to advanced applications in assessing well-being and performance. The original publications consist of three research articles and a primer review. The experiments include recordings of magnetoencephalography (MEG), heart rate variability (HRV), and electrodermal activity (EDA), and they exemplify systemic use cases of biosignals. The included primer review discusses general methods in psychophysiological research in human–computer interaction (HCI). Together with this introduction, my experimental results provide evidence that taking psychophysiological measurements from the laboratory to ecologically valid environments is plausible and effective. The literature suggests that consumer-grade devices and personal internet of things will revolutionize myriad sectors, e.g., organizational management. Together with an exponentially increasing data collection and novel applications, the industry will have large economical impacts.
  • Syrjälä, Väinö (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study focuses on the effect language use in the public space has for language users’ perception of towns in bilingual Finland and how these perceptions construe specific bilingual places. Of central concern is the methodology used within both onomastics and the general study of linguistic landscapes: I ask, what is the best way to take into account the views of language users in these kinds of studies? A fundamental starting point is the distinction between geographical spaces and socially significant, perceived places. Furthermore, an analysis of the role of proper names in the linguistic landscapes, and of the perceptions of linguistic places, allows for a discussion of the status of Swedish in the Finnish society. The study is carried out within the sociolinguistic branch of linguistic landscape studies, a field with focus on visual language use in public spaces. I have also used more ethnographic (folk-onomastic) methods to study the views of language users. The study uses three types of material: (1) an analysis of the linguistic landscapes in the bilingual towns Grankulla and Karis in Southern Finland; (2) a questionnaire targeted at language users from these same towns; and (3) an experimental case-study of teenagers’ own observations of the linguistic landscape in two suburbs of Helsinki. My thesis consists of five articles. In three of these, my focus is on the use of proper names. Taking a socio-onomastic approach I discuss the relation between name and place in the light of language users’ choice between parallel toponyms (article A), the role of names in the linguistic landscape of bilingual Finland (article C), and the relation between commercial naming and bilingualism of the society (article D). In the remaining two articles my focus is on language users’ views on the linguistic landscape: inhabitants’ perceptions of and preferences for language use in the public space (article B) and teenagers’ observations (article E). The results of my study highlight the important role that linguistic landscapes have for the perceived bilingualism of the towns and suburbs analysed. Swedish is, and is perceived to be, visible in the public space. This is, however, to a large extent due to the official, regulated language use. The subordinate position of the language in commercial contexts still raises questions about its actual status in the society. The use of proper names does not support an unambiguous sense of a bilingual place either. Overall, the perceptions of language users are based on more factors than simply the visible use of names and languages in the public space. The use of different methods shows the methodological potential for new perspectives on the study of linguistic landscapes. With a questionnaire one can relatively easily analyse the reliability of a researcher’s own understanding of a linguistic landscape in relation to the perceptions of other language users. By taking into account their views, even questions about the visibility of certain signs and their importance for the perceived status of a language in a society can be approached in greater detail. Proper names are an integral part of all linguistic landscapes. At the same time, they are often open for different interpretations. This is why I argue that names should be made more visible in every analysis of linguistic landscapes. Further studies are needed to shed light on how names are being interpreted in the multimodal context of language in public space.
  • Rebane, Liia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Abstract This thesis looks at the time a few centuries ago and concentrates on a part of the intellectual and material heritage – books – as well as treats them as material objects by placing them in the artistic and social context of the time. The main aspect of the thesis focuses on the external appearance of book bindings. The thesis is based on empirical and analytical methods, rather than philosophical and theoretical. The book bindings of 1480–1600 with the embellishments of the Tallinn City Archives form the foundation of the thesis. The reason for selecting this collection lies in the fact that it is an integral collection mostly related to the story of one city – Tallinn. The base material also includes volumes from the memory institutions of Estonia, Germany, Bruges, and Antwerp, which are related to the collection stored in the Tallinn City Archives. In general, book bindings are either made by local artisans or bought, already bound, in the city they were printed in. The observed collection is diverse and heterogeneous, which confirms that these books were made by several artisans. The collection included books made by both local bookbinders and books made abroad. The search for the artisan or school of some of the books leads far outside of Tallinn. Several books, initially considered the work of local artisans, actually originate from somewhere else. One of the important achievements of this thesis is the attribution of books originally thought to be local production to the bookbinding schools of Bruges and Antwerp. The analysed collection is strongly connected to the German cultural space and the Netherlands. Based on the collection of the Tallinn City Archives in the analysed period, it cannot be said that there was one established local style that Tallinn artisans followed. Instead, several trends can be seen. There are influences and styles from the German cultural space and the Netherlands. The motifs of the previous style period were also used in addition to contemporary influences and often, a symbiosis of both periods can be observed. All these tendencies can be witnessed in the works of several artisans. This thesis sheds light on a collection of books that has never before been studied more thoroughly by finding connections to the collections and bookbinding schools of other countries and whenever possible, to the artisans of the books.
