Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Anyan, James (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study explores how opportunities for higher education (HE) are distributed in Ghana s public universities to students; and particularly, how those from the disadvantaged sections of the Ghanaian society fare in that regard. It was approached as a multi-level (integrating elements of micro, meso and macro) and multi-perspective dual transformative case study. Drawing mainly upon data collected from semi-structured interviews with students, graduates, university officials and policy-makers, as well as secondary data archived by the relevant institutions; it examines the processes and patterns in the distribution of admission slots to students. It engages with the tensions and dilemmas confronting the universities in such allocations, and debates same, in the context of procedural justice and meritocracy on the one hand, and distributive justice and affirmative action on the other. The interactions and intersections of socio-economic and other significant variables parental education, family income, geographical location, gender and disability are discussed, principally, in the framework of effectively maintained inequality (EMI), to understand the factors influencing the patterns of distribution observed. The data were thematically analysed using both sensitising concepts from the literature review, the conceptual frameworks as well as the indigenous concepts that emerged from the data. The findings indicate that the distribution of HE seats in the two public universities selected for the study is highly inequitable with students who graduated from the few urban-based and elite upper secondary schools overrepresented while graduates from the majority rural-based and resource-poor schools are underrepresented. Although there was unanimity among the different groups of participants about the existence and persistence of the problem, their approaches to dealing with the problem proved dichotomous. While students from the rural schools, for instance, exposed their status frustration and assumed a reformist stance on the issue of remodelling the current grade-based admission system to one cognisant of the difficult circumstances under which rural students pursue their upper secondary education, their counterparts from the elite schools essentially defended the maintenance of the status quo. The majority of female participants, contrary to the views of policy-makers, strongly objected to affirmative action for the admission of females; arguing that the policy reinforces the notion that they are inferior to their male counterparts. The results further reveal a multi-layered social stratification in access to, and equity in HE in Ghana. Almost all the students and graduates who were admitted into the universities on affirmative action basis identified themselves as rural people from low-income families, with little or no parental education, and poor parental occupations. Such students, though in dire financial straits, were contrary to expectations, found to be very resilient and highly motivated to complete their studies; posting excellent academic performance. Students with disabilities were also found to be internally excluded, facing life and academic threatening challenges, whereas female students reported entrenched socio-cultural norms impeding the education and aspirations of women in the Ghanaian society. Against these backdrops, the study calls for a rethink of the current overly meritocratic admission procedures in Ghana s public universities that do harm to access and equity for the majority rural students. It further recommends financial support from government to support the affirmative action initiatives of the public universities; an improvement in the conditions of students with disability, and multi-sectoral interventions to ameliorate the barriers impeding the education of females. The successful completion of HE holding all things constant by these disadvantaged groups, with its attendant better educated citizenry, enhanced civic consciousness, empowerment and participation, in addition to other socio-economic benefits, make such investments worthwhile. Keywords: distributive justice, procedural justice, affirmative action, gender, disability, stratification.
