Faculty of Social Sciences

 

Recent Submissions

  • Maury, Olivia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The doctoral thesis examines the contradictory images and realities of non-EU/EEA migrants holding a student residence permit in Finland while working alongside their studies. Drawing on in-depth interviews (N=41+12) with non-EU/EEA student-migrants, the thesis examines the multiple effects of the one-year permit in student-migrants’ everyday lives. A key aspect of these experiences is the insecure and precarious work they undertake in order to obtain income and successfully renew the one-year permit, which requires a secure means of support (interpreted as 6720 €/year) and private health insurance in addition to them advancing in their studies. The thesis fills a gap in research by moving beyond conventional approaches to student migration limited to an assessment of highly skilled migration and instead focuses on the implications of borders and residence permit bureaucracy for student-migrants’ everyday lives and labour. The theoretical framework is rooted in a research discussion on the constitutive role of borders in contemporary capitalism advanced by critical migration researchers. Borders affect the political and juridical structure of labour markets, and consequently, the experiences of working migrant populations. The analysis developed in the five publications included in the thesis is structured around three core themes. Precarisation is examined from the point of view of working student-migrants in a variety of contractual employment settings and work sectors. Unpaid work occurs across these work arrangements and creates a pool of flexible labour. At the same time, this process is sustained by the student-migrant-workers’ insecure temporary migration status in the country, together with social differentiation based primarily on race, gender and age. Temporal borders offers an analytical angle for examining the impact of the temporary one-year student permit on the quotidian lives of student-migrant-workers. The thesis demonstrates that student-migrant-workers have experiences of a punctuated lived time because of the temporary nature of their permit, which creates a fruitful ground for the differentiation of labour and, consequently, the production of a low-paid labour force in Finland. Finally, the student-migrants’ pragmatic, yet ambivalent, strategies for confronting and challenging the forms of administrative bordering that they face when trying to extend their permit are examined. The thesis demonstrates that student-migrant-workers creatively find ways to challenge the borders by adjusting their work contract or by switching their migration status. Thus, student-migrants appear as active subjects embodying a drive to make a better life for themselves in Finland. The thesis contributes to a sociological analysis of increasingly fragmented labouring figures in the context of contemporary capitalism. Theoretically, it participates in the research discussion on borders and the production of flexible labour, not solely from a spatial perspective but also from a temporal one. In conclusion, the thesis highlights mechanisms for hierarchising the labour force and demonstrates how differential inclusion is continuously reproduced.
  • Salovaara, Veronica (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study examines students’ scope of action in the transition phase from basic education to further education and training. The focus in this research is on how inequality is reproduced in the transition phase from basic education to upper secondary education, as well as the role of family, school and other social networks in contesting inequality. The analysis shows the complexity on how students navigate in the transition phase from basic education to further education and training. A student’s scope of action in this study is understood as the scope in which students make their decisions and reflect on their options, whether it is a more agency reflected process, or a process steered by the capitalistic power mechanisms or habitus. Young peoples’ agency is therefore understood as structured by the interplay between students own choices and wishes, social background and habitus, situated in a sociopolitical and education policy context. The data set has been derived from the three-year (2010–2012) comparative European project GOETE - Governance of Educational Trajectories in Europe. The data set is a multifaceted qualitative data set comprehending interviews and focus groups with 101 people from three local schools in Finland, social and youth work as well as education policy; students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, principals and other experts at school, such as school social workers, school nurses and school psychologists. In addition, the data consists of interviews with experts in education and social work, e.g., education policy experts, social and youth workers and guidance counselors from the upper secondary level as well as relevant policy documents. The results showed a paradox in the discourses: students are responsible for their own educational trajectory, however the trajectory is predetermined. Throughout the analysis, there is a discourse emphasizing students’ agency, or a discourse emphasizing responsibility, that students should choose their educational trajectory by themselves without interference from others. Students used various modes of reflectivity when choosing their educational trajectory. A discourse on accepting predetermined educational trajectories was present among school professionals, either by accepting predetermined educational trajectories as something static that is difficult to change, or by fighting against these predetermined educational trajectories. Family background shapes the student’s decision-making process and therefore when students are using agency in the decision-making process, the agency is merely a reflection of the social structure as the social structure and the structural position of the individual is generating the individual’s agency. The responsibility that students are demanded to take, while making the decision within a certain context, or within ‘predetermined limits’, gives the students an illusion of choice. Structures of inequality and class casts a long shadow in education and is reproduced through the practices of accepting educational inequality by not contesting the role of the gatekeepers of equality and equity. At the national level, education is regarded as one of the more effective means to prevent the marginalization and social exclusion of young people.