  • Oulanne, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The short fiction of Djuna Barnes (1892–1982) and Jean Rhys (1890–1979) conveys intense moments of human characters interacting with material things. Clothes and furniture along with other material items, both human-made and of the natural world, have central roles in how the stories invite interpretation and affective response. This is part of the way the two writers draw upon and develop modernist ideas and aesthetics, focus on lived experience and challenge the borders between the individual and the world, the human and the nonhuman. The form of short fiction allows for especially intense depictions of fleeting moments of experience. This study analyzes the way material things are present in such moments, and discusses their roles in the evocation of spatiality and temporality, their fictional agency and their part in literary affectivity and meaning-making. Barnes’s and Rhys’s stories invite sociocultural interpretations related to issues such as commodification and consumerism, marginality and belonging, and gendered power relations. This study explores the ways in which such interpretations are produced by narrative experientiality, especially the evocation of embodied, affective experiences of material things. With the help of theoretical insights into embodied cognitive narratology and phenomenology as well as new materialist thinking combined with a variety of theoretical perspectives contemporary to the texts studied, the analyses investigate the ways in which cultural values suggested by the texts are entangled with basic, embodied experiences of being in the material world, and the ways such experiences can be evoked in the reader. The study shows how paying attention to the entanglements of the material and the cultural, humans and things, open new possibilities of interpretation and shift readers’ understanding of modernist fiction and the experientiality of stories, and how the stories in turn can shed light on the real-world relations between the human and the nonhuman. The analyses suggest a broader inclusion of materiality and worldly experience within the interpretation of Barnes’s and Rhys’s work and within canonized modernism. The attention to experienced materialities offers additional support especially for readings that focus on the stories’ reparative potential as regards their point of view on agency and subjecthood and their evocation of posi- tive affect, yet it also allows for the pairing of these affirmative tones with the recognition of the critical potential of the works. The analyses contribute to the discussion of narrative experientiality by highlighting it as an embodied phenomenon rooted in the material world.
  • Suomela, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The subject of my doctoral dissertation Remembering genius Londinii: London novelists and the spirit of the city is the role of memory in the recognition of genius loci, as presented in the novels of four London authors: in Peter Ackroyd’s The House of Doctor Dee (1993), Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994), and Three Brothers (2013), in Maureen Duffy’s Capital (1975), in Michael Moorcock’s Mother London (1988), and in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000). My analysis of the novels is premised on the proposition that in order to come into contact with the spirit of a certain place, we need to examine the crossroads of place and memory in its different forms. The central interpretive concept of my dissertation, genius loci, is strongly interdisciplinary, having together with a closely related concept, sense of place, inspired scholars in various fields of study. I shall approach the subject mainly via the ideas of phenomenologically disposed humanistic geography and environmental psychology, while staying within the context of literary research. The readings of the novels are organized thematically to expose the formation of genius Londinii from different angles, varying in the interrelationship of place and memory and the impact of individual versus collective perspective. The first three chapters focus on the novels of Peter Ackroyd, Maureen Duffy, and Michael Moorcock, examining the evolution of genius loci in a city with immemorial layers of past, in a city serving as a place of growth, and in a city threatened by a collective crisis. The fourth chapter rounds off the analysis by focusing on the spirit of the city from the perspective of London’s substantial immigrant population and, along with a thematic reading of Zadie Smith’s novel, discusses the feasibility of the main premise of this study in defining genius Londinii when personal or collective memories – or both – lie elsewhere.
