Faculty of Social Sciences


Recent Submissions

  • Salonen, Hilma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Russian Arctic is known of its vastness of space, unrelenting weather and natural resources. Renewable energy, however, is rarely linked with developing the country’s Arctic regions. This dissertation explores what kind of importance could de-centralized energy sources have in a setting dominated by fossil fuel revenues Initiatives launched by private actors are mainly absent in the Russian Arctic, butthis does not mean that the local level does not have agency of its own, nor does it rule out interesting side trajectories developed in the regions. This study examines these issues with the help of three case studies, which explore (i) the key priorities of national renewable energy policies, (ii) the enabling and restricting factors behind the use of biomass for energy in Arkhangelsk, and (iii) the relation between existing power structures and new energy projects in the Republic of Sakha. In addition to increasing knowledge on renewable energy use in the Russian Arctic regions, this study contributes to the theoretical discussions on public justification sociotechnical (energy) transitions and the multi-level perspective approach, and carbon lock-ins. With the help of these theoretical concepts, it is possible to analyze Russian energy politics not only as a special case but as a part of a bigger continuum of sociotechnical transitions. Since literature on energy transitions has mainly discussed transition cases in market-led, energy-importing countries, evaluating its key notions in the context of the Russian Arctic offers new viewpoints on their adaptability. The results of this dissertation state that the Russian official discourse promoting renewable energy use favors concrete, technical objectives at the expense of a more ambitious long-term vision. Various lock-ins restrict the possibility of alternative energy forms to develop, and while new actors work alone, existing lock-ins reinforce each other. However, even the current situation holds many possibilities for alternative practices to find niches and develop. Energy policy-making and regional development are neither top-down nor bottom-up affairs, but instead happen in a dynamic interaction between local, regional, and national actors — despite the highly centralized character of the current political system. These realities offer possibilities for renewable energy projects to take root in the Russian Arctic, albeit as a part of the great power politics related to fossil fuel exports.
  • Ishikawa, Motoko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Population ageing is a major challenge in the 21st century, one which has a profound impact on societies, the economy and politics. Of the industrialised countries experiencing ageing of their populations, Japan and Finland are two of the most rapidly ageing societies. In both countries, the baby boomers – large birth cohorts born immediately following the end of the Second World War – have accelerated population ageing. This study investigates the ways in which the media portray the retirement and advancing age of the baby boomers. By exploring media representations of ageing baby boomers and doing a cross-national comparison, the study seeks to reveal how Japanese and Finnish societies view ageing and old age at both population and individual levels. The research materials have been collected from major national newspapers, and they consist of 1236 articles published between 2004 and 2014 for the Japanese data and between 2000 and 2015 for the Finnish data. Each country’s pension system and the retirement process of the baby boomers are grounds for a specific analytic period divided into several phases. The research questions posed in the study are as follows: (1) How do Japanese and Finnish national newspapers portray the baby boomers during the period of their retirement and beginning of old age? (2) How are newspaper portrayals of ageing baby boomers different or similar in Japan and Finland? (3) In what ways is gender involved when Japanese and Finnish newspapers articulate the retirement and ageing of the baby boomers? Analyses with two steps are essential for exploring a large amount of empirical material consisting of texts in two different languages: first, the manifest content analysis method is used to systematise the content, and second, the data is qualitatively explored using a thematic analysis approach. The manifest content analysis first identifies dominant topics in the individual articles and classifies them into broader categories. To understand relationships between the categorised topics and other features of newspaper reporting, gender representation of the baby boomers and boomers’ position in the texts are examined. The thematic analysis qualitatively explores latent and underlying meanings involved in manifest content. It investigates how Japanese and Finnish newspapers articulate the retirement and ageing of the baby boomers, and thereby, how social perceptions of the ageing baby boomers are created. The study results show that while the Japanese and Finnish newspaper discussions focused on several shared topics, other specific topics characterised media discussions in the respective countries. The shared topics included ‘work, retirement and pension’, ‘ageing, health and care’, and ‘baby boomers as a generation’. The topics unique to the Japanese data were ‘consumption and marketing’ and ‘activities, associations and relationships’, whereas ‘current events in economic and political affairs’ was a topic that exclusively appeared in the Finnish data. Both Japanese and Finnish newspapers portrayed the baby boomers in a varied manner. At times, the baby boomers were depicted as posing critical challenges to the ageing societies due to their mass retirement, ultimately resulting in labour shortages or a prospective increase in old-age care. At other time, social expectations regarding the boomers were obvious in textual articulations that encouraged them to postpone their retirement age, continue working into the post-retirement period or participate in volunteer and community activities. The wide-ranging and sometimes contrasting portrayals of the Japanese and Finnish baby boomers serve as an example of the two-faced cultural representations of old age. Japanese and Finnish media discussions viewed ageing at the overall population level in similar ways, as a challenge, as a concern and even as a crisis, though an alarming overtone was relatively more pronounced in the Finnish context. Differences between the two countries stood out when newspaper debates focused on individual ageing experiences, such as depicting attitudes and behaviours of the ageing boomers. While the Japanese media constantly praised energetic boomers for engaging in diverse activities and regarded them as a social resource, the Finnish media rather viewed the boomers as obsolete, with negative connotations. The cross-national comparison also uncovered that in the Finnish media, societal perceptions regarding ageing and old age at the level of individuals sometimes fused with gloomy discussions at the overall population level, whereas those two levels of debate mainly operated independently in the Japanese media. Studying the intersection between gender and ageing in newspaper portrayals of the baby boomers highlighted a distinction between Japan and Finland. In Japanese newspaper articles, the underrepresentation of women compared to their male peers was statistically significant when gender representation was examined in a quantitative manner. However, qualitative analysis uncovered the media’s observations on the disadvantageous position of male baby boomers and the emerging advantage of women in later life. Such articulations demonstrated a difference from the traditional understanding of the ‘double standard of ageing’, referring to discrimination against older women both because of their gender and their age. Gender-conscious portrayals of ageing baby boomers in the Japanese media added a new aspect to generational debates that had previously been viewed as either masculine or non-gendered. Contrastingly, gender did not have any special relevance when articulating views on the retirement and ageing of the baby boomers in Finnish newspaper articles. The Finnish baby boomers were predominantly represented as non-gendered, and the study did not reveal gender differences in public portrayals of the baby boomers. Key words: baby boomers, Japan, Finland, work, retirement, ageing, gender, old age, media portrayals, social perceptions
  • Bergenheim, Sophy (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In my dissertation, I look at Finnish organisations specialised in social policy and welfare, medicine, and health policy, and analyse their role as public policy experts in Finland’s formative welfare state and nation-state development in the 1930s–60s. My empirical research is divided into three parts, which focus on the biopolitical governance of the population, social planning and public policy, and the interaction between the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other actors and operating environments. Individual chapters deal with topics like public health and eugenics, mental hygiene (child psychiatry and guidance), housing policy, and social welfare and social work. In my analytical approach, I combine the history of ideas, conceptual history and the history of knowledge. In my empirical sub-studies, I found that the organisations adopted and constructed a societal role that intertwined expertise and political actorship, as well as blurred the line between state and civil society. In order to address social problems and exploit opportunities brought on by modernisation, the organisations promoted the scientisation, rationalisation and (re)organisation of society. The NGOs’ flexible role also reflected and solidified Nordic corporatist traditions; the Ministry of Social Affairs, in particular, had close official and unofficial relations with the organisations, whose effective status could be characterised as ‘quasi-non-governmental’. The studied organisations often framed their conceptions and formulations of problems, solutions and goals as rational, pragmatic and non-ideological. Nonetheless, the organisations by and large represented the upper middle class and the political centre-right. This was reflected in their ‘bourgeois social reformism’, which sought to normalise bourgeois values and models like the nuclear family and ruralism. However, it is essential to refrain from overly simplistic labels and instead take note of ‘messy’ nuances and seemingly conflicting ideas or goals. Bourgeois social reformism should not merely be seen as gendered class control, but also as compassionate endeavours to help impoverished and otherwise vulnerable individuals and groups: both aspects were based on the premise of equating good quality of life with the bourgeois middle-class lifestyle. In addition, the 1930s–60s were marked by an ideational transition from collectivism to individualism – conceptions of social reality do not change overnight. Hence, fundamentally opposite ideas of the rights and responsibilities of the individual vis-à-vis the collective (e.g., the society or state) prevailed simultaneously, and policies were legitimised through collectivism and individualism alike. This manifested itself, for example, as the active promotion of eugenic measures alongside extensive social and health care reforms in the post-war decades. In conclusion, I characterise the epistemic-political role of the studied NGOs as social engineering. While the term often refers specifically to the collaboration between academic experts and the government/state, I define it as a technocratic and seemingly apolitical ideology: the idea that society, even humanity itself, could and should be improved through knowledge- and data-driven governance. This analytical category encompasses a larger variety of actors, such as expert organisations and other non-governmental and non-academic actors. Furthermore, it lends itself to studying the relationship between state, society and knowledge.
