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  • Kalalahti, Mira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Positioned between social and public policy, sociology of education and educational sciences, this doctoral thesis focuses on the boundaries and limits that society, families and schools set for educational achievements. The thesis consists of four scientific articles and a summary that also contains supplementary analysis. The following two research questions are examined: (1) How do definitions of equality of opportunities change with time? and (2) How are school achievements connected to social position and experiences of social security in homes and schools? The youth study dimension of the thesis relies on the Health and Well-being in Youth − Comparison of 15-year-olds in Helsinki and Glasgow (HelGla) research project and the data that has been collected during the years 1998, 2004 and 2010. The questionnaire-based survey was targeted at 9th grade pupils (n ~ 2500 / data). This data is the main empirical corpus, where social position, school achievements and school experiences were analysed with statistical methods. The thesis is also part of the research project Parents and School Choice. Family Strategies, Segregation and School Policies in Chilean and Finnish Basic Schooling (PASC). The sociology of education dimension is framed using documentary data collected for this project by analysing discourses and practices concerning equality of educational opportunities. Changes in the opportunity structures in the thesis were uncovered by analysing the empirical and conceptual changes in the possibilities to choose schools. The analysis comes to the conclusion that there are two distinctive liberal interpretations of individual freedom of choice. Viewed from the comprehensive school choice policies, the education systems simultaneously promote educational rights and equal possibilities within the welfare liberalism and neoliberalism traditions. The associations between school achievements and family background are examined through the lens of school achievement. School achievement is analysed as a unity of educational orientation and habits that are emergent in school grades and attitudes towards school, and is associated with social position. First, in Pierre Bourdieu s conceptual terms, the associations between cultural capital ‒ the educational level of the parents in the thesis ‒ and school achievements is analysed. Second, the social position is analysed as social capital, especially following James Coleman s theory of social trust. The thesis concludes that school achievements associate with social hierarchies in many ways. Good achievement at school intertwines with both forms of capital. The odds of a young person having good school grades is tightly linked to the education level of his/her family, but a positive attitude towards school requires or can be also explained by strong social resources; i.e., a socially safe position to grow and develop.
  • Lindén, Carl-Gustav (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The late 1990s was a time of strong economic growth in Finland and Sweden where two large companies, Nokia and Ericsson, ruled the world of telecom and brought considerable tangible and intangible benefits to their home countries. For business journalists their expansion became a source of thousands of stories explaining and celebrating their international success. But when the burst in early 2000 it also became obvious that behind this boom was another story of inflated stock market values, over-optimism and imminent structural change in the telecom market. This research focuses on how business journalists in Finland and Sweden compared Nokia with Ericsson in the first decade of the 2000s as this change took place. The research perspective is social constructionism and the thesis includes interviews with actors business journalists and corporate communicators as well as analysts to understand how they made sense of this development. The articles selected are treated as products of social interaction and their content analyzed as the result of negotiation influenced by the organizing principles of that engagement and manifested in frames. These frames are dealt with as a frame package, a master frame of national champions, Nokia against Ericsson. Of special interest is the narrative value of Nokia and Ericsson as representatives of the other, in this case the neighbour nation. This research points to major differences within the Finnish and Swedish socio-economic and cultural context. Since Nokia had no competitors for the position as a national champion it could engage with the press on its own terms while Ericsson, though powerful, did not have the same influence over journalists. As background factors there were also differences in the economic strengths of the companies, which were reflected in mediated public opinion, as well as strategic failures in corporate communication.