  • Norring, Petteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation studies 20th-century Nordic historiography by analyzing the careers and scholarly works of Swedish economic historian Eli F. Heckscher (1879–1952) and Finnish historian Eino Jutikkala (1907–2006). The main objective of this study is to construct their intellectual relationship, to find out how these two historians studied history and to uncover what kind of history they constructed for their societies. First I study the careers of Heckscher and Jutikkala as Nordic historians. With archive material and secondary literature I construct their intellectual relationship and position them in their national and regional academic communities and in the wider framework of European historiography. I then analyze their relationship and significance by studying their scholarly output. I compare their central research themes to study what kind of master narratives they constructed for their own societies. From this standpoint I examine the effects that their present personal and communal (national, academic, political, international, regional) ties and phenomena had on their scholarly work. Further, I investigate the historical syntheses of Heckscher and Jutikkala by studying two connected elements of historiographic operation, the representation of the past and the explanation/understanding of history, in their textual output. By highlighting this tense relationship I analyze the normative features of their historical syntheses. Methodologically, this study shows that the features of historical knowledge and historians’ self-understanding can be studied systematically by analyzing the main themes, concepts and relationship between historiographic representation and historiographic explanation. The comparative and critical reassessment of Jutikkala’s and Heckscher’s career and research themes shows that the historical syntheses they produced were normative master narratives with which they shaped national histories and positioned them within the international system of nations. For both of them writing about the past was a political action which took place in the present. Although they employed the traditional themes of their national histories they also made good use of contemporary socioeconomic approaches to highlight the systemic, cultural and ideological connections that Finland and Sweden had to Nordic and Western sociopolitical traditions.
  • Saikkonen, Taija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This thesis investigates the development of Finnish syntax between the ages of one year, eight months and three years from the perspective of generative linguistics. The aim of the thesis is to study language acquisition phenomena that have been studied in other languages but not in Finnish. These phenomena are null subjects, Root Infinitives and the development of the functional projections in child Finnish. This thesis is the first research using generativist framework after Bowerman (1973). The longitudinal data of the thesis was collected by videotaping two girls’ spontaneous speech in their homes once a month in free play situations. The participants of the study were two monolingual Finnish girls between the ages of one year, eight months and three years. On average, one video recording lasted 58 minutes. The data include a total of 32 recordings and 8410 utterances. In the null subjects, children omit subjects even when they are obligatory in the adult language. Finnish is a partially pro-drop language where subjects are obligatory in the third person. The two Finnish children studied tended to omit subjects in the third person context in the same way as in other languages. Finnish children generally reach adult level at the age of two years, three months. In Root Infinitives, children use non-finite verb forms in a finite context. The Root Infinitive verb form in Finnish is the third person singular. It is the most frequent verb form in child Finnish, and the children do not use an infinitive verb forms in their early language. Thus, the Finnish Root Infinitive verb form is different from that of other languages, since it is the finite verb form. The functional projections have been one way to explain why children’s language differs from adult language. The children can have all the functional projections from the beginning of language acquisition, or they can develop over it time. In Finnish, functional projections develop gradually. However, Finnish children have one functional projection from the beginning of language two-word stage that can host a tense.