  • Godenhjelm, Sebastian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Over the past few decades, contemporary public policy and governance systems have been transformed in response to both local and supra-national societal problems and demands. Clear-cut means of tackling these problems and demands are rare. Public policy problems seldom fall neatly within specific jurisdictions or agencies. The state has become increasingly dependent on a wide range of policies and arrangements that produce public services, provide rapid results and facilitate timely interventions. As a response, the choice of governance mechanisms and organizational forms that enable collaborative, dynamic and flexible arrangements in the implementation of public policy becomes highly relevant. This study analyses the increasing use of temporary project organisations as new governance mechanisms in contemporary policy implementation and the prospects for action that this entails. The main argument is that project organisations could yield significant benefits and can play a vital role as horizontal as well as vertical interlinking mechanisms between various administrative levels. They could also include challenges that have not yet been fully understood. The overarching aim of the study is to conceptualise and understand the benefits and challenges related to the increasing number of temporary governance mechanisms in the form of project organisations in the public sector context. The study analyses the potential consequences and advantages of public sector projectification in four research articles and this summary article, focusing on how projectification is driven forward, as well as what the consequences of projectification are in the European Union (EU) context and the public sector in general. It considers the long-term effects of project organisations and the extent to which the added value they produce can be utilized. Who are the beneficial social partners and what types of collaborative procedures and actions are needed to achieve innovation in EU structural fund projects? The multifaceted and ambiguous nature of public sector project research, the uniqueness associated with the various actor objectives, interests and participatory procedures regarding projects, as well as their management requires a broad theoretical view and a variety of methods. Three interrelated strands of research in this respect are particularly relevant: the New Public Management (NPM) discourse, theories of Governance, and project management ideals and Governance of Projects (GoP). They represent a mixture of old and new, which is necessary in order to understand the functioning of projects and projectification as well as their embeddedness in the public sector environment. The study follows an empirically informed interpretive approach, which emphasises the intentionality of actions, practices, and social life. It uses a mixed-methods approach and advocates multi-perspectivism and paradigm interplay. It also combines different interpretations of the existing governance frameworks and public sector projects, thus acknowledging that alternative views might exist. The methods used in the individual articles represent metaevaluation, qualitative content analysis, logistic regression analysis and social network analysis (SNA). The findings highlight the lack of conceptualizations concerning the relationship between temporary and permanent structures, and suggest that an increasing temporality in public decision-making may challenge fundamental administrative values such as transparency and democratic accountability. The findings question the often over-emphasised value of using projects as opposed to other more permanent mechanisms in the public sector environment and suggest that there is a potential mismatch between the operational logic of projects and the prevailing project and program evaluation system in the public sector. Projects can act as hubs where valuable information is produced, and project stakeholder networks and various collaborative efforts can play a role in predicting project innovations. There is, however, an overly optimistic view of collaborative efforts in achieving project innovations, calling collaboration in projects into question as a direct remedy for a lack of innovation. The study concludes that an increasing use of project organisations in the public sector may have significant consequences, as well as showing that the expected advantages of project organisations are related to the rationalistic ideals, but also that temporality as such poses challenges to permanent administrative structures. Although projects might be superior to permanent structures in producing quick outputs, too much focus on the rational logic of project organisations means that their added value remains underutilized in a public sector context. The study contributes to a theoretical understanding of projectification, what the key drivers of projectification are, as well as specific public sector features that need to be accounted for in a projectified public sector. The study concludes that contextually sensitive interlinking mechanisms between temporary and permanent organizations are vital in explaining the outcome of temporary organizations in a politico-administrative context.
  • Hart, Linda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study is a sociological analysis of the establishment and recognition of family relations in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. How are close personal relations between adult couples and children and their parents recognised in the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)? What kinds of combinations of biological, legal, social and gendered personal relations are regarded as family life in legal disputes between individual applicants and Member States of the Council of Europe? Following Nicola Lacey, the analysis develops a notion of relational subjects framed by perspectives from feminist legal theory, relational sociology and contemporary debates on the law and politics of family formation. It also offers a sociological reading of relevant ECHR case law. Relevant judgements from 1979 2014 act as primary data, supported by relevant inadmissibility decisions and reports from 1960 onwards (90 cases in total). In the data, a historical shift from emphasising status (married/unmarried, male/female) towards identity (sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic origins, genealogy) in recent case law may be identified. The notion of individual rights holders is examined from a relational perspective inspired by sociological and anthropological theory and gender studies in law, emphasising the importance of life-sustaining relations of care and dependency in the spirit of feminist relational (legal and political) theory that do not always follow preconceived structures of kinship recognition. Furthermore, it is enquired whether relations between legal subjects are more fruitfully viewed as transactional or transcendental from the point of view of two differing academic schools in the field of relational sociology, one among many other general theories on the constitution of society. It is argued that a process of divergence between alliance (marriage, civil unions, cohabitation) and filiation (legally recognised parent-child relations) has been intensified with the emergence of same-sex marriage and civil unions in the European legal arena in recent years. Politically and legally, alliance is simpler to transform into a gender-neutral legal relation than filiation. Both gender and physical sex, as social and biologico-legal dimensions of the dichotomy of masculine/feminine, provide critical perspectives to the establishment of relations of filiation. It is argued that from a human rights perspective, a gender-sensitive approach is required in relation to questions of corporeal maternity and paternity, as complex issues such as access to knowledge of one s genetic origins and the inalienability of the human body in processes of assisted reproduction crop up in many contexts of which ECHR case law is just one arena.