  • Hakkarainen, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract The study draws on the findings of previous ethnographic studies that picture development practice as a space of contestation in which actors engage with cultural values, history and the socio-political context in ways that create deviations from the project script . The study adds to the debate by approaching the contestation as taking place in language that reflects both existing realities and the discourses in which the actors are positioned. The study conceptualizes development practice as a process of construction of, and negotiating over, meanings. The selected approach suggests that the ambiguity of words that manifests itself in development practice is necessarily a part of development practice as actors simultaneously belong to different and sometimes contradictory contexts in which words are given their meanings. Through case studies of two types of development interventions(a Savings and Credit Intervention and a Village Self-reliance and Development Intervention) by a Finnish NGO in Vietnam, the study drawing from a Bakhtinian reading of aid practice inquires how contestation over meanings of terms central to the NGO s development thinking contribute to changes in the NGO s aid practice in relation to the promotion of gender and democracy. The study argues that multiplicity of meanings has important implications for aid practice and for donors agenda of democracy promotion in aid recipient countries. Promotion of democracy necessarily calls for deep contextual understanding as meanings, manifested in concrete utterances, are also contextual and therefore,may vary in ways that hinder or slow down project implementation. Furthermore,the study argues that non-responsive behaviour to development interventions may reflect prior experiences of unsatisfactory state-led development projects and people s understanding of them. Moreover, the study highlights the role of gendered norms and gender roles in Vietnamese society from the perspective of grassroots democracy promotion by showing how they affect women s access to formal decision making forums in villages. Keywords: development thinking, development practice, NGOs in development, language in development, democracy promotion, grassroots democracy, gender, gendered norms, Vietnam, meaning construction, heteroglossia, monologism, dialogical relationship, Bakhtinian reading.
  • Leppänen, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This is an ethnographic study of the lived worlds of the keepers of small shops in a residential neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea. It outlines, discusses, and analyses the categories and conceptualizations of South Korean capitalism at the level of households, neighborhoods, and Korean society. These cultural categories were investigated through the neighborhood shopkeepers practices of work and reciprocal interaction as well as through the shopkeepers articulations of their lived experience. In South Korea, the keepers of small businesses have continued to be a large occupational category despite of societal and economic changes, occupying approximately one fourth of the population in active work force. In spite of that, these people, their livelihoods and their cultural and social worlds have rarely been in the focus of social science inquiry. The ethnographic field research for this study was conducted during a 14-month period between November 1998 and December 1999 and in three subsequent short visits to Korea and to the research neighborhood. The fieldwork was conducted during the aftermath of the Asian currency crisis, colloquially termed at the time as the IMF crisis, which highlighted the social and cultural circumstances of small businesskeeper in a specific way. The livelihoods of small-scale entrepreneurs became even more precarious than before; self-employment became an involuntary choice for many middle-class salaried employees who were laid off; and the cultural categories and concepts of society and economy South Korean capitalism were articulated more sharply than before. This study begins with an overview of the contemporary setting, the Korean society under the socially and economically painful outcomes of the economic crisis, and continues with an overview of relevant literature. After introducing the research area and the informants, I discuss the Korean notion of neighborhood, which incorporates both the notions of culturally valued Koreanness and deficiency in the sense of modernity and development. This study further analyses the ways in which the businesskeepers appropriate and reproduce the Korean ideas of men s and women s gender roles and spheres of work. As the appropriation of children s labor is conditional to intergenerational family trajectories which aim not to reproduce parents occupational status but to gain entry to salaried occupations via educational credentials, the work of a married couple is the most common organization of work in small businesses, to which the Korean ideas of family and kin continuity are not applied. While the lack of generational businesskeeping succession suggests that the proprietors mainly subscribe to the notions of familial status that emanate from the practices of the white-collar middle class, the cases of certain women shopkeepers show that their proprietorship and the ensuing economic standing in the family prompts and invites inversed interpretations and uses of common cultural notions of gender. After discussing and analyzing the concept of money and the cultural categorization of leisure and work, topics that emerged as very significant in the lived world of the shopkeepers, this study charts and analyses the categories of identification which the shopkeepers employ for their cultural and social locations and identities. Particular attention is paid to the idea of ordinary people (seomin), which shopkeepers are commonly considered to be most representative of, and which also sums up the ambivalence of neighborhood shopkeepers as a social category: they are not committed to familial reproduction and continuity of the business but aspire non-entrepreneurial careers for their children, while they occupy a significant position in the elaborations of culturally valued notions and ideologies defining Koreanness such as warmheartedness and sociability.