  • Simola, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This dissertation is an investigation of young European Union (EU) citizens’ experiences of free mobility in precarious labour conditions. It seeks to understand situations in which young, university-educated Europeans move in search of work opportunities that would allow them to exploit their education, their skills and their passions, but who end up experiencing precarity. The research is located in a context in which young, educated workers across Europe face persistent difficulties in the labour markets and are disproportionately exposed to unemployment and precarious types of work. Meanwhile, various EU Member States have adopted policies that render EU migrants’ access to rights associated with EU citizenship increasingly conditional on their ability to demonstrate employment, self- sufficiency or ‘genuine’ employability. These policies resonate with workfarist welfare policies that stress the responsibility of individuals in managing the social and economic risks they confront in the labour market. However, they are in sharp conflict with the EU’s official discourse and policies, which seek to encourage mobility among young people by depicting it as a means to enhance their ‘employability’, while primarily focusing on unpaid labour options, such as internships and volunteering. The three articles that form the empirical foundation of the dissertation build on data obtained through narrative interviews in 2014-2015. Additionally, one of the articles also draws on a complimentary dataset based on answers to written questions the same participants were asked to respond to in 2018. The study is qualitatively comparative in a multi-contextual setting that includes one country of destination (Belgium) and four countries of origin, in which the institutional and economic conditions vary significantly. The empirical sample consists of 27 university-educated young adults originating from Italy (10), Spain (eight), Finland (seven) and Denmark (two). In order to maximise the study’s capacity to capture the effects of labour market precarity on mobility, the study focuses on the experiences of persons who had moved to Brussels to work but had subsequently experienced unemployment and worked under precarious arrangements. In the study, I adopt a cross-disciplinary approach in order to capture different dimensions of precarity in this specific context. The study combines theoretical insights from the fields of sociology of work, critical migration research, comparative welfare state research and governmentality studies, while also contributing to these fields of research. Whilst the articles draw on different theoretical discussions, they are interconnected, and all address the influence of neoliberal governance on precarity as experienced by young EU migrants. All three articles aim, from their distinct perspectives, to understand: (1) The reasons for which highly educated young EU migrants accept their precarious working and living conditions, and the implications of this acceptance. (2) The role of institutions in conditioning young EU migrants’ autonomy, independence and room for manoeuvre in precarious labour market conditions, and the possible inequalities emerging in this respect. A thorough contextualisation (i.e. a parallel reading of the legal and policy documents and the existing research addressing the legal-institutional environment etc.) formed an integral part of the analysis of the participants’ personal narratives. In Article I, I analyse the interplay of precarious employment, social and legal norms regulating EU citizens’ free movement, and the local bureaucratic implementation of these norms. The results point to a consequential role for administrations in producing precarious citizenship status for EU migrants in precarious work arrangements. Furthermore, in Article II, written jointly with Sirpa Wrede, we show how migration puts young EU citizens under the influence of several welfare models at the same time, making their access to social entitlements contingent not only on the conditionality of welfare and residence rights in their destination country, but also on the policies in their country of origin. Together, Articles I and II demonstrate how institutionally enforced barriers to rights and the uncertainty and temporariness of status often negatively impacted the participants’ room for manoeuvre in the labour market, thus further exposing them to precarious work. Finally, in Article III, I analyse the participants’ migration as an expression of self-developing, self- entrepreneurial subjectivity, showing how this neoliberal mode is encouraged by EU mobility policies. In this context, the article demonstrates that, while young migrants very often perceived their migration as a means to, or even as the prerequisite for, finding work corresponding to their passion, they could be compelled to tolerate highly precarious and even injurious working and living conditions. All in all, the dissertation is an illustration of the ambivalence of autonomy and compulsion in the context of presumably ‘free’ mobility. It shows how the participants’ room for making choices regarding mobility and for acting upon their precarious conditions is bound to hegemonic discourses and policies informed by neoliberalism. The study also identifies institutional drivers of inequality emerging between young EU migrants from different national and social origins, affecting their financial security and access to independence, their exposure to precarity, and their ability to use mobility to pursue their passion. By acknowledging the implications of precarity in this context, the study advances new conceptual tools and approaches for future critical research on EU migration.
  • Karhunmaa, Kamilla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In this dissertation, I examine how societal debates on energy policy and the necessity of energy transitions unfold in Finland. Transforming energy systems is acknowledged as one of the most important areas for action on climate change and numerous voices across the globe have called for radical shifts in current energy policies and practices. Simultaneously, discussions on energy policy revolve around futures – both expected and feared – and the measures required to attain them. Finland is an interesting context to study claims about change and transitions as it has both commitments to action on climate change as well as stable institutional structures that have been described as resistant to change. My perspective on energy policy and governance is broad and I analyse various arenas where energy issues are debated. These include the Finnish Parliament and Helsinki City Council, the media and discussions amongst various actors attempting to influence energy policy and working at the science-policy interface. In my analysis, I show how Finnish energy policy actors are broadly committed to a sociotechnical imaginary of carbon neutrality, or a collectively held and publicly performed vision of a desirable future. In the imaginary, Finland is envisioned as a prosperous welfare society that has addressed climate change by attaining a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and removals. The imaginary of carbon neutrality is broad and interpretatively flexible, thus accommodating diverse views on what carbon neutrality can entail. In the articles that comprise this dissertation, I engage with a wide range of literature from science and technology studies, sociotechnical transitions studies, social scientific studies on energy, institutional theory and analyses on science-society relations. Specifically in the thesis summary, I address a research gap within the literature on sociotechnical imaginaries, by examining how questions regarding scale, heterogeneity and mobility shape the co-production of imaginaries as well as enable and curtail the scope of agency. I build on a constructivist and interpretative approach to research and use a range of materials, such as interviews, documents, news articles, Parliamentary and City Council transcripts, press releases and participant observation. Empirically, I focus on the 2010s as the decade when a sociotechnical imaginary of carbon neutrality emerged and became consolidated in Finland. In this thesis, I argue that sociotechnical imaginaries, in this case carbon neutrality, form the imaginative foundations of national policy debates that motivate and justify action, while simultaneously retaining space for negotiation on how to attain those futures. The empirical analysis demonstrates that there is no overarching consensus in Finland over what carbon neutrality means and what practices it allows for. I demonstrate that the context where an imaginary is co-produced both enables and constrains the scope of possible political debate and action by requiring actors to formulate their views through interpretations of desirable pathways towards carbon neutrality. I conclude that carbon neutrality is likely to persist as a widely shared sociotechnical imaginary in Finland due to the political possibilities for debate and compromise that it offers. At the same time, I propose that the concept of carbon neutrality will be increasingly challenged by questioning whose imaginary is it, what type of practices does it enable and how are different actions evaluated as carbon neutral. Likewise new concepts, such as climate emergency, are likely to challenge the imaginary of carbon neutrality. I conclude that such debates are both necessary and desirable as we collectively face, address and learn to live with climate change.
  • Mikkonen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The impact of health problems on educational careers attracts multidisciplinary attention, but the overall significance of different types of adolescent health problems for educational stratification is still poorly understood. This study used longitudinal register data to estimate whether different types of somatic conditions and mental disorders at ages 10–16 predict the non-completion of upper-secondary and tertiary education as well as track choice in upper-secondary education. Impaired school performance was analyzed as a potential mechanism explaining health-related differences in upper-secondary outcomes, whereas upper-secondary track choice was hypothesized to explain differences in attaining tertiary education. Finally, the connection between parental education and health-related selection was examined from two perspectives: parental education as a moderator of the impact of health problems and early health as a mediator of the intergenerational transmission of education. The data set used in the study covered Finnish children born in 1986–1995 and living in mainland Finland at the end of 2000. Health problems were measured based on visits to inpatient and outpatient care and medication reimbursements. The longest follow-up of educational attainment extended until age 27. In addition to regression models adjusted for several sociodemographic confounders, the study used population-attributable fractions to evaluate the population-level contribution of health problems, g-computation to conduct mediation decompositions, and sibling fixed-effects models to adjust for all factors shared within biological sibships. Adolescents with health problems were less likely to complete upper-secondary education, more likely to choose the vocational track instead of the general track, and less likely to complete tertiary education even if they had previously completed upper-secondary education. One-fifth of dropout from upper-secondary education was attributable to early-adolescent health problems. Impaired school performance mediated a third of the differences in upper-secondary non-completion and half of the differences in track choice. Regardless of the studied educational outcome, mental disorders showed the strongest associations, less than half of which were explained by confounders shared within sibships. Only certain types of somatic conditions (e.g., epilepsy, heart disease, and spinal disease) predicted impaired educational outcomes, whereas mental disorders showed robust associations throughout their spectrum. High parental education protected against the impact of mental disorders on upper-secondary completion, and health problems explained up to 10% of the differences in upper-secondary education according to parental education. The results imply that severe health problems in early adolescence have a lasting impact on educational careers, entrenched in the transition to upper-secondary education. Impaired school performance contributes significantly to these associations, but adolescents with health problems also make educational decisions that ultimately lead to lower education. Nonetheless, adolescent health problems explain only a small part of the intergenerational transmission of educational attainment.