  • Fornaro, Paolo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In the last couple of decades, advances in information technology have led to a dramatic increase in the availability of economic data. This doctoral dissertation consists of a collection of articles aimed at the study of various econometric methodologies that allow for the use of large datasets in macroeconomic applications. Chapters 2 and 5 present large dimensional models to nowcast and forecast macroeconomic variables of interests, such as Finnish real output and the binary recession indicator. In particular, in Chapter 2 I use microeconomic data to create timely estimates of the aggregate output indicator of the Finnish economy. In Chapter 5, I use a large dimensional probit model to compute short and long-term forecasts of the United States recession indicator. Chapters 3 and 4 consist of studies related to Finnish enteprises. Specifically, in Chapter 3 I examine the employment behavior of small and large Finnish firms and analyze how their job creation and cyclicality has differed over the last 16 years. In Chapter 4, I analyze the effect of shocks to large Finnish corporations onto the aggregate business cycle, finding that the shocks to a small number of companies are able to explain a substantial share of the fluctuations in aggregate output.
  • Mikeshin, Igor (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis is the study of a rehabilitation ministry for the addicted people called Good Samaritan, run by the Russian Baptist Church. The study scrutinizes a two-dimensional process of Christian Rehabilitation. This process consists of two aspects: bodily detoxication through prolonged isolation, and radical moral transformation through conversion to Christianity. This twofold process corresponds to the twofold nature of substance use dependence: biochemical and psychological. The narrative of conversion is constructed upon the literalist reading of the particular translation of Scripture Russian Synodal Bible impacted by the 16th (Martin Luther) and 17th century (Jacobus Arminius and the Remonstrants) Protestant dogmatics and Russian historical and sociocultural context. The narrative of rehabilitation is also impacted by the street, junkie, and prison experience of the rehabilitants and their elders, who hold the authority to interpret Scripture. My research contributes to the study of Russian Evangelical Christianity and substance use dependence, both of which are unique and substantially influenced by contemporary Russian historical, sociocultural, political, economic, and linguistic context. At the same time, both Russian Evangelicalism and substance abuse share global features of Evangelical Christianity and drug epidemics. My analysis is based on the ethnographic fieldwork conducted from January 2014 to January 2015 in St. Petersburg and Leningradskaia oblast', Russia. The participant observation included prolonged stays in three rehab facilities, guest and missionary visits, church services, seminars, festivities, and extensive study of Protestant Christianity and substance abuse.
  • Tiilikainen, Elisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The research explores loneliness in old age from a sociological life course perspective. Acknowledging that individual experiences are always embedded in not just the present everyday life but also the past life events and the wider social surroundings in which people are linked during their course of life. The research answers to questions such as: what kind of social pathways, life situations and life phases can be found behind loneliness in older age and how does loneliness change during one's life course. Using a qualitative longitudinal approach the research aims to grasp the temporal nature of loneliness and its individual meanings in relation to different transitions, events and social relations during the life course. The research data builds on one to three interviews with ten older persons during a five year period. The interviewees have participated in a ten year cohort study Good Ageing in Lahti Region (GOAL) conducted in southern Finland. The survey data is also used when looking at changes in loneliness. Qualitative longitudinal research has been scarcely used among older people, there for the research offers new methodological findings and implications. In the analysis loneliness is described through lost and unfulfilled social roles and weakening social convoy. The first involves life changes and situations such as widowhood, being without a partner, childlessness and grandchildlessness and retirement, due to which loneliness has been present in the lives of the interviewees. The weakening social convey has meant lack of a good friend, experiences of a foreign and strange culture and friction with children or one's