  • Kääriälä, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    SUMMARY Children placed in out-of-home care due to child protection (from here on ‘children in care’) are at an increased risk of encountering various adversities in their adulthood in comparison with the general population. These include low level of education and unemployment. The aim of this thesis is to increase the understanding of the situation of children in care when they are young adults in Finland and the other Nordic countries. The study focuses on school performance, educational attainment and employment among children in care. The dissertation contains four empirical quantitative sub-studies. The first of these is a systematic literature review of the situation of children in care as young adults in the Nordic countries. The three other sub-studies use existing nationwide register-based birth cohort data: one exploits data from Finland, Sweden and Denmark, and two use data from Finland only. These three sub-studies compare the educational attainment of children in care in these three countries, explore education and employment trajectories in early adulthood in Finland, and examine the extent to which the incidence of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders diagnosed in specialized health care contribute to the poor school performance of Finnish children in care. As this thesis is based on secondary register data, it does not examine the lived experience of children in care or their own interpretations of their situation; thus meaning that the findings should not be interpreted as representing their views. The systematic review identified twenty quantitative studies from the Nordic countries. All of these studies showed that, across the Nordic states, children in care are more likely to face different risks and hardships as young adults than the general population. Comparing the results of the countries was challenging, however, because the studies differed in design and various parameters. To facilitate comparison, the second sub-study used a comparative design and investigated the risk of early school-leaving among children in care in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The risks of uncompleted secondary education were roughly equal in Finland and Sweden. In Denmark, the risk was slightly higher. In all three countries, those entering care as adolescents were at the highest risk of not completing secondary-level education. The third and fourth sub-studies were based on Finnish birth cohort data. The first of these, the sub-study on education and employment trajectories, showed that 38% of children in care entered the trajectories on which individuals typically progress from studies to working life. Of the general population never having been in care, 74% were on similar trajectories. Children in care, especially boys, were more likely to enter trajectories on which periods of income support and unemployment followed each other for most of their early adulthood. In addition, in comparison with the general population, children in care, almost exclusively girls, entered trajectories that involved having children and parenting early in the transition. The fourth study showed that diagnosed psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders contribute to poor school performance among children in care. However, those placed as adolescents in particular had significantly poorer school performance than the general population, even after controlling for parental background and diagnosed disorders. The results underline how the challenges of improving the inclusion of children in care are rather similar across the Nordic countries. Above all, the difficulties in educational and employment transitions among children in care are more frequent and more likely to be persistent than among the general population. These risks should be addressed more effectively, not only in preventive work and while in care, but also in child welfare’s after-care services. The policy and the services provided for those placed in care during adolescence require specific attention. The results also indicate that diagnosed psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders are a risk factor for the educational disadvantage of children in care, suggesting that targeting these disorders may be a viable path for promoting the educational outcomes of these young people.
  • Tikka, Minttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This doctoral dissertation investigates the changing communicative role of ordinary people in times of crisis and disasters in the context of hybrid media environment and develops related methodology. The dissertation is motivated by the phenomenon of vast and creative employment of digital media platforms by ordinary people as a response to societal adversity. The research problem is two-fold: first, to study the participation of ordinary people in crises on digital platforms, and second, to explore how qualitative and computational methods can be employed and combined for the study of crises in the context of the hybrid media environment. Theoretically, the dissertation provides novel insights on the ways in which ordinary people, as non-professionals, engage in the construction of contemporary crises via particular crises-related media practices. Methodologically, it offers a nuanced understanding of how to investigate these practices. Theoretically, this dissertation combines media and communication studies and crisis and disaster research. The theoretical framework draws on mediatization, which highlights the role of mediated communication in the construction of contemporary crises. While crisis research has traditionally focused mainly on organizational actors, the communicative actions of other social actors have not received as much attention. In order to guide attention to the ordinary people who are participating in crises within mediatized conditions, this dissertation engages with a mediatization-from-below approach and focuses on the agency and practices of ordinary people in the context of a hybrid media environment. The concept of hybridity helps to situate newer forms of media and related practices and actors in relation to older ones, stressing the continuities between them. Hence, the hybrid media environment presents a context in which the connected individuals operating on digital platforms can respond to crises and disasters alongside established actors. The dissertation is a compilation of a synopsis chapter and four articles, of which three are empirical and one methodologically focused. It applies a mixed methods approach to the collection and analysis of four different data sets that consist primarily of YouTube and Twitter materials. The mixed methods approach in this dissertation prioritizes qualitative research strategies – most prominently digital media ethnography – that is complemented by content analysis, close-reading and computational methods. Theoretically, the dissertation also contributes to the mediatization-from-below approach by developing a framework of three crisis-related media practices: witnessing a crisis, volunteering in a crisis and building crisis communities. By applying the mediatization-from-below approach, the dissertation argues that the media practices of ordinary people have become an important feature that contributes in ambiguous ways to the making and shaping of contemporary crises. The results from the empirical sub-studies show that crisis-related media practices allow ordinary people to assume active agency, new roles and moral responsibility in contemporary crises and disasters. The dissertation argues that the agency of ordinary people changes the hierarchies associated with roles in crises in the hybrid media environment by creating new relations and interdependencies between the actors. However, while ordinary people can act more independently during a crisis, these practices are still connected with other actors of the hybrid media environment, and they reflect and represent pre-existing cultural and physical social conditions. Further, the dissertation argues that digital media platforms encourage ordinary people to become socialized in the construction of crises. This creates ephemeral and complex social dynamics in crises and disasters which can be grasped with a methodological approach where digital media ethnography is complemented by computational analytics. This approach enables researchers to bridge the gap between particular and in-depth understanding of the crisis-related practices of ordinary people and their interpretation in the context of a more global communication scale. By applying the mediatization-from-below approach, this dissertation illuminates the ways in which the media practices of ordinary people are reshaping contemporary crises.