  • Koev, Evgenii (Eugen) (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The dissertation consists of an introduction and three esssays. Each essay focuses on certain specific empirical and methodological questions in the field of economics of gender and gender inequality. The first essay investigates the association between feminization and returns of Finnish master's degree-programs. Results from a panel data model show that, for graduates from master's degree programs in Finland, during the period between 1987 and 2017, a systematic positive association existed between the programs' female share changes and the income changes of its graduates. I discuss two mechanisms that could explain the result. On the other hand, repeated cross-section analysis suggests that the return on markedly feminine degree programs has further deteriorated. This finding requires further investigation but is likely to be linked to the role of public sector employment for graduates from these programs, public sector budget constraints, and the public sector's role in determining the supply of university education in Finland. The second essay is a methodological contribution to the so-called Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, which is at the heart of empirical gender wage gap research. I show that part of the categorical variable's wage-structure difference effect in the detailed Oaxaca-Blinder gender wage gap decomposition is identified without coefficient restrictions or other additional assumptions. The finding means that the wage gap contribution of each categorical variable that affects wages can be evaluated more comprehensively than has been thought up to now. Empirical results showed that in the Finnish private sector, between 28 and 35 per cent of the gender wage gap in 1995 and between 15 and 25 per cent in 2013 is accounted for by wage-structure differences traceable to specific variables. In the third essay, I study the importance of the firm-specific wage components for the gender wage gap in private sector blue-collar occupations in Finland. It turned out that firm-specific wage premiums differ both by gender and by gender dominance of the occupation. Firm-specific factors account for 1/3 of the gender wage gap in female-dominated blue-collar occupations. For male-dominated blue-collar occupations, the results are somewhat inconclusive, but firm factors may be a much less important source of the gender wage gap in this group. I contribute to the method used in this type of study in two ways. Firstly, in the empirical analysis, I use the fact that the gender wage gap effect arising from within-firm differences in male and female wage premiums (the bargaining effect) is partly identified directly from the wage model. Under plausible assumptions, this effect is a lower bound of the full bargaining effect. Secondly, I also quantify the uncertainty associated with identifying the full bargaining effect. This uncertainty is high for male-dominated blue-collar occupations in the data.
  • Turkia, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In this research, I examine the development of cooperation and case management between Kela and Eksote (the South Karelia Social and Health District) in the context of a social work development project from 1 January 2017 to 31 July 2019. The aim of this study was to create new information on issues affecting cooperation and to develop and study what kind of cooperation models can be used to support cooperation and case management between Kela and the municipalities, especially for the most vulnerable customers. A local working group was set up for the project in South Karelia, with a total of 21 employees. Employees were from Kela’s customer services and benefits services, from Eksote’s adult social work and immigration services and an employee from the Centre of Expertise on Social Welfare in SouthEast Finland (Socom). The study material included memos and project documents, questionnaire surveys, a group interview, an individual interview, a final survey conducted for the working group and a research diary. The theoretical framework consisted of professions, multidisciplinary collaboration, case management and social rights. The study explored what kind challenges were involved in cooperation and case management at the beginning of the project. Based on these were developed collaboration and case management models. Good models included getting to know the work of others, information for Kela employees, regular service at another organization’s premises, Kela information for immigrants, and case management service. The development of multidisciplinary cooperation and case management between Kela and the municipalities can increase the knowledge and appreciation of each other’s work. One of the most important goals of the cooperation is to ensure that customers who need social services are identified. For those who need special support, a targeted service can support the holistic perception of the customers’ situation and guide them toward the required services. Keywords: multisectorality, cooperation (general), income support, action research, social work, development projects, customers, direction (instruction and guidance), social rights, social services, professions, hospital districts, municipalities, Social Insurance Institution of Finland
  • Gao, I-An (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This dissertation examines the relationship between the colonial state and Indigenous peoples by focusing on the case of elderly care. Studying the Tayal in Taiwan, it investigates aging, care and well-being from the Indigenous paradigm. The aim is to develop the hermeneutic perspective of the Tayal to privilege their voices in reconfiguring the concept of care. Three research questions are posed: 1) What are the “Indigenous problems” represented in long-term care (LTC) policies in Taiwan? 2) How do the Tayal experience care in a care center funded by the state? How do they contest the policies and what visions of care do they have? 3) What are the discrepancies between policy and practice? How do they reflect the relationship between coloniality and indigeneity in multicultural Taiwan? The data consists of policy documents, participant observation, field notes, interviews and personal narratives concerning the everyday experiences of Tayal elders (bnkis). Methodologically, the dissertation employs critical policy analysis and critical ethnography. The dissertation arrives at three main conclusions. First, the identified three frames depoliticize the “problem” of elderly care for the Indigenous peoples and make them “invisible.” Through frames of secludedness and inadequacy, the construction of the Indigenous problem is depicted as caused by their geographical location and by their lack of ability to be service providers or consumers. By contrast, the frame of culture emphasizes unique traditions, allowing more agency but running the risk of imposing an image of static and unchanging indigeneity. Second, the ethnographic analysis shows the strength, resilience and resistance of the bnkis. The idealized “tribal care” promoted in the Day Club, the social center which served as the core location for my fieldwork, turns a blind eye to the fluid, contextual and living Tayal culture, which underlies the kind of care that the bnkis prefer. Investigation of the experiences of bnkis shows that the Day Club is appropriated, repurposed and redefined by the Tayal community to negotiate identities and contest predominant conceptualizations of aging and care. Third, the findings indicate that contrary to Taiwan’s claims to be multicultural and its promise to recognize Indigenous rights, the approach to accommodate Indigenous elders is still predicated on a middle-class, urban, Han-Chinese norm. The novelty of this study lies in its aspiration to develop Indigenous epistemology and Tayal hermeneutics in the context of care. The results contribute to literature in critical policy analysis, care studies, Indigenous studies, critical gerontology and Taiwan studies, as they raise important questions about what indigeneity is and the role that the nation-state plays in the making of social policy for Indigenous elders.