own parents. Due to the weakening social convoy hopes toward social relationships have been unfulfilled and the possibilities of social inclusion have declined. Also trajectories of childhood experiences such as war time or loss of one's own mother were connected to loneliness. Some of them have meant loneliness that has been present nearly for a lifetime but for others these trajectories have had an impact on loneliness only in old age. Both in the interviews and survey data loneliness appears as a life situational or as a lifelong experience. Only for a minority of the research participants loneliness has been present for a long time. For others loneliness has been a new experience encountered in old age, but for most loneliness has fluctuated during the life course. It has been present in different life situations and life phases. Also during the research period there has been changes both ways: loneliness has both decreased and increased. The research reveals the dynamic nature of loneliness and the different ways in which loneliness is rooted in the individual life stories and life courses of older people. Even though the interviewees have reported being lonely often or all the time, it has not meant they had been experiencing continuous loneliness in their everyday life. Meaningful relationships have also been present. Throughout the research loneliness appears as a processual and relational experience which offers more understanding on the reasons behind loneliness and interventions to reduce it. Loneliness is always experienced in relation to something: personal relationships and social bonds, communities or more widely to the surrounding society. Hence loneliness is not only connected to relationships but also to the everyday life infrastructure and social environment through which a person is connected or unconnected to other people. Using a life course perspective the research opens windows to the social worlds of older people and more broadly to loneliness experienced in different live phases and situations during life course. By revealing reasons behind loneliness the research also gives an important input on discussions of loneliness interventions. Key words: loneliness, life course, ageing, older people, social pathways, social convoy, social roles, qualitative longitudinal research, interview
  • Brylka, Asteria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The present cross-sectional study investigates the reciprocity of ethnic relations in Finland and the role this reciprocity plays in the development of an inclusive integration context characterised by positive intergroup attitudes, and support for multiculturalism and for the minority groups collective action. The theoretical framework builds on the social identity theory, the theory of acculturation and contact hypothesis. Identity- and contact-related predictors of the inclusive integration context are examined among Finns and among Russian and Estonian immigrants. First, this study sheds more light on intergroup attitudes in the context of immigration. High national identification of Finns and Russian immigrants elicited stronger psychological ownership of Finland. However, while strong ownership made the attitudes of Finns towards Russian immigrants more negative, among the Russian immigrants ownership was linked to more positive attitudes towards Finns. Positive contact with Finns elicited more positive attitudes towards this group, which in turn were linked to more favourable mutual attitudes among Estonian and Russian immigrants. The same association, but with a negative valence, was true for negative contact. Moreover, positive contact with Finns was linked to higher, and negative contact to lower, public collective self-esteem among low-status Russian immigrants but not among high-status Estonian immigrants; higher and lower public collective self-esteem was, in turn, respectively linked to more positive and more negative attitudes towards Estonian immigrants. Second, ethnic identification of Russian immigrants fostered support for multiculturalism only when ethnic superiority of the ingroup was not perceived. Third, among Finns the perception of Russian immigrants preserving more of their culture than Finns would prefer, elicited stronger anxiety and lowered trust, these factors both in turn being related to lower support for collective action of Russian immigrants. When Russian immigrants perceived that they were not allowed by Finns to preserve as much of their culture as they wished, outgroup trust declined and strengthened support for the ingroup s collective action. This study shows that the inclusive integration context does not develop in a social vacuum and provides strong evidence on the importance of the reciprocity of multidimensional intergroup relations in diverse societies.