  • Babushkina, Dina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation is an analytic and systematic philosophical study of ethical idealism of the type developed by F.H. Bradley. The research fills the interpretative gap resulting from the fact that the book has mostly been discussed either from the standpoint of political and social philosophy, or the history of philosophy. Psychological interpretations may be insightful, but are lacking in analytic approach. No major in-depth analytical interpretation of Bradley’s ethics has been undertaken from the standpoint of moral philosophy. The uniqueness of this study lies in its exclusive focus on the key concepts of Bradley’s moral psychology, normative ethics, and meta-ethics. It reconstructs, analyses, and interprets his ethics on the basis of Ethical Studies (ES) (and minor works in moral psychology) and offers a new analytic reading of the book. This amounts to a re-evaluation and reconsideration of the standard interpretation of Bradley’s ethical views, and their significance for ethics. The dissertation moves Bradley’s under-researched work into the context of present-day ethical debates, and, by doing so, recovers its significance as a ground-breaking early analytic text with implications for moral psychology, ontology, epistemology, and normative ethics. Adopting an analytic approach to ES, this study moves away from the usual focus on the traditional methods of the history of philosophy. The dissertation instead focuses on the elucidation of the key questions of ES, the explication of its main ideas, and the connection between them, as well as connecting these ideas to ethical problems, rather than on tracing the development of ideas and concepts, describing tendencies, and putting ideas in historical perspective, or connecting Bradley’s views to particular schools of philosophy or individual thinkers. As a result, the research breaks away from the traditional interpretation of Bradley’s ethics and rejects its common assumptions. Bradley’s views are identified not merely as an idealistic ethics, i.e. one of the varied moral views held by metaphysical idealists, but rather as a version of ethical idealism that claims that the goal of a moral life must be understood as the realisation of the moral ideal for its own sake. The dissertation consists of five peer-reviewed articles that form a coherent narrative. It begins by challenging the assumption that, for Bradley, social requirements equal moral obligations, and undermining the long-standing belief about the central role of “my station and its duties”. Next, the dissertation turns to the key concept of ES, i.e. the moral self, which is explained in terms of personal projects. This concept is further connected to Bradley’s account of desire, and it is suggested that grand desires, i.e. desires directed towards an ideal of one’s personality, are important for the understanding of Bradley’s idea of selfrealisation and the moral life. Lastly, it reconstructs Bradley’s views on moral motivation and the nature of moral beliefs.
  • Pennanen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines social impact bonds (SIB) as part of the organisation of wellbeing services in Finland. The social impact bond model aims at creating wellbeing, impacts and improved services through new collaboration between the public and private sector with an emphasis on the acquisition of results and efficiency of operations. Investors take the financial risk for the projects. The model, which was launched in the United Kingdom in 2007, has been experimented within the context of organising wellbeing services in Finland since 2015. By the end of 2019, four social impact bond projects had been started and three further projects were in the planning stage. The social impact bond is one of the instruments used in impact investing. Impact investing is an umbrella term for investments that aim at producing positive social outcomes and societal impacts. The research questions were as follows: 1) how was the implementation of social impact bonds promoted in Finland in the period 2012-2018, 2) which objectives and risks are linked to the application of social impact bonds, and 3) how do social impact bonds renew the organisation of the current wellbeing services? The research frame consists of the three social impact bond narratives presented by Fraser et al. (2016), the first of which involves reforming the public sector by improving its efficiency through a social impact bond. The second narrative involves adjusting and reforming the financial sector, potentially changing the approaches used in the investment market through social impact bonds. The third narrative is a cautionary narrative against the risks of social impact bonds. The second key frame of reference in this study consists of discussion concerning new public management (NPM). The NPM approach perceives public sector as less efficient than private sector, as a result of which the measures used in the private sector must be incorporated into the former. The third theoretical viewpoint is built on the concept of a rare moment. A rare moment is a situation that rapidly shifts the direction of social policy. The data of this study consist of semi-structured interviews of Finland's main social impact bond specialists conducted in 2017 (N=14) and semi-structured additional interviews of specialists participating in applying the model carried out in 2019 (N=7), in a total of 21 interviews. The data also include parliamentary documents on the topic of research from 2013-2018 (N=69). The research method used for the first research question is thematic data analysis using the concept of a rare moment describing change in the welfare state. Questions two and three were explored through thematic analysis based on the narratives presented by Fraser at al. (2016). The study comprises three scientific articles and a summary section. The main finding of this study is that the implementation of social impact bonds progressed at the level of key persons in the period 2012-2014. Of all institutional agents, the model was most actively promoted by Sitra, which has long experience in acting as a risk investor. As a result of the refugee crisis of 2015, Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström became interested in applying the model in integrating immigrants and put pressure on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to launch the KOTO project that applies SIBs. In 2018, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Government backed up the application of the model in a government proposal in favour of the KOTO project for social impact bonds in the integration of immigrants, providing the model with political support. The goals of social impact bonds in Finland include the prevention of societal problems, improved and tailored wellbeing services, reduction of general government budget deficit, and the efficiency and profitability of services. The risks of the model include the difficulty in developing output indicators, possible polarisation effects, complexity, project managers' personal interests emphasising business, and failed projects resulting in monetary loss for investors. As a result, finding investors for new projects may be difficult. As a result of the application of social impact bonds, wellbeing projects will put more emphasis on investors, as wellbeing services have not previously been financed by investors to this extent. The application of social impact bonds is concerned with an aim of creating a systemic change in the public sector. The purpose of this change is to increasingly incorporate the operating logic of social impact bonds, including the use of indicators, efficiency and the acquisition of results, into the operating model of the public sector. No information is yet available on the long-term effects of social impact bonds. Keywords: impact investing, social impact bond, systemic change, investors, wellbeing services, measurement, acquisition of results
  • Koskela, Kaisu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation is about social identities, group boundaries and belonging among skilled migrants living in Finland. It is based on empirical data consisting of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. The main research question I ask is: In their process of settling in in Finland, how do skilled migrants find and define a place for themselves within the structures of their new host society? In addition, I ask questions about the strategies of identity negotiations, the role of class and ethnicity for skilled migrants’ social identities, and how skilled migrants’ group identity is defined in relation to others around them. I approach these questions from the perspective of interactionist identity theories and intersectionality. The findings of the research are presented in four peer-reviewed articles. The main findings are firstly that despite their more privileged socio-economic situation, skilled migrants are experiencing similar issues with integrating, adapting and belonging in Finland as other migrants. They are subjected to racializing discourses, stereotypes and attitudes in much the same way as other migrants are. Secondly, while white skilled migrants are readily viewed as a ‘migrant elite’, racialized skilled migrants feel that they are perceived in the negative image of ‘the migrant’ as a non-western, non-skilled, nonprivileged subject. However, they themselves identify first and foremost as skilled migrants, a social group identity that is based largely on shared class status. Thirdly, there is a conflict between this internal group identification and how racialized skilled migrants perceive themselves to be categorized. This conflict leads to various boundary making strategies that aim at being seen in a more positive way and included in the ‘migrant elite’ category that is understood as a positive, valuable social identity in itself. Together, the findings of the articles point to the continued centrality of the intersection of class and ethnicity in the lives of skilled migrants in Finland. In answering the research question, I conclude that skilled migrants do not feel that they are accepted as full members of Finnish society or seen as equal to Finns. Belonging is therefore searched from a ‘parallel international society of Finland’ consisting of other skilled migrants and ‘internationally-minded Finns’, rather than Finnish society as a whole. As such, the research also demonstrates that ideas about what integration and belonging mean for skilled migrants are based on their own beliefs of their place within the societal whole. Rather than integrating unidirectionally into the host society in the host society’s terms, their integration is an ongoing process of negotiations between structure and agency: between the Finns’ attitudes towards immigrants and their own understandings of their value as members of an internationalizing society.