  • Svanström, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This dissertation deals with the work of three sexual difference thinkers: Adriana Cavarero, Luce Irigaray and Fanny Söderbäck. I argue that binary oppositions which include value hierarchies and which are implicitly present in our thinking affect both how the public is materially formed, and the tools we have for conceptualizing politics in general and questions of difference in the context of political thought and praxis in particular. I show how Cavarero, Irigaray and Söderbäck have rethought specific binaries related to the binary male/female and created new concepts in the field of political thought. There are similarities in their thinking related to rethinking binary oppositions and conceptualizing the subject as singular, embodied and relational that make it fruitful to discuss their work in the framework of the tradition of sexual difference thinking in the context of political thought. Irigaray, Cavarero, and Söderbäck all contribute to creating alternative ways of intellectual work that can replace thinking based on binary oppositions by making careful analysis of specific binaries that include value hierarchies. Male/female and mind/body are the binaries I focus on in the work of Irigaray, semantic/vocal related to speech in the work of Cavarero, and the binary linear/cyclical related to time in the work of Söderbäck. I argue that, when read together, Irigaray and Cavarero provide a method for rethinking hierarchical binary oppositions. The method includes: 1) analyzing what has been said and what has not been said about the two poles in the binary under examination, which are male/female in the context of Irigaray, and semantic/vocal related to speech in the context of Cavarero, 2) articulating the lower pole of the binary in new ways, and 3) thinking through the relation between the two poles in the binary with the aim of enabling thinking where difference is thought in non-hierarchical terms. I claim that this method can also be used for rethinking other binaries than the ones that Irigaray and Cavarero focus on in order to allow expression of difference in non-hierarchical terms. Furthermore, I show how Cavarero, Irigaray and Söderbäck trace the logic of hierarchical binary oppositions to the work of Plato. I present, furthermore, a normative argument related to democracy: we, when investing in democracy, need to pay attention to a) the limits of language when it comes to expressing difference in non-hierarchical terms and b) the historical situatedness of different, embodied subjects in the public. I bring, furthermore, to the fore that there are historical examples of oppressed groups that have been denied access to the political public sphere and whose speech has not been considered rational. Instead, they have used for example poetic writing, rhythms and movement for communicating. This is something that we need to take into account when discussing the historical situatedness of different subjects and what consequences this has for democracy.
  • Pulkka, Ville-Veikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In the 2010s, advances in digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) have sparked a wide-ranging debate on how social policy should be reformed so that the Fourth Industrial Revolution can benefit both people and the economy. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the future of social policy by examining how socio-economic conditions, public opinion and ideas may drive social policy change in the digital economy. Sub-study I utilised the EUROMOD microsimulation model and EU-SILC-based microdata to examine the socio-economic implications of technology-induced hypothetical employment scenarios for the EU-28 countries. The microsimulations of hypothetical employment scenarios showed that the Nordic and Benelux countries in particular, but also France, are clearly more resilient to technological unemployment than the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe. In an optimistic employment scenario, the biggest beneficiaries would be Belgium, Croatia, Finland and Slovenia. Sub-study II explored the Finnish view on the future of work and preferred policy ideas utilising unique population-level survey data collected for this thesis. The survey results indicate that the vast majority of Finns are not worried about permanent technological unemployment, although most assume volatility will increase in the labour market. The results also suggest that Finns are not in favour of a significant change in the guiding principles of social policy. Due to unprecedented interest in universal basic income (UBI) in recent social policy debates, three sub-studies of this thesis focused specifically on the feasibility of the idea. While sub-study III examined public support for basic income in Finland based on seven population-level surveys conducted in the past decade, sub-study IV extended the analysis to an international context, with a focus on Finland and the UK. The economic feasibility of providing a basic income was analysed in sub-study V, exploiting microsimulation calculations conducted in Finland. Content analysis of basic income surveys showed that the divergent frames used in the surveys explain the great variation in measured support. Regression analysis exploiting the Finnish and British survey data also indicated that the socio-economic determinants of support for basic income are dependent on the frames used in the surveys. The feasibility of basic income can also be questioned from the perspective of economic efficiency, as analysed in sub-study V. The results from all five sub-studies of this thesis suggest that under current circumstances, the likelihood of a radical social policy change resulting from digital transformation is relatively small.
  • Tölö, Eero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The thesis “Financial fragility – empirical studies on crises and reforms” consists of an introduction and four empirical studies. The introduction provides a more detailed summary of the articles and the empirical methods than is provided here. Paper 1 entitled “Indicators used in setting the countercyclical capital buffer” is a comprehensive study of early warning indicators of banking crises. These indicators can be used to help guide the decisions on the level of the countercyclical capital buffer. The study examines a large set of early warning indicators in a robust comparable setup. The study corroborates the view by the literature that credit-based indicators are important. Additionally, we find various price-based indicators to be useful. Second paper, “Predicting financial crises with recurrent neural networks”, studies the state-of-the-art methods to predict financial crisis events. All these methods make use of subset of variables similar to those covered in paper 1. It finds that deep neural networks based on the Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) architecture or Gated Recurrent Units (GRU) deliver superior performance compared to the more basic models. Paper 3 is entitled “Do banks’ overnight borrowing rates lead their CDS price? Evidence from the Eurosystem”. It is based on interbank overnight loans filtered from unique payment system data on interbank transactions that take place in the European TARGET2 large value payment system. The study finds that the overnight loan prices can lead the CDS price especially during periods of financial stress. The interpretation is that the private overnight loan rates contain private information not present in the public CDS quotes. Overall, the results suggest that the bank-specific overnight borrowing rates can be a useful short-term risk indicator for banks. The last paper “Have Too-Big-To-Fail Expectations Diminished? Evidence from the European Overnight Interbank Market” uses the same data source as paper 3 and investigates whether the post-crisis regulation has affected the pricing of loans in the overnight market. Specifically, the article studies whether the perceived too-big-to-fail subsidies of large banks have decreased following the implementation of bank resolution and recovery directive (BRRD) in EU. The article finds a gradual decline in the overnight loan rate differential between small and large banks that coincides with the gradual implementation of the new directive. However, the decline in the rate differential does not occur at the exact implementation dates of the BRRD directive. Rather, we observe a decline in the funding cost advantage of large banks when actual bail-in events take place during the sample period.