  • Smolej, Mirka (Oikeuspoliittinen tutkimuslaitos, 2011)
    Finland witnessed a surge in crime news reporting during the 1990s. At the same time, there was a significant rise in the levels of fear of crime reported by surveys. This research examines whether and how the two phenomena: news media and fear of violence were associated with each other. The dissertation consists of five sub-studies and a summary article. The first sub-study is a review of crime reporting trends in Finland, in which I have reviewed prior research and used existing Finnish datasets on media contents and crime news media exposure. The second study examines the association between crime media consumption and fear of crime when personal and vicarious victimization experiences have been held constant. Apart from analyzing the impact of crime news consumption on fear, media effects on general social trust are analyzed in the third sub-study. In the fourth sub-study I have analyzed the contents of the Finnish Poliisi-TV programme and compared the consistency of the picture of violent crime between official data sources and the programme. In the fifth and final sub-study, the victim narratives of Poliisi-TV s violence news contents have been analyzed. The research provides a series of results which are unprecedented in Finland. First, it observes that as in many other countries, the quantity of crime news supply has increased quite markedly in Finland. Second, it verifies that exposure to crime news is related to being worried about violent victimization and avoidance behaviour. Third, it documents that exposure to TV crime reality-programming is associated with reduced social trust among Finnish adolescents. Fourth, the analysis of Poliisi-TV shows that it transmits a distorted view of crime when contrasted with primary data sources on crime, but that this distortion is not as big as could be expected from international research findings and epochal theories of sociology. Fifth, the portrayals of violence victims in Poliisi-TV do not fit the traditional ideal types of victims that are usually seen to dominate crime media. The fact that the victims of violence in Poliisi-TV are ordinary people represents a wider development of the changing significance of the crime victim in Finland. The research concludes that although the media most likely did have an effect on the rising public fears in the 1990s, the mechanism was not as straight forward as has often been claimed. It is likely that there are other factors in the fear-media equation that are affecting both fear levels and crime reporting and that these factors are interactive in nature. Finally, the research calls for a re-orientation of media criminology and suggests more emphasis on the positive implications of crime in the media. Keywords: crime, media, fear of crime, violence, victimization, news
  • Andreev, Andriy (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Garský, Salla (Salla Garský, 2014)
    This dissertation addresses the institutionalization of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In July 1998, the US suffered a diplomatic defeat as 120 states voted for the establishment of an ICC that is fairly independent from the United Nations. During the negotiations on the ICC, the US had tried to secure control over the new institution through, amongst other things, its veto power at the UN Security Council, but a coalition of states, steered by European countries, axed the plan. When the G. W. Bush Administration came into power, it started to prevent states from supporting the ICC with economic coercion. At the same time, the EU launched a global campaign for the universalization of the court. Scholars of international law and international relations tend to handle the ratification of human rights treaties as the discretion of a nation state. I argue that exogenous pressure exercised by the EU and the US influenced states commitment to the ICC. Hence, I explain the emergence of the ICC with a novel theoretical concept, normative binding. Normative binding is a foreign policy strategy that aims at tying down unilateral politics of actors that do not prefer to cooperate. The idea is to promote multilateral institutions, because they have the prospect to become binding even on unilateralist actors if the majority adheres to their rules and norms. I test the normative binding argument with qualitative and quantitative analysis and start with case studies on Germany, the US, and the EU. By using primary sources, I seek to answer the question: What explains the establishment of the ICC? With the method of process tracing, I create historical patterns and test the hypothesis of