Browsing by Issue Date

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 41-60 of 394
  • Maunu, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Social and cultural studies have drawn a picture of Finland as an urbanizing and globalizing society since the 1980's. A main thread in this discussion has dealt with a shift from a collectivist and relatively conformist way of life towards a more individualist one ‒ much like in other Western countries. This is well embodied in Finnish bar and partying studies. According to them, 1980's suburban pubs were crowded by the descendants of the traditionalist, conformist culture, whereas the partygoers of the 2000's stroll in the night searching for unique, individual experiences to construct their unique, personal identity. However, this story probably pertains only to some small elite groups. It does not depict the so-called average partygoers who actually fill the Finnish nightclubs and keep them going. In addition, social and cultural studies in the 2000's claim that individualist hedonism and other sensation seeking has made room for neo-traditionalist neo-collecitivism that prefers traditional, down-to-earth values. Recent studies also suggest that social and cultural one-sidedness ‒ whether it was traditional collectivism or late modern individualism ‒ has vanished in contemporary way of life which is rather characterized by social and cultural omnivorousness. In this study I examine the types or forms of sociability that the so-called average partygoers of the 2000's pursue and express in their nightclub partying. Average partygoers are represented by 23‒35-year-old young white adults who live in Helsinki metropolitan area, work in socioeconomic middle positions and identify themselves as culturally ordinary, average Joes and Janes. I ask if they search for individual enjoyment or other individual experiences in their partying, or if they rather follow the ideals of neo-traditional neo-collectivity. On the other hand, I ask if social omnivorousness is important for them, and if it is, what elements it contains and what motivates it. The main data of the study is ethnographic observation in 13 nightclubs in Helsinki city center. I spent 100 hours during five years in different party spots in order to find out what kind of sociability they embody and offer. To understand average partygoers' own perspectives and experiences, I analyze their interviews on partying and nightclubs (117 thematic interviews and 7 focus group interviews) as well as their diary narratives (altogether 316 diary accounts) in which they describe their real nights out in their own words. The methodological framework of the study is analytic ethnography, and as analytic tools I apply perspectives offered by ritual analysis. The study shows that average young adult Finns' partying or their way of life more generally cannot be characterized by a clear-cut shift from collectivism to individualism. Instead, both moralities are well represented. On the one hand, their world is strongly collectivistic: they do not want to be self-sufficient individual atoms but prefer strong and binding communities. On the other hand, the world of average partygoers is individualistic. They are independent and autonomous actors, and they want to choose the course of their life by themselves. However, they use their personal freedom and competence to pursue strong and binding social experiences. The reason for this is that without active pursuing their life-world does not offer such strong feelings of togetherness. In other words, the partying of young, average Finns satisfies social needs their everyday life does not otherwise satisfy. The study also shows that the communities of average young urban Finns are relatively loose and changing. They allow and also require that their members belong also to other communities because no single community can fulfil its members' all social needs. It follows that the sociability of young, average Finns is versatile and omnivorous, and that omnivorousness is motivated by a wish to become attached to social reality through rich and versatile bonds. Social versatility, by turn, requires active individual contribution and good social skills from these young average Finns so that they are able to maintain their communities and group memberships in the first place. The study then describes and interprets their partying as a true ritual, a technique of togetherness that turns these abstract moral principles into concrete actions.
  • Egerer, Michael (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The concept of addiction is increasingly applied in order to understand various problematic behaviours. However, this inclusion remains disputed. The study examines the conceptualisation of addictions by analysing stimulated group discussions of general practitioners and social workers in Finland and France on the topics of alcoholism, pathological gambling and eating disorders. The dissertation consists of one methodological working-paper (I.), three empirical sub-studies (II., III., and IV.) and a summary article. Sub-study III. was written together with Matilda Hellman and Pekka Sulkunen. The study builds on the assumption that social reality is constructed and taken-for-granted. Concepts develop in a certain cultural context. Culture in its different occurrences is the framework for thinking and acting. This study is particularly concerned with institutions as one occurrence of culture. The empirical bases of the enquiry are 27 Reception Analytical Group Interviews, which challenged the participants to question their taken-for-granted understanding of addiction by presenting them with short film clips. Finnish informants focus on the harm done towards the family and society and therefore follow the traditional Finnish non-medical model. French participants by contrast laid emphasis on the suffering of the individual addict and consequently express characteristics of the medical model (II., III., and IV.). Secondly, Finnish social workers understand all three problem behaviours similarly as social problems, whereas their French colleagues understand alcohol and eating problems as individual issues. A common denominator in both countries is a functional explanation of all three problem behaviours as a form of poor coping with life s hardships (except for gambling in France) (III. and IV.). Finally the study shows that in the context of the modern Finnish welfare state the importance of citizens autonomy allows individual excess to some extent, as long as innocent others are not harmed (III.). This study traced the influence of institutions on images of addiction. It suggests considering addiction as culture-level bound. Beside the traditional concept of addiction other institutional settings also have an impact on the images of addiction. Due to the complexity of the contexts involved, this dissertation recommends cautiousness when including behavioural excesses under the umbrella of addiction. Treatment research should take into account institutionally embedded understandings of addictions when implementing new treatment strategies and policy approaches from other cultural contexts. This dissertation asks for a layered concept of culture, which can account for the multifarious influences of the social context on the concept of addiction.