  • Mölkänen, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis is concerned with the rapid rearrangement of nature and the intensification of land use in rural northeastern Madagascar. I argue that despite intensive efforts of imposed environmental conservation based on notions of biodiversity loss and deforestation, the Tsimihety, a group of swiddeners and rice and vanilla farmers, claim that their environment is a good and viable place to live in. This thesis weaves together an ethnographic account of how the Tsimihety interact and intertwine with environmental conservation efforts and how they transform and are transformed by them in a broader context of commercial interests in land. By focusing on three main themes, place making, knowledge hierarchies and political-economic schemes and values, the thesis shows how Madagascar has been defined as a hot spot of biodiversity conservation with its unique endemic animal and plant species and how the Tsimihety, who actually live in these environments, make sense and live with dynamics that they define as ‘strange’ or foreign. The thesis challenges simplifying narratives of the Tsimihety as an indigenous people living close to nature without modern technology. “This is a good place” is a Tsimihety statement of a good way of living that cannot be reduced into political-economic and technological schemes and solutions creating, for instance, new livelihoods, such as ecotourism. For the Tsimihety good life evolves through movement between places and to new places, subsistence practices and nurture work as well as living with relatives (living and dead, animals and plants) and strangers. Especially, in funeral rituals, the Tsimihety maintain and negotiate these values and highlight their autonomy. Moreover, the thesis notes that the places made by the Tsimihety, for example fields, villages or tombs, are not merely maintained by the Tsimihety because they are important for Tsimihety identity, but place making is a continuous and prospective process through which the Tsimihety are also willing to incorporate new crops and technologies into their social worlds. More recent political-economic restructuring processes resulting in the creation of markets and elevated living costs as well as working with and around powerful others, such as environmental conservationists, tourists and vanilla buyers, raise moral and existential questions about how to live well with others in places that the Tsimihety claim as theirs.
  • Zhen Jie, Im (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In West European economies, there is growing concern about the extent to which workplace automation affects employment patterns, and thus the level of risk which workers may face from such labour market disruption. There are also worries that elevated automation risk may generate substantial political fallout, namely automation-driven grievances that feedback into the political process. In this regard, I ask: how does automation risk affect individual workers’ support for social policies and party choice? I focus particularly on its impact on workers’ support for benefit conditionality policies and radical right parties. I argue that the impact of automation risk on these two political outcomes may be traced to automation-vulnerable workers’ fear of status decline and concern about welfare competition. These worries may emanate from workers’ elevated automation risk, even if they do not actually become unemployed from automation. Benefit conditionality policies, which are increasingly prevalent, apply stringent obligations like accepting available albeit worse jobs, and sanctions like unemployment benefit cuts to pressure unemployed workers into reemployment. Automation-vulnerable workers may reject benefit conditionality because its stringent obligations and sanctions may exacerbate their economic vulnerabilities. However, they may yet support benefit conditionality if they consider their worries about status decline and welfare competition to be more salient than their worries about the economic costs of benefit conditionality. These worries may have electoral implications. If automation-vulnerable workers worry about status decline and welfare competition and support benefit conditionality, they may prefer parties that support such policies, like radical right parties whose appeals speak to these concerns. This study investigates these political implications of automation risk in West European countries by exploiting cross-national individual-level surveys from the European Social Survey. I find that automation-vulnerable workers support benefit conditionality policies that obligate unemployed workers to accept worse jobs, namely lower wage or educationally mismatched jobs. This finding may indicate that these workers find welfare competition and status decline worries more salient than potential economic costs which they may suffer from benefit conditionality. These worries may also explain their preference for radical right parties over other party families. These findings show that risk is an important determinant of support for benefit conditionality policies, and its impact should be disentangled from that of current employment status. However, and through the case of automation, I demonstrate that risk may manifest different worries and threats, even non-economic ones, which may likewise affect benefit conditionality support. I also echo recent studies which show that automation-vulnerable workers’ support for radical right parties may be traced to their status worries, but I add that their concerns about welfare competition and support for benefit conditionality may also be relevant explanations.
  • Young Kyu, Shin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This dissertation examines insecure workers’ union memberships and attitudes towards new welfare programmes. To compare union memberships and policy preferences among different types of insecure workers, this research classifies these individuals into four different groups: part-time employees, temporary workers, low-skilled workers in the service sector, and solo self-employed workers. The first sub-study explores the unionisation of insecure workers by European industrial relations regime by estimating multilevel binary logistic models with the data from the European Social Survey Round 5 (2010). The second one investigates insecure workers’ choices regarding unemployment insurance and union membership after the reform of the Finnish Ghent system in 1992 by analysing the pooled Finnish Income Distribution Survey data from 2000 to 2012. On the other hand, the third and fourth sub-studies to examine insecure workers’ preferences for new social policy ideas concentrate on universal basic income and social investment policy for unemployment, respectively. To address these topics, both sub-studies estimate binary logistic regression models with clustered standard errors and country dummies by using the data from the European Social Survey Round 8 (2016) The first sub-study reveals that insecure workers’ inclination to join a union varies according to their form of employment and the industrial relations regime to which they belong. The second sub-study illustrates that in the transformed Finnish Ghent system, both part-time and temporary employees are inclined to have no union membership, whereas low-skilled service workers do not make significantly different choices from other employees. In addition, the third sub-study shows that only temporary employees tend to have more favourable attitudes among different groups of insecure workers. The fourth sub-study demonstrates that in a budgetary trade-off scenario between social protection and social investment, part-time permanent employees are inclined to be more supportive of social investment policy, whereas part-time temporary workers are less likely to support it. On the other hand, full-time temporary employees and solo self-employed workers do not exhibit significantly different preferences from standard employees.