normative binding by contrasting it to alternative theoretical explanations. I find that due to generational changes and European integration, Germany, the aggressor of the WWII, has become a normative binder. US policy, in turn, has not changed much in the last 100 years and follows national interests that favor a selective approach to international justice. The EU s policy on the ICC developed as a response to the negative US stance. In addition to its successful coalition building during the negotiations on the ICC, the EU has employed normative binding tactics, in particular persuasion and issue-linkages, in its universal ratification campaign. The large-N quantitative analysis asks: What explains late ratifications to the Rome Statute? Qualitatively, I seek to answer the same question with case studies on an underanalyzed region, Southeast Asia. In the case studies on the Philippines and Indonesia, I test the hypothesis of exogenous pressure by systematically analyzing alternative explanations, e.g. legal and political factors, the human rights situation, norm diffusion, and common identities. I find that for years US coercion hindered the Philippines ratification and the EU s normative binding attempts had no real effect until US pressure eased. Once the Philippines joined the ICC, rational calculations guided the commitment as only a few months after the ratification the Philippines had something that it had desired for years: an international judge of its own. In Indonesia, the US and EU claims found little response. Indonesia s foreign policy agenda has traditionally emphasized state sovereignty and territorial integrity, values that do not fit well with the norms of the ICC. Thus, instead of promoting international justice, it preferred lucrative oil deals with Sudan. In general, the institutionalization of the ICC was a multifaceted process that constantly moved between international and national spheres: domestic actors shaped multilateral negotiations and when states considered committing to the ICC, international interests interfered. Thus, the emergence of international institutions should be examined with approaches that take into account both endogenous and exogenous influences.
  • Kaasik-Krogerus, Sigrid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The longitudinal research "Normative Stories of the Formative Moment. Construction of Estonian National Identity in Postimees during the EU Accession Process" analyzes how Estonian national identity is constructed in country s largest and oldest daily newspaper in relation to the European Union (EU) during 1997-2003. The study combines media studies with political science, EU studies and nationalism studies to scrutinize this period as an example of a formative moment . During this formative moment the EU became the new official Other in relation to which a new temporary community, Estonia as a candidate country, was imagined in the opinion articles of the paper. The study is based on the assumption that national identity as a normative process of making a distinction between 'us' and 'Others' occurs in societal texts, such as the media. The overall framework consists of critical discourse analysis in three phases, text, discourse practice and sociocultural practice. The empirical data consists of 1780 opinion articles of Postimees. First, in the text level a characteristic feature of this formative moment is the open normativity of identity. In three discourses formed on the basis of the empirical data, European Estonia, Independent Estonia and Humble Estonia, the question of who we are is challenged both internally and externally by who we should become . Second, the analysis shows that in the beginning of the accession process only a limited group of people, mostly journalists and political decision makers, wrote about the EU. By 2003, however, both the number of articles as well as the variety of authors had multiplied several times. This shows, how a new community, Estonia as a candidate country, is first imagined by a small number of people and then expands into the wider public. Last but not least, this formative moment can be seen as a disciplining sociocultural practice. Here a link between normative public discussion and critical public opinion towards the EU during country s accession process can be drawn. Even though the newspaper tried to bring the EU closer to the people this attempt was accompanied by top-down discussions downplaying everyday problems. This study also shows the paradox of how a necessity to improve 'us' is communicated in the public discussion in parallel to claiming that Estonia as an EU member does not have to change .