  • Tikkanen, Ulla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The everyday life and bonds of the spousal care of the elderly There are almost 24 000 Finns over the age of 65 who have made an agreement with the welfare state to be compensated for taking care of their family member in need. This agreement – typically concerning spousal care taking place at the mutual home of the spouses – is part of the current “public care” of the elderly in which the Finnish welfare state partners up with families. The public sector, the private sector and the third sector are all looking for their role and modes of collaboration in the network of care. Services supporting the elderly living at home are developed at the same time as the possibilities for institutional care are diminishing. The theoretical approach of the study draws on “figurational sociology” by Norbert Elias. In this study it means studying the ways in which people, human bonds and material objects form a figuration of care in which each element is interdependent of other elements and the whole. The aim of the research is to analyse the interrelated bonds in a way that opens up both their process of formation, and the experience of individuals as a part of the whole figuration of care. The study examines how the everyday life of the care of the elderly is formed, how the nature and bonds of care transform over different phases of care, and how various attachments and disruptions organize the figuration of everyday life. The research materials consist of qualitative interviews, ethnographic observation and a self-filled diary of the caregivers’ week, including their reflections of different days, significant relationships in the network of care and their personal notes. In all, it includes 21 interviews with 11 persons taking care of their spouse (between the ages of 67 and 83 years old) and with three persons in need of care. The empirical data was produced between April 2013 and February 2014. The research results depict a thick description of the everyday life of the spousal care. In addition to verbal analysis of the significant bonds of care, four different phases of care are presented visually placing the spouse caring and the spouse been cared for in the same visual frame (in the home in which the care takes place). The visual presentation illuminates the processes, practices and organising factors of the everyday life of care over time and space. The state of the bondedness can be described as porous, straining, heavy and sticky, depending on the intensity of needs of the spouse been cared for. The most important element of the figuration of care is “the demanding body” referring to the transformation of the spouse been cared for, from an actor to a “needy” body constantly demanding something from the caregiver, material surroundings and devices that gradually take over the whole space and life. The most significant material ties are formed to the home in which the care takes place, the assisting devices and medications. The ways in which humans are intertwined with material devices are examined through the metaphors of stick, walker, wheelchair and bed. The most central human bonds in the figurations of care are the one between the spouses and the one between them and the professionals involved. These central bonds are the most consequential in the formation of the figuration of care. The care of the spouse is physically and emotionally sticky full-time nursing that sometimes feels like being a prisoner. However, the caregivers are different and their characteristics make an impact on the way in which the figuration of care evolves. Taking care for one’s spouse who is gradually getting frail, is depicted as a process of loss and letting go of the personally significant contents of life, including the spouse her- or himself. Elias discusses this as a broken valency, one that tears apart a part of oneself. Discretion, empathy and respect toward the elderly by their family members, the public officials and the nursing staff would ease the caregivers’ burden. The study speaks for the benefits of the dynamic and holistic perspective of Elias’s figurational sociology in studying care. It enables to understand human interdependencies and needs as a part of a larger figuration of bonds, both human and material. By adding the material aspect in studying the human figuration of care, the study builds a fuller picture of the everyday realities of elderly care than work merely focusing on people. Keywords: aging, elderly care, family care, figurational sociology, human bonds, interdependency, material sociology, visualisation and welfare services
  • Granholm, Camilla (2016)
    During the last two decades, the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has been fast. Smartphones and tablet computers have made the internet and the virtual dimension it offers, available and continuously present in our everyday lives. Drawing from the insights of four sub-studies considering the aspects of ICT use among (potential) clients within social services, the purpose of this dissertation is to explore what consequences, opportunities and risks are to be considered, if and when implementing ICT as a part of future social work practice. My ontological and epistemological starting points follow the ideas of pragmatism. In this dissertation, pragmatism is seen as a future and development-oriented epistemology, interested not only in what is, but also in what might be. This is a suitable starting point given the situation of contemporary social work where circumstances are changing, and the former knowledge and experiences which form best practice may no longer be applicable. As such, my approach is explorative. The research process spans almost one decade, and the four sub-studies presented in this dissertation include four sets of data, collected at different points in time between 2005 and 2014. This research contributes new information by offering an insight into the change in approaches to ICT that can be seen among (potential) social work clients. In brief, the sub-studies show that (young) people use ICT as a source of social support and empowering bonding, and also as an arena for participation. For youth at risk of marginalization, ICT offers a channel through which they can escape their everyday problems for a while, and view the lives of peers leading everyday lives which are different from their own. This dissertation introduces a framework called blended social work . This framework was developed in order to situate the sub-studies into the continuously developing intersection between social work and ICT. It may also function as a more general framework for exploring and making sense of social work in our time of digital transfer, which is characterized by our simultaneous presence in both online and offline dimensions. Blended social work is anchored in social work, using the global definition of social work as a point of reference. In addition, the results of these sub-studies are used as starting points for exploring how blended social work is realized through the concepts of social support, participation and empowering bonding. In the dissertation, blended social work is left open to further research and development, and it is suggested that future research should focus on determining the expectations and needs of the next generation.