  • Wang, Ziyu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This doctoral thesis examines how young Chinese people experience being and becoming in their education and how their child-parent relationships relationally influence these experiences. Two groups of concepts frame the analysis: first, being and becoming (including temporality, well-being, learner identity and orientations towards future) and, second, the child-parent relationship (including parental involvement, agency and relational influences). This study employs both quantitative and qualitative methods. The data was gathered through a China Family Panel Studies survey (N=1306), individual interviews (N=25) and an open-ended survey (N=479). These data were analysed by various methods, including statistical analysis, qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis. These young Chinese people have experienced multiple ways of being and becoming. The majority juggle being and becoming in a future-oriented way to achieve educational success, while a significant minority focus on the present and on happiness, entertainment and socialising. The findings point to a mix of abundant parental social support (particularly emotional support) and distant, conflictual child-parent interactions in young people’s negotiations of being and becoming. Young people’s agency has diverse forms embedded in their past, present and future family episodes, and they exercise their agency to mediate their parents’ educational involvement. The thesis suggests that the concept being and becoming heightens the entanglement between the present and the future and the intersection of the temporal and the social, which is increasingly recognised when studying youth. This study also demonstrates that a relational perspective is valuable in uncovering the dynamics, nuances and interactions in young people’s living and growing up. These rich descriptions enable further re-envisioning young Chinese people by questioning their traditionally submissive archetype. Such an inquiry into young people’s individual experiences and their interactions with their social context pinpoints ‘the social’ in social work studies at large. This study also draws out implications for educational and career support for young people and relational social work in practice.
  • Wardi, Eva Elisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Väitöskirjatutkimuksen kolmen empiirisen osatutkimuksen tutkimuskohde on moraalin, oikeudenmukaisuuden ja eettisten ristiriitojen tutkiminen työelämän vuorovaikutussuhteissa suhteessa huolenpidon ammattilaisten omiin elämän arvoihin. Tutkimukset suoritettiin sosiaalikasvattajien lastensuojelun nuorisotyön avohoidon piirissä, sosionomien ja geronomien vanhustyössä valtion ja yksityisissä hoivakodeissa ja historiallisessa tapaustutkimuksessa kasvattajien (myöhemmin sosiaalikasvattajien) sotaorpojen orpokotien kasvatuksen tutkimuksena vuoden 1918 Suomessa. Tavoitteena ja kohteena ovat näin olleet lapset, nuoret ja yhä kasvava vanhusväestö sekä hoivakulttuurin inhimillisyyden ja oikeudenmukaisuuden ristiriidat ja kehitys maassamme. Ensimmäisen osatutkimuksen aineisto kerättiin Helsingin Diakonissalaitoksen sosiaalialan oppilaitoksessa sosiaalikasvattajaopiskelijoiden piiristä kehittävän työntutkimuksen innoittamana koulutusinterventiona. Tutkimus suoritettiin opetuskokeiluna, joka koostui neljästä orientoivan opetuksen opetusjaksosta. Niissä opeteltiin käyttämään kehittävän työntutkimuksen kolmiomallia, jonka tarkoituksena oli orientoida käsittelemään omakohtaisia työn sisällön ongelmia osana lastensuojelutyön työyhteisön työnjakoa ja muita reunaehtoja. Tutkimukseen osallistui 18 sosiaalikasvattajaopiskelijaa. Aineisto, joka koostui työhön liittyvien dilemmojen kuvauksista, tuotettiin ½ vuoden välein kahdella lastensuojelun avohuollon kenttätyöjaksolla. Omakohtaisia dilemmojen ratkaisumalleja verrattiin toisiinsa ja käytettiin työn sisällön kehittämisen välineenä koulutusten jälkeen tapahtuvan palautteen muodossa. Lastensuojelulaitosta pidettiin tutkimuksessa toimintajärjestelmänä, jonka piirissä pienetkin vuorovaikutuksen ristiriidat vaikuttavat koko toimintajärjestelmään sen jollakin tasolla. Työhön liittyvät esseemuotoiset raportit pisteitettiin Kohlbergin oikeudenmukaisuustasoille. Lisäksi tutkittiin Warkin ja Krebsin typologiaa soveltaen aineistossa esiintyneet dilemmatyypit. Tarkastelu toi dilemmakuvauksissa esiin vuorovaikutuksen ristiriidan kohteena olleet vanhemmat työntekijät, myös muut tahot kuten perhe saatettiin mainita. Tulokseksi saatiin havainto, että koulutusintervention vaikutuksesta vastaajat käyttivät useammin ylempää moraalikehityksen oikeudenmukaisuusajattelua sekä toiminnanteorian käsitteellistä kolmiota työnsä mallintamisen ja vuorovaikutuksen kehittämisen välineenä. Toisen tutkimuksen aineisto kerättiin kahdesta aikuiskoulutusoppilaitoksesta. Tutkimukseen valikoitui 14 vanhustyöntekijää, jotka kuvasivat henkilökohtaisen vanhustyöhön liittyvän ongelman ja vastasivat moraalisia skeemoja kartoittavaan Restin DIT-testiin ja Schwartzin PVQ42 -arvomittariin. Tutkittavien raportoimat ongelmat sijoittuivat pääosin Warkin ja Krebsin typologian sosiaalinen paine ja lojaalisuus -luokkiin. Niissä tuli esiin ristipaine omien ja työyhteisön asettamien arvojen välillä sekä ristiriita organisaation vaatimusten ja vanhuksen itsemäärämisoikeuden toteutumisen välillä. Työntekijöiden arvot ja moraaliset ajattelumallit näkyivät myös kuvattujen ongelmatilanteiden sisällössä, sillä universalismia ja itseohjautuvuutta arvostavat kiinnittivät useammin huomiota vanhusten autonomian toteutumiseen. Niin ikään tulokset antoivat viitteitä siitä, että vallitsevaa moraalisten ongelmien luokittelujärjestelmää pitäisi tarkentaa, koska monia dilemmoja oli vaikeata luokitella yhteen dilemmatyyppiin. Kolmas tutkimus käsitteli vuoden 1918 sisällissodan punaorpokysymyksen ratkaisua, jossa päätettiin sulauttaa punaisten lapset valkoiseen nationalistiseen kasvatusihanteeseen kasvattajakoulukunnan kasvattajien toimesta. Tapausta ja sen oikeudenmukaisuusajattelua tarkasteltiin toiminnanteorian, Kohlbergin moraaliteorian sekä Leyensin infrahumanisaatioteorian näkökulmasta. Historiallinen tapaustutkimus kohdistui kasvattajakoulutuksen opetusmateriaalin saksalaiseen aatehistorialliseen taustaan ja nationalistisen etiikan luonteen normatiiviseen tarkasteluun. Tarkastelun kohteena oli myös kaksi aikalaista: Sisälähetysseuran Kasvattajaopiston rehtori Ruusu Heinisen (1876-1962), joka valtion ja kirkon välisissä neuvotteluissa oli katsottu poliittisesti sitoutuneena valkoisena sopivaksi kouluttamaan sosiaalihallituksen ohjeen mukaan oikeaoppisia sijaisäitejä sisällissodan köyhille punaorvoille ja Sortavalan Diakonissalaitoksen