  • Härkönen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The drinking culture in Finland has gone through profound changes over the last four decades. One explicit sign of transitions has been a nearly continuous increase in the total consumption of alcohol, which has three-folded since 1968. Increasing alcohol consumption has meant increase in various alcohol-related harms. Causes of death that are directly attributable to alcohol use are the leading cause of death among working aged men and women in Finland. In addition to harm to the drinker, excessive alcohol use results in various types of harms to others in the society through, e.g., drunk driving, family and other violence, child neglect etc. Because the developments in alcohol-related harms depend on changes in both the total consumption level and drinking patterns, a deeper understanding of the social determinants of these changes would be crucial for efforts to control development of harms from drinking. The aim of this study was to examine the changes in some central dimensions of the drinking culture in Finland over the past four decades. More specifically, it was studied: (1) What long-term changes have there been in the norms and attitudes towards drinking? (2) How have the contexts and characteristics of Finnish drinking occasions changed? (3) Does light and heavy drinking occasion drinking vary by socioeconomic status and has the relationship changed over time? (4) What kind of changes in the three temporal factors, age, period and cohort, underlie the temporal trends of drinking? The study was based on a survey data from six Finnish Drinking Habits Surveys, conducted between 1968 and 2008. They comprised a representative sample of the Finnish population aged 15 69 and the data-set consisted of 16,400 individuals. Attitudes towards moderate use of alcohol were found to been grown more permissive than ever over the past four decades. Alcohol policy opinions, however, were more varying: latest major endorsement for more relaxed alcohol policies was seen at the turn of the 1990s, while the major liberalizations of alcohol policies in 1969, 1995 and 2004 induced great concerns in the public. Drinking occasions in Finland have gone through two major transformations: in terms of the location, drinking has shifted towards homes, and in terms of the company, most of the drinking occasions are spent with a partner. In addition, drinking has concentrated on the weekends even more than before. For light drinking occasions and wine drinking, the general finding was that higher socioeconomic classes more often drink small amounts of alcohol at a time and wine drinking was substantially more frequent. For heavy episodic drinking and very heavy episodic drinking the direction of difference was found to be the opposite: manual workers more often drank large amounts of alcohol at a time. The analysis of age, period and cohort effects on drinking showed that the increase in alcohol consumption is affected by both period and cohort effects. Developments in light drinking were found to be quite similar across different cohorts over time, while there were great cohort differences in heavy episodic drinking. Heavy episodic drinking has increased systematically with more recent cohorts so that there has been no one wet generation but several wet generations comprising a wet nation.
  • Rahkonen, Keijo (Helsingin yliopisto, 1999)
  • Mäki, Netta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    In Finland, the suicide mortality trend has been decreasing during the last decade and a half, yet suicide was the fourth most common cause of death among both Finnish men and women aged 15 64 years in 2006. However, suicide does not occur equally among population sub-groups. Two notable social factors that position people at different risk of suicide are socioeconomic and employment status: those with low education, employed in manual occupations, having low income and those who are unemployed have been found to have an elevated suicide risk. The purpose of this study was to provide a systematic analysis of these social differences in suicide mortality in Finland. Besides studying socioeconomic trends and differences in suicide according to age and sex, different indicators for socioeconomic status were used simultaneously, taking account of their pathways and mutual associations while also paying attention to confounding and mediatory effects of living arrangements and employment status. Register data obtained from Statistics Finland were used in this study. In some analyses suicides were divided into two groups according to contributory causes of death: the first group consisted of suicide deaths that had alcohol intoxication as one of the contributory causes, and the other group is comprised of all other suicide deaths. Methods included Poisson and Cox regression models. Despite the decrease in suicide mortality trend, social differences still exist. Low occupation-based social class proved to be an important determinant of suicide risk among both men and women, but the strong independent effect of education on alcohol-associated suicide indicates that the roots of these differences are probably established in early adulthood when educational qualifications are obtained and health-behavioural patterns set. High relative suicide mortality among the unemployed during times of economic boom suggests that selective processes may be responsible for some of the employment status differences in suicide. However, long-term unemployment seems to have causal effects on suicide, which, especially among men, partly stem from low income. In conclusion, the results in this study suggest that education, occupation-based social class and employment status have causal effects on suicide risk, but to some extent selection into low education and unemployment are also involved in the explanations for excess suicide mortality among the socially deprived. It is also conceivable that alcohol use is to some extent behind social differences in suicide. In addition to those with low education, manual workers and the unemployed, young people, whose health-related behaviour is still to be adopted, would most probably benefit from suicide prevention programmes.