  • Kuokkanen, Kanerva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Since the 1990s, social scientists in Western countries have noticed a shift in policy-making towards networks and the involvement of civil society and market actors, usually referred to as governance. The governance approach has gone hand in hand with the development of more participatory and deliberative forms of action both in research and in the work of policy-makers and practitioners. Even though a number of scholars emphasise the participatory and deliberative potentials of governance and the role that elected politicians play in metagovernance , governance can still be seen as a risk to the basic principles and institutions of representative democracy. Further, governance research has seldom acknowledged that in practice, governance arrangements are often put into practice through projects and related fixed-term policy instruments and organisation forms. The main interest in this study is what happens to citizen participation when it is developed through projects. The research questions concern the relationship between projects and the broader framework of governance and metagovernance; the main issues in the development of participation in municipalities and especially in metropolitan governance; the role of participation itself when it becomes a development object; and the relationship between projects and the permanent municipal administration. This research addresses these themes through a case study, a project named Citizen Channel which aimed to find and test various forms of citizen participation in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The project was part of a multi-actor development programme, the Urban Programme for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Methodologically, this study belongs to a broader research tradition of interpretive policy analysis. By concentrating on three actor groups the high-level officials of the Urban Programme, the Citizen Channel project administration and the participants in the project this study aims to present a nuanced understanding of the development of participation through projects. From the perspective of governance and metagovernance, this study shows that strategic steering the most important form of metagovernance in the context of programmes and projects is a relatively loose framework that allows various interpretations of the leading strategies at project level. The Urban Programme and the Citizen Channel project brought together a variety of working logics, interests and actors. The Urban Programme was primarily centred on creating consensus and collaboration between the cities of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, previously in competition with each other; the Citizen Channel project administration concentrated on the development of participation; and the neighbourhood association activists and librarians participating in the project emphasised concrete local issues and the creation of new networks. The main motivations for the development of participation at the municipal level are issues of local democracy, the residents experience-based knowledge, and the development of public administration, although actors working with the development of participation see a number of challenges. The main driver for metropolitan forms of participation which transcend municipal boundaries is the metropolitan dimension of everyday life for residents, which is independent of administrative borders. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, a specific problem in the development of metropolitan participation is the different administrative cultures and forms of resident participation within each municipality. The development of participation through projects can from a pessimistic perspective lead to the instrumentalisation of participation. A new group of professionals in participation has arisen, and participatory projects concentrate on creating generalizable and transferable models. For the participants in such projects, there is relatively little room for manoeuvre and little continuity after the project has ended. Moreover, projects may be a way to outsource the issue of participation to NGOs and projects so that it has no impact on the permanent organisations of municipal administration. From an optimistic perspective, the development of participation means new scope for NGOs and other local development actors that implement participatory projects and act as intermediary organisations between the public administration and the grassroots level and between short-term projects and long-term development work. Projects support the basic values of these actors and give them the opportunity to provide alternative ways of thinking in public administration and promote the issue of participation in it. Even though individual projects end, they lead to tacit results such as networks and new forms of action at the local level. Finally, even though the impact of individual projects may be limited, the metaproject formed by simultaneous and sequential projects can gradually effect an impact on the permanent administration. In general, the participatory turn of public administration has been intensifying at least until recently. At the same time, there has been a parallel development of citizen- and association-based initiatives, networks and new forms of action outside public institutions.