sitoutumaton johtaja Jenny Ivalo (1854-1921). Heidän oikeudenmukaisuusajatteluaan ja toimintaansa tutkittiin kirjallisiin dokumentteihin tukeutuen, Kohlbergin heteronomisen A- ja universalistisen B-tyypin avulla. Laajemmin valkoista Suomea koskien tutkimus toi esiin vuoden 1918 samantapaisen jyrkän moraalisen kahtiajaon, sotaorpolainsäädännössä, kasvatusfilosofiassa ja opetuskirjallisuudessa, joissa A- tyyppi ja valkoinen sisäryhmäajattelu oli hallitsevaa ja B-tyyppi ja toisenlaisen, omasta sisäryhmäajattelusta poikkeavan ajattelun hyväksyminen kovin harvinaista. Tuloksia havainnollistava historiallinen aineisto kertoo Suomen oloissa harvinaisesta lasten indoktrinaatiosta ja toisaalta siirtymästä oikeudenmukaisempaan ajatteluun 1918 jälkeen niin lainsäädännön kuin sen hallinnon alaisuudessa olevan koulutuksen osalta. Myöhemmät vuosikymmenet ovat osoittaneet, että oikeudenmukaisuusajattelu on muuttunut ratkaisevasti demokraattisempaan suuntaan, mutta lasten tasa-arvoon liittyvät kysymykset muodostavat edelleen jossakin määrin haasteen. Avainsanat: moraalin kehitys, oikeudenmukaisuusajattelu, oman elämän moraalikonfliktit, roolinotto, kehittävä työntutkimus, arvo, arvoristiriidat, skeemat
  • Martikainen, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this dissertation is to design a conception of political poverty that can address the loss of the experience of political freedom. This form of political poverty is described as separate from poverty of resources and opportunities, and poverty of capabilities required for participation. The study aims to make intelligible how a person or a group can suffer from a diminishing and fracturing of social experience, which can lead to the inability to experience oneself as a capable and credible political agent, political engagement as a meaningful field of action, and democratic politics as a meaningful avenue for changing things for the better. This is a phenomenon which has been heretofore neglected by political theorists. The study presents a heuristic diagnosis of political poverty as loss of experiential freedom that involves four aspects of experience that have specifically political relevance: loss of trust, loss of expressivity, loss of a sense of access to the public world, and the loss of future temporality in experience. Diminishing and fracturing of these aspects of social experience can lead to politically impoverished persons and groups to become complicit in their own marginalisation by remaining unmotivated to challenge it. These aspects of social experience are approached through phenomenological portraits, chosen from literature on social exclusion and poverty. The diagnosis remains open to further development through exploration of other aspects of experience. The study draws on the thinking of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Hannah Arendt to present an account of political freedom as only experienced in co-existence with others. Through a critical discussion of their work, a more comprehensive account of political agency is developed. The experience of having political agency involves not just the cognitive and communicative capacities of the subject, but also the entire perceptual and motor intentionality of their lived body. The experience of meaningfulness is approached by exploring the intersubjective constitution of the self in a dialectical process with their social environment. This experience is described as a form of faith in oneself as an agent and in the meaningfulness of political engagement. Such faith is a practical, meaning-giving intentional relationship of a lived body to their social environment. This study emphasizes the experience of being a capable and credible political agent, and experiencing politics as a meaningful field for engagement, as important aspects of political freedom that should be considered alongside inclusivity of democratic processes, the equality of opportunity to participate, and the equality of the cognitive and communicative capabilities required for effective participation. In order to discuss political poverty as the loss of experiential freedom, we must go beyond objectivist models of social critique and approach the problem with the tools of existential phenomenology.
  • Savonen, Tuomas (The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, 2020)
    This study examines the life and political line of Gus Hall (1910-2000), the long-time general secretary of Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). The first main part of the study examines Hall’s Finnish American background and his life until 1959 when he became the general secretary of the CPUSA. The second main part focuses on the 1960s and looks closely at Hall’s political line during the first decade of his general secretaryship. The study shows that Gus Hall’s political line went through several major changes over the decades. Young Arvo Halberg – as Gus Hall was then known – joined the Communist Party in 1927. His Stalinist upbringing was perfected in Moscow’s International Lenin School in which he studied in the early 1930s. In the 1930s, when he served as a leader in demonstrations and strikes in Minnesota and Ohio, Halberg/Hall was sometimes ready to resort to violence to improve the conditions of the working class. In the early 1940s Hall gave his support to the Americanized communism of the CPUSA’s general secretary Earl Browder. In the mid-1940s, as the party went through a dramatic leadership change, Hall re-invented himself as a supporter of the more Soviet-minded communism of the new party leadership. In the late 1950s Hall once again changed his political line as the party went through tumultuous change following Nikita Khrushchev’s revelations concerning Stalin. Hall now represented himself as a moderate centrist who was ready to reform the CPUSA. Reforms were few, however, during Hall’s first decade as general secretary. The party continued following closely the political line of the Soviet Union. As a consequence, the party was not seen as an interesting alternative by the young New Left radicals of the 1960s. Hall’s Soviet-minded line was best exemplified by the CPUSA’s reaction to the Warsaw Pact occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The CPUSA was one of the few Western Communist Parties which wholeheartedly accepted the Warsaw Pact measure. As Hall’s political line changed several times before the 1960s, he can be criticized of being an opportunist. In the 1960s, however, his line was consistent. It can be best described with the concept of proletarian internationalism. In the language of the international communist movement, proletarian internationalism self-evidently included the idea of Soviet Union’s unchallenged leadership.