  • Päivärinne, Meri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Jean Barbeyrac, traducteur et homme de lettres presents a micro-historical case study of an influential translator, with special reference to the concepts of visibility, agency and norms. The relations between these three sociological concepts are also analysed. The research combines sociology and history in studying the life and works of Jean Barbeyrac (1674-1744). The basic material consists of the works of this translator, who was also a university teacher and a central figure of the République des lettres. Most important are his two French translations from Latin: Samuel Pufendorf’s Droit de la nature et des gens (1706) and Hugo Grotius’ Droit de la guerre et de la paix (1725), together with other published writings by him and critiques of his translations. An important source alongside the published works is the translator’s correspondence, which has been collected for this study from different archives and transcribed from manuscripts. The correspondence has been published as part of the University of Lausanne project “lumières.lausanne” (see The corpus gives a comprehensive picture of both the professional profile of the translator and his personal life, his career and the various connections he maintained in his international network. The research extends the material basis for translation history studies in that the translated works are academic non-fiction forming the theoretical basis of modern international law. It can be seen that, in the case of these works, this is a matter of intracultural translation, since the original Latin works were mainly aimed at the same scholarly audience as the translations themselves, so the intercultural dimension often highlighted in translation studies is not so relevant in this case. The study emphasizes the role of paratexts as a source of sociological and historical knowledge; both the prefaces and footnotes of the works (peritexts), as well as paratexts outside the translations (epitexts) such as criticism and correspondence, are essential. One of the conclusions of this study is that, in the case of Barbeyrac, it was not the translation strategy that was a decisive factor in his high visibility, but rather the rich use of paratexts. This visibility was partly created by reforming the paratextual practices of academic writing, in this case via unusually strong agency and partial norm-breaking. As for the norms of translation, one of the results of the research is that, in the early modern times in Barbeyrac’s most important cultural field, the République des Lettres, there was a relatively broad spectrum of different accepted ways of translating academic writings. Translation was seen as a worthwhile act to make knowledge and literature available to wider audiences. The commentary translation, represented in the way Barbeyrac used his own voice as part of his works (in prefaces, notes), as well as his extensive agency in various roles in his field, brought him a great deal of visibility and appreciation as a translator.
  • Sosa, Takemi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg (b. 1958) is one of the leading figures in the field of contemporary classical music. Curiously, despite the fascinating characteristics of Lindberg’s works and the several interesting subjects his music brings up, his works have not been widely researched. This study, "Magnus Lindberg: Musical Gesture and Dramaturgy in Aura and the Symphonic Triptych," examines Lindberg’s technical and aesthetic thinking by analyzing his significant works of the 1990s: Aura (1994) and the Symphonic Triptych, which includes Feria (1997), Cantigas (1997–99), and Parada (2001). The main purpose of the study is to demonstrate the composer’s construction of gesture and dramaturgy from the viewpoint of musical dramaturgy. The analyses focus on Lindberg’s strategic design, which is called dramaturgical cohesion in narrative. The main theoretical framework is musical narrative (see, for example, Tarasti 1994, Almén 2008, Grabócz 2008). Methodologically, the research is based on an approach that combines musical narrative with “traditional analysis,” by which I mean examining the form and structure of a work. Musical narrative in turn draws ideas from the study of theater and literature. My idea of musical gesture and dramaturgy is based on this combined analytical method. An essential concept here is dramaturgy, which is anchored to the theory of drama, especially the model of tragedy based on Aristotle’s Poetics. This model consists of five parts of drama (exposition, rising action, peripeteia, falling action, and dénoument) and the climax. The precise examination of a climax refers to the idea of telos. Telos, meaning the goal of a linear process, is a central aspect of a syntagmatic relationship. And as a culmination that unifies structural levels, telos is also central to paradigmatic relationships. Musical gesture refers to a musical event that plays the main role in a composition’s functional units. Musical gestures are subordinate to dramaturgical cohesion or hierarchical structure. In order to focus on telos and its function in a dramaturgical structure as a whole, it is important to examine the relationship between telos and gestures. For this analysis, I use the orchestral scores of four Lindberg works together with sound materials (CDs) and the composer’s drafts of compositions in order to find and identify gestures, telos, and elements of narrativity. In addition, the interviews that I conducted with Lindberg and selections from his writings reflect the composer’s aesthetic-technical and dramaturgical thinking. The most significant finding is that a certain dramaturgical structure, which I call “the Lindberg dramaturgy,” is found in all four works analyzed here. This structure is associated with Aristotelian dramaturgy. Lindberg’s music opens with an exposition (the opening gesture), in which the basic material is presented. The musical process develops toward chaos, which must somehow be resolved. Music is now in a state of saturation; the musical motion slows down and musical tension heightens. As a result of the saturation, an explosion occurs. Finally, a unison, a tonality, or some kind of ending gesture with a long note or fadeout follows the explosion – Lindberg’s catharsis (=cleansing). I claim that the musical narrative of Aura and the Symphonic Triptych are based on this formula. The process to the telos is indicated by the vision of narrativity moving from chaos to clarity, a concept on which the dramaturgy of these four works is based.