  • Saaristo, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Collective identities, such as ethnic identities, are powerful mobilisers of human social action that can be manipulated for political purposes. Therefore, the importance of increasing the understanding of collective identification has been stressed by many social scientists (Todd & Rumelili 2018; Allardt 1989; Fishman 1977/1989). This dissertation contributes to the debate on identities in political science by developing a conceptual, theoretical framework defining the content and logical interconnectedness of the concepts identity, collective identity, ethnic identity and language-minority identity. The conceptual framework is used to analyse the construction, consolidation and transformation of the collective, ethnic identity Finland-Swede. Collective identities, as understood in this dissertation, consist of practical and theoretical normative expectations collectively assigned to carriers of the distinguishing feature of an identity status. Due to the behavioural character of collective identities, social scientists can distinguish practices where a given collective identity rationalises the action of carriers of the identity, and can measure a possible change in the pattern of collective identification over time (Todd & Rumelili 2018). This dissertation shows how founding and participating in Swedish voluntary associations became an identity-specific behavioural practice of the Finland-Swedes in the late 19th and early 20th century Finland. Following an interpretive approach to political science, as defined by Mark Bevir (1999), the dissertation analyses how Swedish-language-based ethnic identification was constructed and consolidated, and assesses a possible transformation of the identity status based on data on the development of Swedish and bilingual voluntary associations during 1919–2018. The main empirical contribution of this dissertation consists in producing data on the development of Swedish and bilingual voluntary associations during 1966–2018. Each part of the narrative also describes the general political development, the state of Finnish nationalism and the role of language in the electoral behaviour of Finland-Swedes. The electoral behaviour of Swedish speakers is another practice to which identity-specific normative expectations became associated during the construction of the identity status. The study shows a continuity in the role of the Swedish language within the field of associations and in the electoral behaviour of Finland-Swedes throughout the 20th century and during the first decades of the 21st century. The most noteworthy change has occurred in the registration activity of bilingual associations, where registrations increased gradually during the second half of the 20th century and decreased in the 21st century. Looking at the registration activity of bilingual associations in the 20th and 21st century, one can conclude that the registration activity has tended to be moderate at times when the language issue has been an activated, antagonistic societal issue, and has increased when the language issue has been latent.
  • Taipale, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines trial judges’ evaluation of expertise in the context of Helsinki district court traffic insurance compensation cases (TBI cases). In addition to an insurance dispute, the case type features a medical dispute about traumatic brain injuries, and a related medical disagreement about medical diagnostic practice and professional jurisdiction. The motivation for the study stems from studies of expertise in the field of Science and Technology Studies concerning the difficulties that actors have in competently evaluating and making decisions based on expertise in which they are not experts themselves (Collins and Evans, 2007; Lynch, 2007; Turner, 2014). Especially in the case of expert dispute, how can non-experts choose between competing expert claims? The problem presented by expertise to non-expert evaluation also applies in the context of legal courts’ evaluation of scientific evidence and expert testimony (Jasanoff, 2015). Thus, in addition to studies of expertise, the empirical study is informed by studies in law and science that discuss expertise and evidence in the courtroom context (Edmond, 2000; Jasanoff, 2005). I also draw on medical sociological studies discussing evidence-based medicine and clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), and how guidelines organize the practice of clinical medicine (Timmermans and Berg, 2003). This study examines how expert guidelines are used in the unintended context of the courtroom, and what consequences this potentially has. The study theorizes trial judges’ practice of evaluating expertise as meta-expertise and meta-expert judgment in law-science interaction. In its discussion of meta-expertise, the study is indebted to Harry Collins and Robert Evans’ (2007) theorizing about meta-expertise, but it also complements their normative analytical framework by taking an approach suggested by Michael Lynch (2014) in examining how meta-expertise and meta-expert judgment is practised, and determined by its practice, in a particular empirical case setting. The main research question of this dissertation stems from the discussed problem that expertise poses to non-expert judgment of expertise: What are the characteristics of trial judges’ practice of meta-expertise, and how do judges make meta-expert judgments about expert evidence and testimony? The empirical case study data consists of 11 Helsinki district court traffic insurance compensation case verdicts dating from 2014 to 2017, and 20 interviews with Helsinki district court and Helsinki appeals court judges. The verdict material, making over 470 pages in total, was collected in late 2016 and early 2017, while the interviews were conducted between May and November 2016. The verdicts and the interviews were analysed qualitatively using thematic content analysis that was informed by the theoretical interest of exploring the character of judges’ meta-expert judgment in law-science interaction. Therefore, in analysing the data the focus was on how the medical and expert dispute was constructed in the verdicts, and also on how judges justified their choices between experts and what they claim. The verdict and interview data were complemented by an analysis of 2008 and 2017 editions of clinical practice guidelines for brain injury. The guidelines were compared to the verdict data to assess the guidelines’ influence on how judges evaluated medical evidence and expert testimony in the cases. The study consists of one summary article and three original empirical research articles. The articles answered the following secondary research questions: what is the challenge that non-expert judges face in evaluating expertise in the TBI cases? How do judges manage to make and justify their decisions regarding neurological and psychological expert evidence, taking account of the fact that judges’ level of medical scientific and clinical competence is low? How should social analysts examine and understand trial judges’ evaluation of evidence, so as to gain the best possible understanding about judges’ evaluation practices? And, how does medical expertise frame, facilitate and constrain trial judges’ evaluation of evidence in court? The results contribute to our understanding of what meta-expertise constitutes, and what difficulties are involved and strategies available in making meta-expert judgments. The study concludes that judges use 1) a dialectical method, ‘socio-technical review’, in managing contradictory expert claims in court, and 2) social or circumstantial knowledge as proxy for evaluating experts’ credibility and the credibility of their claims of ‘technical’ substance. Thus, judges are able to justify their choice between contradictory expert claims. This was evident for example in the TBI case verdict discussions about professional jurisdiction and the acceptability of diagnostics. Trial judges also show 3) a discursive ability to work around claims of expertise that are beyond their competence in the evaluated field of expertise. In this, judges take advantage of the interpretative flexibility that is characteristic of the disputed evidence, which was discussed in the TBI cases through contested MRI techniques and their credibility. Another key finding concerns 4) the use of guidelines or other general evaluative criteria in making meta-expert judgments. Guidelines or criteria that carry epistemic authority can be used to support meta-expert judgment. However, general evaluative criteria might apply to the specifics of a case poorly, and might result in unexpected outcomes when applied by non-experts. In the TBI cases the guidelines directed the judges’ evaluative gaze, which had unexpected consequences for their evaluation of expert evidence due to the character of the plaintiffs’ medical cases. The study concludes by providing a conceptual foundation for improving judges’ evaluation of expertise based on the examination of evaluative criteria and reflexivity in the TBI cases.