  • Hautamäki, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The starting point for this research in science and technology studies is the diagnostic uncertainty inherent in psychiatry. Despite the advances in the neurosciences, there are no biomarkers for mental disorders and the diagnosis is based on the descriptive classifications in diagnostic manuals. This leaves the symptoms open for interpretation. This research is an ethnographic analysis of how this diagnostic uncertainty is dealt with in psychiatric science, clinical practice and patients experiences. The research uses bipolar disorder in Finland as a case study, allowing an empirical analysis of psychiatry as a global and complex assemblage of interdependent economic, political, social and scientific endeavours. The focus is on the interplay between scientific knowledge, clinical practice and patients' experiences, as well as the mundane practices of both experts and patients in getting along with the diagnostic uncertainty inherent in psychiatry. The research draws from Annemarie Mol s work in analysing what is enacted within the practices in science, clinic and patients lives. The ideals of objectivity and translatability are enacted in bipolar disorder research. The scientists need to balance between these ideals and the variability of patients in the messy clinical reality. In clinical practice, the ideals of evidence-based medicine and the recommendations of clinical practice guidelines are put into effect. Clinicians diagnosing and treating the patients need to balance between the generalised knowledge and the individuality of the patients symptoms and life situations. Patients enact their individual genes, hormones, brains, life situations, diets, sleep rhythms and ways of experiencing bipolar disorder. Patients with bipolar disorder diagnosis need to live with the diagnostic uncertainty in their day-to-day lives of evaluating the mood swings and adjusting to the interventions attempting to cure, alleviate and control their disorder. The research concludes that the inherent diagnostic uncertainty in psychiatry is stabilised and coordinated by the help of the standardised classifications, diagnostic tools and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. The remaining problem is: how to overcome the inconsistency between the objective universal knowledge of science and the variety of the particular patients and their subjective experiences?
  • Uronen, Ilkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The Finnish television industry has gradually moved from a production-centered to a customer-oriented business. Knowledge of your customer and the ability to react to change are major competitive advantages in a situation where there is an abundant supply of similar content and services. In this research, customer orientation could be defined as a competence requirement, as well as a business culture which helps the company reform its operations. This research evaluates the strategic competence of the Finnish television industry in the early 2000s and in connection with the post-digitalization shift. This research is focused on competence in the television industry, the research question being the relationship between competence and business operations. By looking at the television business environment and competences from various perspectives, this research examines the significance of individual, team, and company level competence in the business operations of TV companies. Furthermore, it discloses factors which have an effect on competence and competence development in a company. The internet, the integration of multichannel distribution, the arrival of formats and pay channels, the internationalization of production companies and general media digitalization all contributed to the shift of the television industry in the early 2000s. The aforementioned factors had an effect on the product and service processes, distribution and competence in the TV industry. The integration of television content and internet distribution has been particularly groundbreaking. The internet has generated a new kind of competitive situation, where competence is a crucial competition factor of the television companies. The research results are mainly based on thematic interviews which were assessed in relation to Michael Porter s competitive strategy. In the research interviews, the competence requirements brought on by digitalization were partly seen as a threat. The fear was that traditional TV business will change unforeseeably, and professional images will become fragmented. However, the new competence requirements were also seen as a major future competition factor and an opportunity to create new types of TV content and services. The analysis also takes advantage of media management research as well as research on competence development, leadership and innovation. Moreover, other research material is used to draw conclusions on the development of the TV industry, as well as the changes in business and competence brought on by digitalization.
  • Tuominen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study examines the moral qualities of urban space in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, looking particularly into how its transformation is understood as interaction between layers of historical consciousness and reproduction of its physical and symbolic boundaries. It focusses on how significant places in Istanbul carry different meanings to people, how the life-worlds of its neighbourhoods are separated from the urban sphere by contextually shifting boundaries and how the notions of public space and the spatial makeup of the city are rapidly changing, motivated by negotiations of appropriate values, appearances and practices. The research is based on a long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Beyoğlu, concentrating on the dynamics between the effective urban centre around Istiklal Street and Taksim Square and the impoverished neighbourhoods of Tarlabaşı and Tophane in its close proximity. The analysis focusses on moral ambiguities of everyday life; I discuss the spatially ordered sense of sociality, dealing with the notions of individual and community, freedom and tolerance, in relation to moral frameworks of Istanbul s urbanity coexisting in different spaces. I explore the shifts between morally appropriate practices across sociocultural boundaries to study how they demand reflective adaptation from the inhabitants to reproduce the mental mappings of the city with internalized, albeit often contradictory, notions of the proper rules of the conduct. These questions were extremely important in the everyday lives of my central informants, underemployed men living in Istanbul s inner-city neighbourhoods who were struggling to live moral lives in an environment characterized by discrimination and exclusion. This is also a study of Turkish modernity. I investigate the historical consciousness of modernity in present-day Istanbul as constant reorganization of historical trajectories, spatial arrangements, mentalities and senses of selfhood in the city. I draw from diverse historical materials, illustrating both official histories and vernacular accounts, to show how the debates over desired modernity at different periods are brought into the present and how they are expressed in the moral landscape of Istanbul. In my fieldwork I have concentrated on participant observation of everyday life, especially in situations and spaces where questions of morality arise. In Istanbul, there are countless struggles over urban space at different levels, fractured along often crosscutting lines of social difference: the issues of class, ethnicity, urbanity, gender and religion derive from encounters between people and assessment of their conduct. These are intimately linked with the extensive rearrangements of urban space in Istanbul that are redrawing the boundaries within the city. In the study, these transformations are studied as both material and embodied, in a way that acknowledges their historical specificities.