  • Käkönen, Mira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This is a study of expertise and power relations in riverine resourcification processes. With a focus on hydraulic infrastructuring and hydrosocial ordering efforts in the Mekong Region, I seek to contribute new perspectives to the analysis of water, energy and climate change governing. The central research question is how water resources are made and governed in the Mekong Region and with what effects, especially in terms of the consequent new power formations and implications for the lives of the Mekong’s riverine residents. This question is timely. Currently, the rivers in the region are being dammed and engineered at an accelerating pace, making the Mekong Basin a scene of one of the most intensive hydropower developments in the world. Around two hundred large dams are at different stages of development in the mainstream and tributaries of the Mekong. The study has global relevance because the actors, rationales and techniques involved epitomise those shaping the current resurgence of hydropower development and other large infrastructure projects in the global South. As I argue, the emergent governmental assemblages enabling the hydropower development are not only intensively present in the Mekong but also partially created there. The research is grounded in the interpretive research tradition of the social sciences and situated at the interface of environmental and development studies. It builds on Foucault-inspired research, especially in the field of political ecology. The analysis contributes to studies of hydrosocial relations and bridges the political-ecological research on water and on climate change. Moreover, it provides new insights on the co-constitutive relations between resources and power formations which have relevance for recent political ecology discussions on resource- and state-making. The constituent and constitutive power formations of resourcification that are analysed include technoscientific, infrastructural, discursive, corporate and different aspects of state powers. It also examines the socio-spatial configurations that emerge from resource-making processes. Analysis of the ways technoscience and technical infrastructures are implicated in the possibilities of hydrosocial ordering forges connections with science and technology studies. In the course of five published articles I examine a range of attempts to fix in place certain sets of biophysical, infrastructural, discursive and socio-political relations. I approach these fixing efforts as part of resource-making processes that seek to render the Mekong’s riverine flows and environments more ‘productive’, investable and exploitable, and governable and controllable. I begin the analysis with the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the early colonial frontier for water resourcification that has since become the part of the Mekong Basin where the plans of ‘full control’ with aspirations of ‘acclimatisation’ have been materialised to the fullest extent. I sketch out the main continuities and ruptures in the Delta’s intensive hydrosocial and agro-hydraulic ordering efforts, and outline their major effects. I then shift my attention to the more recent hydropower boom in Laos and Cambodia, and the various elements enabling it in terms of knowledge production, the new sustainability standards of hydropower dams and climate change-related rationalisations and techniques. Finally, I bring to the fore how enclavistic, post-neoliberal hydropower projects in Cambodia get entangled with other processes of resource-making, with illiberal processes of state formation and the intensification of Chinese influence. The study shows how the past and current modes of fixing hydrosocial relations have been shaped by a complex interplay of different rationales and techniques of governing. It also highlights the importance of the legacies of past hydraulic endeavours, their infrastructural powers, and those of fluvial waters. I identify two waves of hydraulic infrastructuring with differing patterns of water resourcification. Characteristic of the first wave is that resourcification efforts tended towards uniform and centrally coordinated hydrosocial orderings while the resourcification efforts of the second wave exhibit more dispersed, corporate-led modes of hydrosocial ordering. A major change in hydraulic infrastructuring has been the increasing disjointedness between damming and river basin planning because of the proliferation of concessionary hydropower projects. The contradictory predicament of the current resurgence of hydropower is that while large dams are being justified on the basis of multiplying purposes – from poverty alleviation to the better governing of climate change – the concessionary dams are, in fact, geared almost solely towards optimising riverine affordances in terms of their hydroelectricity production. The concessionary governing mode through which the enclavistic, water-resourcification pattern of second-wave dams has evolved is shown to be animated by neoliberal governing rationales but also shaped by illiberal governing logics. While the enclavistic dams strengthen corporate powers over hydrosocial relations and may limit the development of state hydraulic powers, the study also highlights effects which overflow the enclave boundaries and strengthen other aspects of party-state rule in Laos and Cambodia. The various infrastructuring efforts analysed in this study produce waterscapes that are variegated: variously networked and with divergent power formations. There is also variation in the magnitude of the effects and in the mechanisms of how the benefits and adversities of the projects are distributed. Yet all of them, including the ‘sustainable’ dams with eco-modern safeguard policies, radically disrupt fluvial relationalities, diminish possibilities for diverse and decentralised river uses, tend toward more centralised control of hydrosocial relations, and make vulnerable those with the most intimate riverine connections. Despite these similar effects, a nuanced analysis of the ordering assemblages shaping each effort of fixing the fluid is relevant, as it enables more detailed reflection on the distributed responsibilities. Overall, the analysis illustrates how large-scale hydraulic infrastructures built and planned in the Mekong Region entail drastic alterations in hydrosocial relations. Keywords: Cambodia, Clean Development Mechanism, climate change, fluvial relationalities, frontiers, hydraulic infrastructuring, hydrosocial ordering, Laos, large dams, Mekong Region, political ecology, power formations, resourcification, rivers, Vietnam
  • Mäntyneva, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation is an institutionally oriented ethnographic study of rehabilitative work. Rehabilitative work was established and institutionalized in the early 2000s as part of the welfare state and service system. It brings together people from a wide range of life situations and authorities from various branches of government in a multidisciplinary manner. The research explores, broadens, and brings new social scientific knowledge on rehabilitation work from the perspectives of inclusion, human agency, and capabilities. The study opens up new possibilities on how social policy is pursued and implemented and not separated from the everyday lives of people. Active social policy has had tangible impacts on people’s lives in situations of extended and even chronic unemployment. Data were collected as a multi-location ethnography in three work units during 2015–2016. The fieldwork lasted eight months and was preceded by approximately six months of planning and practical preparatory work. The research material included interview materials for participants in rehabilitation work (37 in total) and fieldnotes of three units of work activities. A total of 25 interviews were conducted with participants in social rehabilitation, work placements (internships), work trials (job test participants), and employees. In addition, empirical research compiled written documents on work activities and its practices in different units. This research challenges the myth that everyone involved in rehabilitative work is in need of rehabilitation. According to the study, there are many people for whom the primary reason for participation was the lack of paid employment. Thus, the way in which rehabilitative work activities is used as part of ocial policy has changed. From the perspective of inclusion, the existence of rehabilitative work activities is unclear. Meaningful action, cohesion, and the experience of autonomy strengthened inclusion. Rehabilitative work also proved to be a part of the negative cycle of unemployment, creating a deadlock that weakened participants’ expectations for the future. The consequences of rehabilitative work activities for inclusion, human agency, and opportunities for action had been differentiated. In addition, there were differences in operating practices between work units. Without positive transitions and future horizons, the promising opportunities for rehabilitative work to promote inclusion and strengthen engagement remained temporary and interrupted, or even sudden erupted. In spite of good intentions, rehabilitative work and the capabilities it offers can strengthen social distances and exclusion rather than favourable capabilities. Theoretical concepts of this research, inclusion, human agency, and capabilities, unite all people. The strength of the policy supporting capabilities can be that it can make the direction of social policy and welfare services more sustainable. Key concepts: rehabilitative work activities, institutional ethnography, inclusion, capabilities, human agency

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