  • Kotanen, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    From a legal and social point of view, violence within the family and intimate relationships was condoned for a long time in Finland. Even though modernisation and calls for equality altered attitudes towards larger disapproval, Finnish legislation lacked provisions which would have justified state intervention in cases of domestic violence. Before 1994 husbands could not be convicted for raping their wives, and before 2004 assaults in private spaces led to prosecution law only if the victim demanded so. The lack of legal regulation reflected an understanding of violence in the private sphere and intimate relationships as a private matter. Inadequate regulation left domestic violence mainly outside legal control and the victims without the protection of physical autonomy. The legal regulation of violence in the private sphere began to change rapidly in the mid-1990s. This revision process led to considerable change in the way the state and the legal system reacted to violence in the family and in intimate relationships and regarded its victims. This study analyses this particular turn in legal regulation as an interaction of legal culture and social change in Finland. This turn coincided with a more comprehensive embracement of human rights thinking than before in the early 1990s in Finland. The research data consists of two sets of data. Primary data includes all legislative documents of legal revisions considering violence in the private sphere and intimate relationships during 1968 2004. Secondary data consists of news articles and material relating to campaigns and initiatives against violence in intimate relationships during the same time. The secondary data helps in perceiving the wider context of legal change; it demonstrates the interaction between the Finnish legal system and the surrounding society. Primary data has been analysed using a method which combines argumentative analysis and criminalisation theory. The method was formed in order to trace the justifications and reasons given for defining the boundaries legislation while taking into account the legal constraints binding the legislator. A growing emphasis on human rights in legislative processes has directed a growing amount of attention to the status of the victims when evaluating whether the legislation in question will produce just outcomes. This study shows how the application of human rights obligations forces the actors in the legal system to place themselves into the victim s position, and to admit the inequality and deficiency of legal regulation concerning the private sphere. The victim s perspective challenges many traditional views of liberalist justice and offender-orientated criminal policy, which hinders the adoption of the victim s perspective as a part of the justice system. At first change proceeded merely because of the binding force of the international human rights agreements and the pressure brought on by social actors. This lead to a situation where the focus was on fulfilling externally imposed and formally conceived demands, and the outcomes did not really improve the situation of the victims of violence. This is why the decisions of the lawmakers did not improve the position of the victim until the late 1990 s. The Finnish system of fundamental rights was reformed in 1995, which obliged the legal system to direct more effective regulation towards violence in the private sphere. This led, together with external pressure, to more tangible forms of interference in cases of violence and in protecting victims in the early 21st century. Despite this, the study suggests that acknowledging the perspective of the victim is still not built in to the legal system; external pressure is required in order for it to be adequately noticed. This is demonstrated in past legislative change, which has taken place in a piecemeal manner, and this continues to be the case concerning both the need for external pressure and the manner legislation is altered. Acknowledging the victim s point of view has made legal regulation more equal and has improved greatly the position of the intimate partnership violence victim, but on the other hand it has not led to more repressive criminal policy in Finland.