  • Portaankorva, Jari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    "Faith-based diplomacy and conflict resolution: Muslims and Christians building reconciliation." This dissertation examines how faith-based diplomacy and Muslim-Christian cooperation supports reconciliation. The portrayal of religions in the media is often linked with violence, and less attention is given to religious peace-building efforts to resolve conflicts. In this study the results of three articles (I, II, III) are analysed through John Paul Lederach's conflict transformation theory. The first article (I), "Reaching for peace between faiths. ‘A Common Word’ letter and ‘Yale Response’ building reconciliation between Christians and Muslims", deals Muslim leaders in an effort to begin a new dialogue between religions. Both letters affirmed the common ground of beliefs that can be found in Abrahamic religions: believing in God, loving your neighbour and building reconciliation. The second article (II) "Muslim and Christian leaders working together: Building reconciliation in the Sierra Leone conflict" examines the work of the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) from an interreligious peace-building perspective. The results of the study argue that Muslims and Christians have common values and common ground that they can use in the midst of conflict to mediate peace. The third article (III) "Between religions. Baptist converts in Sierra Leone and their Islamic and African traditional religious past" discusses Baptist converts who have broken with the past and left their former religious communities. Christian converts from Islam have been working together with Muslim leaders to resolve local conflicts at the grassroots level. This research argues that faith-based diplomacy supports conflict resolution in three stages: global interreligious dialogue, national religious leaders´ interaction, and grassroots-level daily life. The results of the study show the process of horizon fusion between faiths, as Hans-Georg Gadamer argues. In the midst of conflicts, the Muslim-Christian dialogue and interaction can lead to a new understanding of reconciliation and peace. The focus of the empirical research was Sierra Leone’s civil war of 1991–2002. The results of the study support John Paul Lederach’s conflict transformation argument that multitrack peace-building at the top level, middle level and grassroots level of a society help in conflict resolution. The religious leaders of Sierra Leone condemned the violence and were ready to apply restorative justice that gave them a special role as peace brokers. The cooperation between religious leaders and the role of religious rituals in the process of reconciliation brought a sense of safety amidst the chaos as well as hope for a better future. When a political system is fragile, people rely on religious institutions where religious actors show moral integrity. Faith-based diplomacy helps to resolve conflicts in divided societies by nonviolent means.
  • Österberg, Ira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation examines the role of rock songs as film music in Russian cinema and how one important film, Aleksej Balabanov’s Brother (Brat, 1997), reshaped film music conventions in the 1990s. The study is divided into two sections: the first is a historical examination of more than twenty films made between the late 1920s and the early 1990s, the second focuses on Brother and its use of music. The research questions are 1) How is music used in Brother? 2) How were rock songs used in Russian cinema prior to Brother? 3) What are the similarities and the differences between the two uses? The methodology of the research is based on film music narratology combined with traditional Russian formalist and structural-semiotic views of art-texts as structures. Central concepts are Claudia Gorbman’s (1987) diegetic and non-diegetic music and Guido Heldt’s (2013) theoretization on film music, authorship and subjectivity. The study shows that the use of rock songs in Soviet-era Russian films goes through three stages. First they are used as exceptions to the main musical idiom and presented as diegetic performances connected with youth, nowness, dance and humor. Then, in the youth films of Dinara Asanova, rock songs gradually become a more dominant part of the musical strategies. Finally, during perestroika underground rock songs are used as the main idiom and rock gains new connotations of the intelligentsia and the avant-garde, but the songs are still mainly connected to realistic motivation. Brother differs from its predecessors as it combines a rock compilation score with gangster action instead of focusing only on youth or high art thematics. The analysis uncovers that the rock songs represent the voice of the author, but they are ambivalent in their relationship to the diegesis. A struggle emerges between the author-narrator and the main character over the music and this can be read as a self-reflective commentary on the development of the use of rock in Russian cinema. The overall path of rock songs in Russian films can be seen as the evolution of a device, in Jurij Tyn’janov’s (1977 [1927]) terms, in which the element (rock) changes its function and other elements move in to fulfill its previous functions. Brother’s music track acts as a link in the evolutionary chain of Russian film music’s development toward post-classical compilation and composite scores.