  • Zheng, Yi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis discusses competition and coordination in the market. On the supply side, firms decide optimal competing strategies in pricing while considering corporate social responsibility. On the demand side, on one hand, consumers can act selfishly without considering social norms. On the other hand, consumers can coordinate so that better outcomes can be achieved: for example, a reduction in market inefficiency or an improvement in welfare. I analyze the relationship between the demand and supply sides, and study how the preference and behaviour of one side can affect the other. I then discuss the incentives of both firms and consumers, either competitive, non-cooperative or coordinative. This thesis consists of four articles. The first article points out a new cause of market inefficiency in competitive markets. I propose a coordinative solution to the problem. I show that the market clears if consumers coordinate in a certain way and, therefore, confirm the value of coordination in competitive markets. The second article studies the role of socially responsible actions in a lobbying game. Firms' investment in corporate social responsibility, for example, on environmental protection or animal rights, is proved to be a strategic action that effectively reduces lobbying costs and improves welfare. The other two articles study boycotts. I examine how consumers' behaviour that is driven by environmental concerns can jointly cause a change in firms' behaviour towards more socially responsible actions, and how firms choose their best reactions to deal with boycotts.
  • Pötzsch, Tobias (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis explores the process of social inclusion of adult migrant learners enrolled in integration education programs. It reveals the Inclusectionalities denoting the intersections of inclusion and exclusion through which liminal spaces are revealed that position migrant students as between and betwixt belonging and othering. The study is based on research findings obtained during multiple case study fieldwork in Finland and Canada between 2015-2017 consisting of in-depth and group interviews with migrant students and staff as well as extended periods of participant observation. The Finnish case studies consist of Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) programs at The Swedish Adult Education Institute (Arbis) in Helsingfors and The Civic Institute (Medis) in Mariehamn, on the Åland Islands, while NorQuest College’s Language Integration for Newcomers to Canada program (LINC) in Edmonton represents the Canadian case. Anti-oppressive methodologies (AOP), as well as perspectives integrated from Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) and Critical Migration Studies (CMS) with their ideals of challenging structural racism and working for social change inform the theoretical framework of critical social inclusion as well as the study’s research design. The empirical findings show that social inclusion within the educations was tangled, episodic, and far from uniform or straightforward. Its negotiations revealed the presence of widely contradictory and conflicted responses which oscillated between Civic Integrationism’s striving to inculcate a “coherent” national narrative and Transformation Inclusion’s more “incoherent,” critical and egalitarian interpretations. The findings, presented in three main themes: Inclusion Within the Walls, Inclusion Beyond the Walls and (Colour) Blind Spots, also reveal that both enabling and disabling factors emerged in implementing critical social inclusion within the case studies’ different educational, social and national environments. Educational programs where integration was myopically equated with host country language acquisition often lost sight of the breadth and depth – the “real life” focus – broader social inclusion demanded. Secondly, where an integrationist normative narrative – as in, “aren’t we supposed to teach them how to live here?” – justified prevailing power and racial hierarchies, it stood in the way of reciprocal learning and student agency in reshaping curricula and inclusion efforts. A third factor concerned how willing staff, administrators and other stakeholders were to turn the majority gaze inwards in interrogating their own role in maintaining cultural and structural inequalities as well as white entitlements. By diverting this gaze, the white social frame grounding these inequalities became institutional background and “common sense” views of culture, learning and integration eluded critical analysis. The fourth factor refers to the prevailing social and political climates in which integration education programs were embedded. Where these climates emphasized controls and compliances which racialized and othered migrants, they accentuated students’ abjection from the social body. Lastly, social inclusion necessitates robust expressions of joint political agency yet implementations of LINC and SFI were generally characterized by a politics of apoliticality. Because programs were not developed around critical citizenship foundations but emphasized more “neutral” incarnations of language and cultural learning, they extended limited sanctioned opportunities for teachers and students to collectively challenge social and structural injustices. A key discursive and cognitive transposition is the study’s contention that if critical perspectives of social inclusion are to become a lived reality for “all” program participants, then majorities must also be subjected to the “integration spotlight.” Turning the majority gaze from the migrant inwards, presumes a sea change in attitudes, aims and program implementations. How one answers the question of who serves as an arbiter over which expressions of migrant diversity are judged as beneficial or as obstacles to inclusion is crucial here.
  • Berger, Heidi (2020)
    In line with the title, Russian foreign- and security policy from Boris Yelt-sin to Vladimir Putin 1992–2014: Presidential belief-systems in the setting of political conditions, this study examines Russia’s foreign and security policy during the eras of the three presidents by focusing on two intercon-nected perspectives namely the presidential belief systems defined as the operational codes and the context of this policy making defined as the con-ditions. The main claim in this thesis is that Russian foreign and security policy making is guided by a comprehensive framework in which two main opera-tional models are balancing. The challenging approach refers to a reactive pattern and the joining approach refers to a proactive pattern. These opera-tional models should be perceived as intertwined and can be observed in relation to different fields of action characterized by varying processes and goals. Due to the argument such challenging–joining framework repre-sents a strategic level continuity of Russian foreign and security policy dur-ing the period of 1992–2014. This study seeks to answer to following research questions: What is this framework about and what kind of descriptive and explanative qualities does it have? What kind of political belief systems does the three presi-dents have and what kind of policy shifts can be found during these presi-dential eras? These questions will be answered with a combination of con-textual multicase analysis and qualitative operational code analysis includ-ing the philosophical-, instrumental-, and strategic beliefs applied within the context of Walter Carlsnaes’ explanative model. This study shows that unity can be found between the political belief sys-tems of Yeltsin, Medvedev and Putin who have been defined as the repre-sentatives of the foreign- and security policy elite. Analysis also reveals how foreign and security policy instruments have diversified during time. Among the presidents the vision of a sovereign great power is strong being capable to protect its national interests even by force if necessary, seeking to maximize its gains/advantages and to set the rules of the game with a combination of challenging and joining operational models. Through the contextual multicase analysis five foreign and security policy phases can be found including the pro-western policy phase during 1992–1993, a vision of new era and damage limitation 1993–1999, a vision of agreements and gains/advantages maximizing 2000–2008, a vision of de-velopment and setting of rules 2008–2012 and a vision of the possible fu-tures and syntheses of the pillars 2012–2014. In line with the argument the challenging–joining framework as the syn-thesis of three pillars represents a strategic level continuity during the pe-riod of 1992–2014. Such observation provides an evidence that Russian foreign and security policy should not be understood nor explained solely by excluding categories since the framework can appear as nationalistic or imperialistic while simultaneously be oriented towards the west. The framework clarifies the main fields of action in which Russia operates and enables one to understand why its operational model may at times appear contradictory while explaining that Russia seeks a great power role with a variety of instruments which have not always been clearly recognized.