  • Kaila, Risto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Vainio, Annukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
  • Gritsenko, Daria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This dissertation aims at clarifying how multiple public and private decision-making actors co-exist in the governing of shipping quality in the Baltic Sea, and which mechanisms allow these multiactor arrangements to proliferate and sustain themselves. Acknowledging that collective action problems undermine quality governance, this research sought to collect empirical evidence documenting the role of polycentricity, which implies the existence of overlapping and competing centers of decision making embedded within multiple interdependent and often conflicting contexts, for quality shipping and the way it is conceptualized, operationalized, and practiced. A key argument in this thesis is that whereas the shipping industry is global, quality shipping governance is not; therefore, quality shipping governance takes a form of contextually-bound steering. Quality shipping is defined in this research as shipping that aims at safety and environmental protection, while still maintaining economic sustainability. The two central aspect of quality in shipping safety and environmental were used to empirically grasp and operationalize quality shipping in four individual studies conducted within this dissertation project. The individual empirical studies do not build upon each other directly, however they are linked thematically, conceptually, and methodologically, and allow for interconnected, though varying insights on the emergence and development of collective action by revealing how the practices associated with quality shipping were defined and materialized. The empirical research was built upon reconstructing the governance process on the basis of methodological localism , that is, focusing on actors who are involved in the process of steering, their interactions, and how institutions structure the interaction within multiple interconnected contexts in which interactions are embedded. This thesis relates to the wider body of research on governance by focusing on how quality shipping governance cuts across different levels and jurisdictions and penetrates the grey zones in which neither markets nor states can solely solve collective action problems. Reflecting on the impact of multiactor interaction that connects different functionalities and localities, it contributes to four interconnected theoretical debates on governance: on the role of politics and power, on the territorial dimension of boundary-spanning governance, on the new role images and dilemmas, and on governing of governance, or metagovernance. This dissertation makes an empirical argument to support the proposition that quality shipping governance is not a technical depoliticized process of problem-fixing, but a battlefield overrun with power struggles and conflicts over resources, images, and institutions. The four individual studies portray much of the interaction in existing quality shipping governance as informal and ad hoc, and emphasize that everyday inter-organizational exchanges constitute the larger part of interactions between shipping actors in governance of quality shipping. It further speculates about the role of metagovernance and interactions that allow actors to establish mechanisms that link vertical (hierarchical) and horizontal (market and network) dimensions of governance. The thesis claims that if we want more quality shipping, we need to be able to explain and master the connecting relation between actors and institutions that enhance multiactor coordination and make collaboration work. The practical contribution of this study is in elaborating a framework for formulation and implementation of socio-economic innovation for balanced development and public well-being in polycentric contexts using the example of quality shipping governance. The focus on concrete instances of collective action in quality shipping governance in the Baltic Sea demonstrates that interactions, institutions and mechanisms vary in time and space. This finding has important implications for solving social and environmental challenges in arenas other than shipping, because it shows that collective action is contextually-bound and that local solutions can be found to problems conventionally identified as global.
  • Kilpiö, Anna (University of Helsinki, 2008)
    This study investigates primary and secondary school teachers’ social representations and ways to conceptualise new technologies. The focus is both on teachers’ descriptions, interpretations and conceptions of technology and on the adoption and formation of these conceptions. In addition, the purpose of this study is to analyse how the national objectives of the information society and the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools reflect teachers’ thinking and everyday practices. The starting point for the study is the idea of a dynamic and mutual relationship between teachers and technology so that technology does not affect one-sidedly teachers’ thinking. This relationship is described in this study as the teachers’ technology relationship. This concept emphasises that technology cannot be separated from society, social relations and the context where it is used but it is intertwined with societal practices and is therefore formed in interaction with the material and social factors. The theoretical part of this study encompasses three different research traditions: 1) the social shaping of technology, 2) research on how schools and teachers use technology and 3) social representations theory. The study was part of the Helmi Project (Holistic development of e-Learning and business models) in 2001–2005 at the Helsinki University of Technology, SimLab research unit. The Helmi Project focused on different aspects of the utilisation of ICT in teaching. The research data consisted of interviews of teachers and principals. Altogether 37 interviews were conducted in 2003 and 2004 in six different primary and secondary schools in Espoo, Finland. The data was analysed applying grounded theory. The results showed that the teachers’ technology relationship was diverse and context specific. Technology was interpreted differently depending on the context: the teachers’ technology related descriptions and metaphors illustrated on one hand the benefits and the possibilities and on the other hand the problems and threats of different technologies. The dualist nature of technology was also expressed in the teachers’ thinking about technology as a deterministic and irrevocable force and as a controllable and functional tool at the same time. Teachers did not consider technology as having a stable character but they interpreted technology in relation to the variable context of use. This way they positioned or anchored technology into their everyday practices. The study also analysed the formation of the teachers’ technology relationship and the ways teachers familiarise themselves with new technologies. Comparison of different technologies as well as technology related metaphors turned out to be significant in forming the technology relationship. Also the ways teachers described the familiarisation process and the interpretations of their own technical skills affected the formation of technology relationship. In addition, teachers defined technology together with other teachers, and the discussions reflected teachers’ interpretations and descriptions.