  • Murmann, Maximilian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The present thesis investigates the syntagmatic relations of certain Finnish emotion verbs that are formed by the derivational suffix -ua/-yä (e.g. suuttua ‘get angry’, pelästyä ‘get frightened). Prototypically, the suffix expresses reflexivity, but in the case of the “inchoative” emotion verbs, it indicates a change of state on behalf of the experiencer, from a non-emotional state to an emotional state. The starting point of the investigation is a discussion of different psychological theories of emotion. The discussion shows that constructivist theories particularly emphasize the role of language and offer several links to the cognitive, usage-based model of language that constitutes the theoretical framework guiding the thesis. With regard to the usage-based model, special focus will be put on the status of argument structures and the categorization of words. Furthermore, the work draws on theoretical and methodological insights from corpus linguistics, which is concerned with the description of linguistic data on the basis of large text collections. The methodology chapter will present some of the most central corpus linguistic concepts, as well as several forms of co-occurrence analysis adapted in order to investigate the syntagmatic relations of the verbs in question. The empirical part of the study makes use of the Suomi24 corpus, which is based on the eponymous Finnish discussion forum. Prior to the analyses, the corpus was queried for the twenty most frequent inchoative emotion verbs. The results of the first analysis, where the focus has been put on argument realization (e.g. suuttua jostakin ‘get angry about something’ vs. pelästyä jotakin ‘get frightened by something’), suggests that the distribution of the different argument realization patterns only partially reflects semantic similarities among the verbs. In the second analysis, the main interest was the causes or stimuli provoking particular emotional states (e.g. suuttua kritiikistä ‘get angry about criticism’ vs. pelästyä ääntä ‘get frightened by noise’). The collexeme analysis used in this context leads to the conclusion that emotion verbs with similar semantics also co-occur with similar stimulus nouns. These semantic preferences can be related to different aspects of the stimuli, such as their ontology (e.g. rakastua ‘fall in love’ + human beings), particular topics (e.g. huolestua ‘get worried’ + health) or other semantic characteristics related to them (e.g. yllättyä ‘get surprised’ + expectations). Thus, the quantitative methods used in the present work lead to results that cannot be obtained by exclusively relying on a qualitative analysis.
  • Ungro, Ave (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The heart of this dissertation consists of texts that represent crónicas, a contemporary form of Mexican literary journalism. The dissertation’s original contribution is its concentration on crónicas from a unique angle – through the value positions they reveal. The theme of the illicit drug trade is used as a methodological and contextual tool with which to filter out valid texts about controversies and representations of societal frictions. The aim of the study is to answer three main questions. Firstly, what value positions can be discerned in discourses in the contemporary Mexican crónicas that deal with the illicit drug trade? Secondly, how are these value positions composed? The third and final question consists of two parts, and its answers are valid only within the scope of the current textual corpus: taking into consideration the answers to the first two questions, what is the form of a crónica and what is its function in Mexico’s literary, journalistic, and social scene? To answer these questions, ten crónicas have been selected for analysis. The theoretical framing revolves around three main concepts: values, discourses, and the crónica as a genre. Values are theorized from axiological viewpoints of value theory, and ‘value’ is defined as something considered as either good or important (or negatively, not good or not important). For discourse, I apply the narrative approach (Todorov), the action-based approach (Potter & Wetherell), and the Foucauldian approach, which looks at discourse as a generator of social and collective meaning(s). With regard to the crónica, defining the genre is one of the secondary aims of this monograph. In the process of framing the crónica, both previous scholarly work and current research results are considered. To answer my research questions, I employ narrative discourse analysis. The model for the analysis is derived from the semiotic square and actantial model, developed by semiotician Algirdas Greimas. Based on Greimas, I have formed a compatible model that helps to systemize the accounts of values, and this model points to corresponding narrative structures in the texts. The Greimas-inspired axiological model for narrative analysis figuratively presents the relations between the actantial value positions in the narrative and makes it possible to reflect results in reference to the reality the actants depict. The results of this study demonstrate three main aspects of the value positions in contemporary Mexican crónicas dealing with the illicit drug trade: variety, inconsistency, and contradiction. In composing the value positions, mostly abstract and allusive modalities are employed. In order to heighten emotion in readers, authors of the crónicas mainly use four types of literary mood: irony, suspense, worry, and melodrama. In terms of form, the crónica, according to this study, could be defined as a genre that mediates the author’s value positions vis-à-vis circumstantial value positions. The function of the crónica can be described as giving a description, analysis, explanation, or criticism of different value positions. All in all, it could be said that the crónicas have powerful evaluative potential.