  • Hoikkala, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In this PhD research, restrictive and disciplinary practices refer to procedures which differ from the usual regulative practices of everyday life in a children’s residential care institution in child welfare. These practices restrict child’s possibilities to act and participate or they violate the privacy of a child. In this study restrictive and disciplinary practices are interpreted as ways to govern children and young people within child welfare. The two main research questions are as follows: 1) What kind of restrictive and disciplinary practices have there been in the children’s residential care institution at different times and how have these practices been organized in the social relations of specific time? 2) How has their regulation changed? Theoretically and methodologically, the study adheres to the approach developed by Dorothy E. Smith. This approach has been used to explore the organization of restrictive and disciplinary practices as well as the distinctive forms of relations of ruling mediating their implementation. Practices under examination are interpreted as the intersection of the everyday life of residential care and the social relations governing it. The most important social relation is the generational relation. Furthermore, Michel Foucault’s idea of a history of the present is applied heuristically. In this qualitative social work research, a single case study design is applied as a research strategy. One children’s residential care institution forms the case. Data collected from the case study institution and the archive contains textual documentary data such as the journals of punishments, the decisions of restraints, the memos of meetings, daily reports and the extracts of children’s case files, produced by residential care workers. Regulative relations are examined by using the municipal guidelines and legislation as well as professional texts such as committee reports. In the analysis, three key points of transformation are first located by exploring the continuities and discontinuities of practices under examination. Secondly, these moments are analysed by applying the method of textual inquiry and close reading, which takes into account definite places and times. Thirdly, the transformation of the practices under examination and their regulation are analysed during the time period of this research. Restrictive and disciplinary practices have changed during the period under examination from the practices of punishment and disciplinary power to practices emphasizing care and caring power. For example, corporal punishments were replaced by various methods of isolation, and drug testing was implemented as a new practice. The municipal guidelines formed the regulative basis for practices under examination until 1983. Since then they have been regulated by child welfare legislation. Both practices under examination as well as the generational relations of children and residential care workers have been re-shaped by the professionalization, democratization and legalization of children’s residential care. Residential care workers have been expected to integrate the events of everyday life and the formal regulative organization of practices. They have also been expected to adjust their professional activities accordingly. Key words: Children’s residential care, restriction, discipline, history of child welfare, relation of ruling, generational relation
  • Määttä, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The sedentary lifestyle is rooted in our lives across many settings in contemporary society. The phenomenon has raised public health concerns due to increasing knowledge of the negative health consequences of extensive sedentary behavior (SB). SB is defined as any waking behavior characterized by a low energy expenditure while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture. Already, preschool-aged children are sedentary for over half their daily waking hours. The prevalence of their SB encourages understanding of the factors associated with it. The two key settings for the development of preschool children’s SB habits are home and preschool. As postulated by the socioecological model of SB, each setting, with its social and physical environment, shapes the individual’s possibilities for SB differently. Each setting may also differ in socioeconomic status (SES). Beside settings, individual characteristics (e.g. temperament) shape behavior. These theoretical assumptions create the potential to study the interplay between individual characteristics, SES, home and preschool settings, and children’s SB. The main research focus of this dissertation was to examine examine how SES, individual factors, and home and preschool settings combine to shape preschool children’s SB. The specific questions targeted in this study were: 1) Which individual, home, and preschool factors were associated with the preschool children’s overall SB and to what extent did these factors explain variance in children’s overall SB? 2) Which factors in the preschool setting were associated with preschool children’s SB during preschool hours and did these factors in preschool setting act as moderators in the associations between parental SES and SB? 3) Did co-participation in physical activity (PA) as a parenting practice act as a mediator in the associations between parental SES and SB? and 4) Did the frequent visits to places where PA is encouraged and weekly common practices in the preschool group associate with preschool children’s SB during preschool hours? This research was based on the DAGIS (Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschool) cross-sectional study, which was conducted in 66 preschools in Western and Southern Finland in the years 2015 and 2016. A total of 864 children, aged three to six years, participated in this study. This multimethod study included objective measurement of SB, observations, and multiple questionnaires covering the children’s characteristics, the preschool setting and the home setting. The preschool setting was defined as consisting of social, physical and organizational environments whereas the home setting comprised parenting behaviors and practices, family knowledge and social norms, and family SES. The indicators of SES were parental educational background and preschool neighborhood SES. All the main analyses in the sub-studies applied multilevel linear regression models, but additionally cross-level interactions were tested in study II and indirect effects in study III. The main results of this research were: 1) Being a boy and having higher levels of surgency temperament were associated with lower SB. Individual characteristics explained the variance in children’s SB more than the settings. 2) Parental perceived barriers related to children’s outdoor PA was associated with children’s higher SB, whereas more frequent parental co-participation in PA, especially in their own yard and in nature, was associated with children’s lower SB. 3) Parental SES differences existed regarding co-participation in PA practices. Compared to parents with high SES backgrounds, parents with low SES reported visiting more frequently their own yards, and this was associated with their children’s lower SB. Parents with high SES reported more frequent visits to indoor sports facilities than parents with middle or low SES backgrounds, but this frequency did not have a statistically significant association with children’s SB. 4) Preschool practices were associated with children’s lower SB during preschool hours. Namely, more minutes spent on physical education lessons, higher numbers of PA theme weeks, more frequently conducted nature trips and early educators’ practices to break children’s SB were related to children’s lower SB. 5) Higher parental SES was associated with children’s higher SB in preschools either a higher number of organized SB theme weeks, a lower number of PA theme weeks or a lower number of PE lessons. This dissertation brings novel and practical knowledge about the important role of parental and preschool practices in relation to preschool children’s SB. The practical implications based on the results of this dissertation encourage the development of public health programs and intervention strategies related to parental and preschool practices enhancing preschool children’s healthy SB habits. More specifically, strategies inspiring families’ frequent co-participation in PA, specifically in nature and their own yards, can be beneficial. In addition, all the preschools should assure frequent nature trips, PE lessons and PA theme weeks for their children, as these practices have the potential to diminish children’s SB. However, the children’s individual characteristics also need to be reflected on better. More research is needed on the mechanisms of SES in children’s SB.
  • Nortio, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Social psychological research on multiculturalism has demonstrated its potential to promote ethnic equality and reduce interethnic conflicts in society. However, it has also shown that ethnocultural majorities tend to support multiculturalism less than minorities. This result has been explained through the majority members’ uneasiness, which is related to minorities’ claims for cultural maintenance. While the dilemmas of multiculturalism—especially in regard to politics, policies and ideology—have been widely discussed in social psychological and social scientific research, there has been a limited interest in studying the accounts of those who live multiculturalism in their everyday lives. In this research, I focus on multiculturalism as a lived ideology. I argue that understanding the ways in which multiculturalism is oriented in the lay discourse could shed more light on its potential to promote harmonious intergroup relations. To foster this understanding, this research examines the lay discourse of multiculturalism in Finland, a country that ranks as one of the world’s most policy-wise multicultural societies, which concurrently is witnessing the mainstreaming of anti-multiculturalism and xenophobic political discourses. More specifically, this research asks, what kinds of discursive tools and resources do ordinary people living in Finland use to account for multiculturalism. In other words, how they construct, negotiate, and manage ethnocultural diversity and intergroup relations in their talk. This study consists of four sub-studies, all of which draw from discursive social psychological approaches stemming from social constructionism. Study I analyses focus groups held among majority Finns; Studies II and III analyse focus group discussions held among minority and majority Finns; and Study IV combines frame analytic and discursive psychological perspectives to examine the accounts of multiculturalism in a popular online forum. By employing a discursive approach, this research shows the complexities and dilemmatic aspects of the lay discourse of multiculturalism. More specifically, these complexities relate to three discursive constructions of multiculturalism and their functions. The first construction, threatening multiculturalism, served to represent majority and immigrants as essentially different groups and to justify their inequality. The second construction, valuable multiculturalism, enabled accounts celebrating diversity, and served as a tool to demonstrate a speaker’s open-mindedness. Third, the construction of limiting multiculturalism enabled the criticising of the essentialist and hierarchical categorisations of “us” and “them”, and the claiming of immigrants’ cultural citizenship.