  • Siira, Kalle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Organizational conflict research has centered on a few dominant models that have directed the development of the field in theory and in practice. Although these models have undoubtedly benefited the field by providing a common focus, the focused concentration has had costs. Specifically, there has been a lack of approaches that depart from the positivistic, linear, and reductionist views of communication and conflict. This study answers this call by exploring the possibilities and implications that a social complexity approach has to offer organizational conflict management with a special focus on organizational communication. The study consists of four sub-studies. Study 1 (conducted as a questionnaire comparing the conflict and face maintenance styles of Finns and U.S. Americans) functions as an entry to the study of organizational conflict management. Studies 2 and 3 (conducted as theoretical accounts) introduce social complexity principles for individual- and organizational-level conflict management, respectively. Finally, Study 4 develops a framework of managerial conflict influence based on a qualitative analysis of 30 semi-structured interviews. In sum, the dominant individual- and organizational-level models are insufficient to account for conflict behavior and interaction as well as to address conflicts in organizations. A social complexity perspective on organizational conflict implies a constitutive role of communication processes in organizing. The communicative view of organizational conflict is illustrated by using the metaphors of performance, contradiction, and voice. Conflict management in turn is represented via three main variables (the dual function of communication, circumstances, and directness) resulting in six ideal types of influence at the individual level and four strategies at the organizational level. This study contributes to the existing organizational conflict research by providing an alternative view of social complexity to understand the communicative aspects of the phenomenon. This approach helps to illuminate the limitations of and to find areas for development of the dominant models at the individual and organizational levels. This perspective also draws attention to the discursive aspects of organizational conflict, places conflict purely within a communicative context, caters to the relational and systemic aspects of conflict management, and takes a broader view of conflicts. In addition, this study contributes to the interpretivist strand of social complexity and provides a fresh metaphor of organizing for the organizational communication literature.
  • Norocel, Cristian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Contemporary globalisation processes witness the articulation of an allegedly homogeneous totality that has coalesced in direct opposition to the very globalisation processes that have enabled it. This totality is commonly labelled our people and reunites the citizens inhabiting the political social cultural space of a specific polity. Radical right populist parties - claiming to defend the political interests of the people - have gained increasing visibility and acceptance across Europe. Particularly salient among the symbols these parties have employed to portray their ideological stances is the depiction of the people as the tightly knit family, under the guardianship of a man/father/leader, sheltered together under their home s protective roof. However, there is a lack of gender sensitive research on radical right populist ideology. The present study consequently aims to uncover the means through which both concepts - that of family, and respectively people - are discursively gendered, in the sense that they reify gender based distinctions, thereby naturalising the traditional hierarchal gender binary. The dissertation focuses on two case studies: the Greater Romania Party (Partidul România Mare, PRM) and the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna, SD). It examines how the leaders of radical right populist parties in Romania and in Sweden explain discursively with the aid of conceptual structures particularly, the conceptual metaphor of THE NATION IS A FAMILY and adjoining metaphorical clusters - their ideological conception of the hierarchical gender binary. The present study represents in other words an interdisciplinary dialogue between political science - particularly the study of radical right populism; communication studies - mainly the relationship between the radical right populist leader and contemporary media logic; conceptual metaphor theory - especially the critical analysis of conceptual metaphors, enriched with a genealogical perspective; from a decidedly feminist vantage point.