  • Lehtonen, Lasse (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Japan in the 1930s was a culturally complex land combining various syntheses and juxtapositions of Western and Japanese culture and thought. One phenomenon that exemplifies this is Japanese-style composition—here defined as music based on Western principles of composition but adopting elements from Japanese music and culture—which became a notable and debated new trend among Japanese composers in the late 1930s. The main objective of this thesis is to understand Japanese-style composition as a phenomenon in the 1930s: what it was musically, why it emerged, and how it related to the social developments of the time. To accomplish this, the present study discusses the musical work and thought of the founding members of the composer group Shinkō sakkyokuka renmei (Federation of Emerging Composers). By adopting Carl Dahlhaus’s structural study of history and the examination of musical works in their socio-cultural context, this thesis discusses the works of Shinkō sakkyokuka renmei as discourses that convey the ideas and values of their time. The approach is linked with studies emphasizing the “imaginary” and constantly changing nature of culture and nations: the thesis does not claim to recognize that which is, but which has been thought of as being Japanese. Identifying these musical elements—a procedure for which the thesis proposes a methodology—is considered to be the first step in enabling more contextualized analysis. The results of this thesis suggest that Japanese-style composition in the 1930s was not a monolith, but followed various viewpoints and approaches. The motivations to adopt them ranged from the defense of the traditional Japanese way of life to the pursuit of the modernist aim of developing and renewing expression in Western-style music. These results suggest that prewar Japanese music introduced significantly more versatile viewpoints into Japanese-style composition than has been recognized to date—including even the use of relatively modern compositional techniques such as microtonality as a “Japanese element.” The musical approaches of each composer also merge with the discourses of the time related to traditionalism, modernism, and nationalism, and reflect the confusion between Japanese and Western culture apparent in Japan of the time. From this perspective, they end up constituting the social and cultural issues of their time.
  • Ahti, Jonna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Jonna Ahti, 2018. Conventions, communication and conflicts in a Finland-Swedish chat room. Abstract This study explores conventions, communication and conflicts in a Finland-Swedish chat room. The data consist of chat conversations in a chat room called X3M Chat which was administered by Radio X3M from the late 1990s until the chat room was put down in 2011. The material consists of 8 days of data in the chat room of which 38 conflict episodes have been chosen for this study. The aim of the study is threefold. The first one is to study communicative characteristics and conventions in chat conversations. The aim is to show how these characteristics can be understood in this data and in realtion to previous studies on conflicts in spoken conversations. I present two different types of conflicts: one with a three-part structure (32 episodes) and another with a two-part structure (6 episodes). The first part is a trigger that is opposed by the second part. These first two parts are warning signals for an upcoming conflict whereas the last part can be used either to continue the conflict into a full conflict (the three-part structure) or to neutralize it (the two-part structure). The second aim of this thesis is to study the interactional development of conflicts – how do they begin, how do they develop and how do they end. This aim is structural and concentrates on which components the conflict episodes consist of and how the participants react to them. This part of the study doesn’t merely focus on the structure of utterances and sentences but also on the structure of the social behaviour of the participants. The third aim is methodological and aims at finding if and how the methods from studies in interaction and conversation analysis can be used when studying communication in a written medium happening in real time. The study shows that conversation analysis and studies in interaction can be used at many points when studying written communication. Chat conversations have features of both written and spoken language use but it still is a form of its own and should be studied accordingly. My study also shows that there are three elements that most often lead to a conflict: the topic, the home region and dialect and provocative utterances. Different ways to end a conflict episode were also studied and the most common way is to change the subject. I have analyzed both the social and the structural level of conflicts in the data. Conflicts are more than linguistic activities: they carry connotations that can only be seen in a certain situation or surrounding. They consist of the three parts but my analysis shows that there are also certain features in chat room conversations which may lead to conflicts. It is also obvious that the community has different ways to cope with the problematic situation and end the conflict. Keywords: conversation analysis, interaction studies, chat, web community, Finland-Swedish, youth, conflicts