  • Lehto-Lundén, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study analyses children and their experiences of support family service. Support family service is goal-oriented and is one of the child welfare services provided to children and families in their challenging life situations. In support family service, the child of the supported family participates in the daily life of the support family and usually stays with the family one weekend a month. The study answers the question: What are the meanings that children give to support family service? The research is anchored in childhood research and emphasizes the child as an active, experiential, informed and empowered individual who appreciates his/her experiences as part of the formation of scientific knowledge. The methodological guideline of the study is existential phenomenology, which engages in a holistic concept of human beings. Phenomenology is considered a science of phenomena intended to go back to the “things themselves”. A holistic concept of humans takes into account the inividual as an embodied and mental actor, influenced by the individual’s life situation and the surrounding timeframe. Data was collected in various ways between 2015–2016 as a five-step process. Children shared their experiences through interviews, drawings, taking photographs and making videos. The children themselves played an active role in gathering the research material. The study gives voice to eleven children. At the time of the study, the children were between 3 and 15 years old. There were altogether 43 research meetings with children. The research analysis is carried out using the phenomenological method. Children’s experiences form a diverse picture of support family service. It is crystallized into a set of relationships, places, activities, material and travelling. This study summarizes children’s experiences of support family service into four general-level meanings: 1) relationship-based (relationship, encounters, and continuity), 2) contextual environment (physical home, spaces, and environments) 3) activities (concrete action and evnts) and 4) repetitive transitions (moving between home and support family). Children’s experiences show that effective and interactive relationships with adults in a support family are essential, but relationships with bonus siblings and pets also play an important role. The child may also develop an attachment relationship to the support family’s operational environment, in addition to the relationships they have with the support family itself. The common experiences of support family service are shared with all the children, but the whole is formed individually for each child. Research shows that the use of a variety of participatory methods in research meetings is beneficial because they can balance the power relations between adult and child. Research shows that the existential-phenomenological framework provides opportunities to use phenomenology as one of the background theories in social work research and while structuring practical social work. Keywords: Support family service, social work, child welfare, child’s experience, existential phenomenology, holistic concept of human.
  • Kostamo, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Regular physical activity is a crucial factor in maintaining physical and mental well-being. International evidence has shown a decline in physical activity during adolescence. For the time being, there is insufficient knowledge about how to inspire adolescents to engage in physical activity and to maintain it as a part of their daily routine. For example, school-based physical activity interventions have, according to accelerometry measures, so far not been able to significantly increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity among children and young people. This dissertation explores changes in physical activity among Finnish vocational and high school students. It focuses on investigating the events and sources of inspiration that, according to participant interpretations, contributed to the increase in their physical activity. My work consists of two independent parts, both related to a larger research project. The project developed and evaluated an intervention implemented in vocational schools, namely the Let’s Move It (LMI) intervention. The datasets analysed in this study were initially collected for development and evaluation of the LMI intervention. A key concept in this dissertation is the physical activity relationship, which approaches physical activity as part of an individual’s life style and identity. In addition to physical activity behaviour, the physical activity relationship includes attitudes, values and meanings related to physical activity that guide individual choices. According to previous literature on the physical activity relationship, salient meanings of physical activity among adolescents are: competition and achievement, health and fitness, expression and performance, pleasure and play, sociability, self-searching, growth and development, as well as various meanings characteristic of different sports. The physical activity relationship can be explored from four different perspectives: personal physical activity, following sports, production of physical activities, and sportisation, that is, how meanings of sports are absorbed by wider society. My summary illustrates how adolescents who increased their physical activity presented their physical activity relationship. In particular, it identifies those perspectives, meanings, and conceptualisations of physical activity that they emphasised as important for behaviour change. My dissertation draws on three sub-studies. In the first and second sub-study, a life-course perspective was applied to investigate the essay contest entries of vocational and high school students. With the help of Finnish language teachers, 115 student essays were collected in total. The essays were then analysed in order to identify interpretative frames for physical activity and critical incidents triggering changes in physical activity. The third sub-study was based on individual interviews, focusing on vocational school students’ interpretations of changes in their physical activity during and after the LMI trial. Thirty-four interviews were conducted immediately after the intensive intervention had ended. Recruitment of intervention and control arm participants was based on having reported low or moderate activity at baseline. The 34 interviews were analysed using the critical incident technique, aiming to identify those insights and processes that the participants described as crucial for increasing physical activity or changing their thinking about physical activity. During the analysis phase, two salient themes for behaviour change were identified. In the contest essays (articles I and II), the turning point was presented as insight into the personal benefits of physical activity, such as experiencing success, feeling better, and gaining a more attractive appearance. Becoming aware of the association between physical activity and one’s own well-being was described, for example, as noticing how a decline in physical activity had resulted in becoming less fit. In student interviews, a new conceptualisation of physical activity and concrete tips about how to increase physical activity in daily life were emphasised as important triggers for behaviour change. As the key to behaviour change, participants described having acquired a novel way of conceptualising beneficial physical activity, particularly understanding the positive effects of light physical activity for health and well-being. (Article III.) When analysing findings about increasing physical activity via the eight meanings previously identified in the existing literature, almost all of them were found to relate to behaviour change. Specifically, meanings related to competition and achievement, health, expression, and various meanings characteristic of different sports seemed to be important triggers for increasing physical activity. Meanings related to competition and achievement were closely related to the meanings of different sports, for example, in descriptions of gaining experiences of success from participating in a certain sport or being physically active in a certain way that felt especially suitable for oneself. Meanings related to health were expressed in two ways: on the one hand, the increase in physical activity was presented as a way of preventing and treating health problems and, on the other hand, as a means of achieving general well-being and, for example, maintaining work ability. Meanings related to expression could be identified in descriptions about how behaviour change was triggered via being aware of the consequences of physical activity for one’s own appearance. The desire to change one’s own appearance seemed, in these datasets, to be more often associated with other people’s gaze and their feedback– in other words, to be related to the visual impression given to other people. Of the perspectives related to the concept of physical activity relationship, the most salient one in these datasets was personal physical activity, including exercise as well as physical activity related to daily routines. In contrast, following sports, production of physical activities, and sportisation were rarely mentioned. Based on the results, it can be seen that, during adolescence, young people may get inspired by physical activity and adopt it as a part of their life style and daily routine. The factors, that young people perceived as inspiring them in independently increasing their physical activity, seem to be construed around the idea of benefit: firstly, whether being physically active is perceived as beneficial for oneself and secondly, what kinds of actions beneficial physical activity is perceived to consist of. In light of the datasets analysed in this dissertation, it is worth asking whether more diverse meanings of physical activity need to be included in the contents of messages in health promoting interventions, in case particularly when seeking to inspire young people with low physical activity levels to increase their physical activity. Further research could continue to explore the various meanings and factors associated with increasing physical activity among adolescents with low physical activity levels. The most appropriate method for such inquiry might be to integrate longitudinal mixed-methods studies into long-term and theory-based physical activity interventions.