  • Piironen, Ossi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Quantitative knowledge plays an increasing role in transnational governance, even when not explicitly part of formal processes of decision making. This study consists of five research articles that individually and together deal with the subtle ways by which socio-political quantification influence governance and politics. Rather than looking at the direct impact a specific ranking has on a particular policy or set of policies, the articles focus on processes that precede and frame individual and institutional decision making and conduct. As such, this research aligns with certain variants of new institutionalist literature, the theory of interactive governance and the idea of metagovernance (Torfing et al. 2011), and with the Foucault-inspired studies in governmentality. The empirical cases - democracy and good governance, and higher education policies and university autonomy - demonstrate how quantification constitutes (1) knowledge in setting the parameters within the limits of which a concept, idea, domain, empirical fact or a policy prescription comes to be understood collectively; (2) identities in individualizing social units, making them appear separate, self-sufficient, responsible and competitive; (3) authority in transferring legitimacy to the participants of the numbers industry, bestowing on them an aura of expertise, or to those who numbers present in a favorable light. Comparative rankings tell us what the world is like, who we are, what we should accomplish, how we can reach our objectives, and who we should look up to. In addition to shedding light on and systematizing the ways in which quantification functions as a mechanism of governing, the empirical cases build up evidence for arguing that the contemporary trend for quantification - manifest in the proliferation of demands for evidence-based policy making, managerial reforms in national public administration and supranational efforts to produce accessible knowledge for various purposes - is often premised on an atomistic social ontology that reinforces the ideology of competition and supports economistic problem setting and policy solutions. Whether or not one likes the role quantification plays in governing, there is no doubt that the analysis of socio-political quantification forms an important aspect of governance research, which the articles in this thesis strongly confirm.
  • Kaasik-Krogerus, Sigrid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The longitudinal research "Normative Stories of the Formative Moment. Construction of Estonian National Identity in Postimees during the EU Accession Process" analyzes how Estonian national identity is constructed in country s largest and oldest daily newspaper in relation to the European Union (EU) during 1997-2003. The study combines media studies with political science, EU studies and nationalism studies to scrutinize this period as an example of a formative moment . During this formative moment the EU became the new official Other in relation to which a new temporary community, Estonia as a candidate country, was imagined in the opinion articles of the paper. The study is based on the assumption that national identity as a normative process of making a distinction between 'us' and 'Others' occurs in societal texts, such as the media. The overall framework consists of critical discourse analysis in three phases, text, discourse practice and sociocultural practice. The empirical data consists of 1780 opinion articles of Postimees. First, in the text level a characteristic feature of this formative moment is the open normativity of identity. In three discourses formed on the basis of the empirical data, European Estonia, Independent Estonia and Humble Estonia, the question of who we are is challenged both internally and externally by who we should become . Second, the analysis shows that in the beginning of the accession process only a limited group of people, mostly journalists and political decision makers, wrote about the EU. By 2003, however, both the number of articles as well as the variety of authors had multiplied several times. This shows, how a new community, Estonia as a candidate country, is first imagined by a small number of people and then expands into the wider public. Last but not least, this formative moment can be seen as a disciplining sociocultural practice. Here a link between normative public discussion and critical public opinion towards the EU during country s accession process can be drawn. Even though the newspaper tried to bring the EU closer to the people this attempt was accompanied by top-down discussions downplaying everyday problems. This study also shows the paradox of how a necessity to improve 'us' is communicated in the public discussion in parallel to claiming that Estonia as an EU member does not have to change .