  • Holappa, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This is a study about a deep-seated fallacy in modern Political Economy research. This myth emphasises the ability of the bond markets to discipline the actions of all states by demanding either higher interest rates on government bonds or by refraining from lending to governments they dislike. I call this assumption the bond-market-power narrative (BMPN) and demonstrate its popularity in both strands of modern Political Economy, namely international political economy and comparative political economy. I prove that the BMPN must rely on a closed-systems-based understanding of economic theory in order to be internally coherent. Theoretical approaches founded on a closed-systems metatheory argue that the primary aim in the social sciences should be to detect geo-historical regularities between key factors. Relying on a critical-realist philosophy of social sciences I argue that such approaches are highly problematic because stable sequences cannot reliably be found in open systems such as human societies. I suggest that the so-called Say’s law forms the exact mechanism of how the closed-systems approach is realised in BMPN-based studies. Say’s law says that supply creates its own demand – at least in the long run – which is why demand stimulation cannot have important positive long-term effects. This is crucial since the key argument in my study is that all governments enjoying relatively strong monetary sovereignty can mostly bypass bond market influence by using direct central bank financing of fiscal deficits if there is enough political support for such actions. BMPN-based Political Economy literature, however, rejects this possibility – sometimes explicitly and at times implicitly. In economic theory, the risks of central bank financing of fiscal deficits are virtually always associated with the acceptance of some form of Say’s law. The idea is that fiscal deficits are possible in the long run only if government spending is financed through the central bank. However, since there is no output gap in the long run, the deficits primarily cause rising or even accelerating inflation rates. I conclude that BMPN scholars must have accepted, at least passively, such economic-theoretical views. BMPN-based studies could not otherwise be internally logical. For me, BMPN scholarship includes only studies that clearly present the material structures of the world economy as sources of market discipline. So, by definition, BMPN scholars do not discuss bond market power as a political idea being promoted by certain fractions of the society. Rather, in BMPN scholarship, bond market power is predominantly something that has been connected to the crisis of the tax state and the deregulation of global finance which, consequently, have forced ostensibly sovereign governments to be at the mercy of bond market vigilantes. I argue that the main schools of thought in economics compatible with the BMPN are neoclassical and classical-Marxian economics which both accept closed-systems theorising and some form of Say’s law. The major school of thought that most notably rejects such theorising is post-Keynesianism. Post-Keynesian theory argues that social reality is defined by fundamental uncertainty. Thus, there is no automatic adjustment towards any “natural” or “normal” rate (whether we are speaking of growth, capacity utilisation or unemployment) and therefore, the level of effective demand may differ, and output gap exist in all possible intervals. I further argue that the criticisms of post-Keynesians against the adjustment mechanisms at the heart of Say’s law are empirically convincing and therefore, the post-Keynesian depiction of the fiscal policy space is more accurate than neoclassical or classical-Marxian alternatives. However, even though I argue that governments with relatively strong monetary sovereignty cannot be disciplined by bond markets, I also accept the existence of important external limitations on state-level economic policy. The most significant such limitation is the balance-of-payments (BOP) constraint which says that most countries are unable to run permanent current account deficits without risking a collapse of the exchange rate. Yet, in this study it is pointed out that BOP constraints have existed for as long as there has been a discrepancy between the open world economy and territorialised political authority. Hence, the structural power of capital is not a new phenomenon and the deregulation of global finance has not, principally, added important new layers to the disciplinary capabilities of the capitalist class – at least not in a material sense. The most central finding of this study is that the acceptance, whether passive or active, of a closed-systems macroeconomic perspective is a necessary component of the bond-market-power narrative. Thus, the BMPN-based Political Economy studies do not primarily reveal much about the non-discoursive power structures of the world economy. On the contrary, these studies tend to be based on a replication of orthodox economic-theoretical views – and are often even unaware of this. Consequently, the argument put forward in this study is that the rejection of the BMPN is necessary for the progress of modern Political Economy research.
  • Vento, Isak (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Public policy is increasingly implemented with projects. The projects serve as policy instruments in governance systems, which aim for efficient and democratic governing of the contemporary liberal democratic societies with divergent mechanisms. The temporary project has been assumed to enhance policy implementation within a governance system by rendering timely cooperation and interventions possible and provide autonomy to experiment and learn. However, the temporality of projects can increase uncertainty and the project logic of action may clash with other logics of action and result in misunderstanding or disagreement. Despite the importance of new organizational forms for public governance, the effects of project organization on governance mechanisms has so far been insufficiently studied. To what extent do the temporality and action logic of projects actually contribute to or counteract the divergent governance mechanisms for effective and democratic public governance? This dissertation argues that the lack of governance analysis of project organization stretches to a more fundamental shortage of theorizing project-based implementation from a governance perspective. As such, projects have been mostly perceived as administrative questions rather than as challenges for putting public policy into practice within a governance system. Governance systems are known to elude the conventional conception of the policy process as a cycle of sequential stages from planning to decision-making and implementation. This thesis applies the Multiple Governance Framework (MGF) to the analysis of project-based policy implementation. In distinction to other theoretical frameworks of the policy process, it is developed for theorizing the policy process from a governance perspective with focus on implementation. The dissertation has a twofold analytical agenda. Firstly, the dissertation theorizes the potential effects of project organization on governance mechanisms. The organizational characteristics distinguishing projects from other organizations are identified based on project organization theory and research. The governance mechanisms with collaboration, quasi-markets and trust as their core are then distinguished based on the collaborative governance, metagovernance and interactive governance theories. By discussing the project organization in relation to the governance mechanisms, the hypothetical effects are outlined. Secondly, the dissertation analyzes empirically the effects of project organization on the governance mechanism. The findings are discussed in relation to the governing of implementation outlined by the MGF to analyze how the agents with divergent mechanisms are assigned different types of action in public governance. The object of study is the European Union’s regional policy, the Cohesion policy, and its 2007-2013 program in Finland. As an early adopter of project-based implementation and one of the world’s largest policies with an intrinsic transformative agenda, the Cohesion policy offers an exemplary case for the study of public governance with a projectified policy. Applying a mixed methods approach, combining research articles with cross-sectional analysis of register and survey data and research articles with qualitative case studies, this article-based compilation dissertation provides extensive empirical evidence of governance challenges arising from project organization. The dissertation identifies the key governance agents and activities of public project organization, such as public managers with discretion over project funding and project managers managing the various phases of the project. The dissertation also theorizes the potential effects of project organization on the governance mechanisms put forth by collaborative governance, metagovernance and interactive governance theories. As a result of empirically testing the assumptions, the study shows that there is both a transformative and a redistributive rationale in the Cohesion policy, indicating project-based policies may be driven by several rationales that potentially generate divergent goals for projects. The putatively flexible project organization entails bureaucracy by requiring funding applications and reports. However, the extent to which bureaucracy is perceived as red tape is found to be affected by individual professional experience. The project organization requires public managers to collaborate but presents a potential problem with its logic of action that is at odds with the logic of the public administration. Public managers are found to increase the gains from the involvement of different agents on the condition that the project manager is receptive to the logic of the public administration. Finally, the temporary organization is found to increase the uncertainty of the metagovernance mechanism without capitalizing on the autonomy. The project provides, however, a responsive outset for interpersonal trust to be formed through dynamic interaction between the public official and project manager. The trust enables the project to preserve its autonomy while providing the public administration scrutiny over the project. The dissertation shows that the theories of collaborative governance, metagovernance and interactive governance should take into account the uncertainty generated by the temporality of project organization and the potential disjunction of logics between involved agents. With the right governance mechanisms, the project organization can provide an added value to an effective and democratic public governance. The MGF is, contrary to its promises, uninformative regarding the structuring of governance mechanisms and assignment of roles to agents in public governance. However, by theorizing the project-based implementation from a governance perspective, the MGF assists in analyzing how non-state agents unintendedly can act with tasks that overreach their formal mandate in a fluid and complex governance system.

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