  • Smith, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Abstract This dissertation addresses the difficulties encountered in international relations between Russia and the West, specifically Europe, in spite of their cultural and geographical proximity and the expectation that Russia and Europe would share values and interests following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The problem is addressed through focussing on a particular aspect of Russia s national and state identity greatpowerness . Greatpowerness - the self-perception that Russia always has been and still is a great power - is a significant part of Russia s self identity. The effects of Russian greatpowerness are examined through investigation of Russia s relations with three European international organisations the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe from the early 1990s through to 2004. The particular issue through which these relationships are explored are the two Chechen wars of 1994-1996 and 2000-2004. Russian actions in Chechnya provoked frequent criticisms from the West, but were seen in Russia in the 1990s as an internal matter, and as part of the international war on terrorism in the 2000s. In both cases, they reflected in part Russia s great power aspirations. There were particular sets of expectations from the Russian side based on its self-perception in each case. It is argued in the dissertation that this plays a part in understanding the difficulties and apparent inconsistencies encountered in Russia s relationship with the West. The dissertation contributes to explaining inconsistencies in Russian foreign policy behaviour towards the West which are not adequately accounted for by existing empirical and theoretical approaches. It begins with a discussion of definitions of being a Great Power and understandings of greatpowerness as an issue of self-perception in state identity. It then looks at Russian understandings of international relations, different Russian foreign policy schools and a series of factors which are persistent in Russian greatpowerness: sovereignty, ressentiment, isolationism, expansionism, imperialism, multilaterism and multipolarity. Next it sets the course of the two Chechen wars in the context of Russian political and international development. The main empirical section of the dissertation is taken up by the three case studies of the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, noting similarities and distinctions in each case as to how Russia experienced interaction with the three different organisations. The Council of Europe has adopted a rather pragmatic approach in its cooperation with Russia and hence, in spite of some difficulties, the relationship has been the best of the three. This cooperation has challenged Russian greatpowerness the least and expectations came closest to outcomes. Cooperation with the EU has been of a different nature since Russia is not a member state. Here the relationship has had good and bad periods, which have very much depended on how Russia has felt about its level of expectations met by outcomes. The Russian relationship to the OSCE was also full of ups and downs always with strongly power political reasons. Russian expectations were highest in regards to the OSCE. However it challenged Russian greatpowerness most and caused biggest disappointment. In conclusion, it is shown that Russian self-perception of greatpowerness and the aspiration to have its status as a Great Power recognised internationally provides one part of the explanation of the apparent inconsistencies while showing a form of consistency in Russia s relationship with the West.
  • 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.
  • Linkala, Minna-Kristiina Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    ABSTRACT In this doctoral thesis Finnish theatre criticism and its writers are examined during the period of twenty years; the focus of the dissertation is alteration in the theatre criticism. The background material of the thesis comprises fifteen theatre criticisms published in five Finnish daily newspapers (Helsingin Sanomat, Kaleva, Kansan Uutiset, Aamulehti and Hufvudstadsbladet) in the years 1983, 1993 and 2003. The primary material of the study is dual consisting of sixteen theme interviews made in the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 with the Finnish theatre critics who have written their criticism in popular publicity (popular mass media) and secondly 185 editorials of the Finnish theatre magazine Teatteri published in elite publicity (for the theatre-interested-people) during the years 1983 - 2003. In the study qualitative methods are applied. The theatre criticisms are described and interpreted by using the method of content analysis and classical pattern of the criticism. Further, the interviews of the critics and the editorials of the theatre magazine are examined by using the method of thematic text analysis and with help of the concepts of Pierre Bourdieu. The study belongs to the field of communication studies focusing on cultural journalism and mass communication. The centre of the period enquired is the year of 1993 when Finland experienced a deep recession. The year 1993 is regarded as a clear landmark in the alteration of theatre criticism in both economic and social sense. The analysis demonstrates that the contents of theatre criticism have been changed during the period inquired: theatre criticisms have been shortened and their literary style has been changed towards journalistic writing style. Similarly, public discussion around theatre in popular publicity has been reduced or even disappeared. In Bourdieu´s concepts,the contents of theatre criticism have mostly been influenced by the field of the economy although its influence has not been apparent. The financial difficulties of the media companies have leaded up to a situation in which theatre critics are forced to be satisfied with scantier criticism than earlier.
  • Valkendorff, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The thesis, which consists of four original articles and a summarizing chapter, aims to study meanings of food and eating in contemporary society. While for a long time the meaning of food has been equivalent to its sufficient quantity, nowadays the meanings are far more complex. They include, for example, different esthetical, ethical, moral, political, health-oriented and medical aspects. In addition, eating has become a problem, which is reflected by the public discourse on eating disorders and fatness. The research questions are: What kinds of meanings are assigned to eating and body in contemporary society? How and why do eating and the body develop into problems? The focus of the thesis is on eating-related lifestyles and problems: the study examines discussions of eating disorders, healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and fatness. The purpose of the study is to examine the problematized nature of eating and to make the phenomenon more understandable through the theoretical perspectives. The theoretical frame consists of body studies. Other theoretical viewpoints are the sociology of health, religion theory and governmentality. The viewpoint of the study is sociological and based on social constructionism. The interest is on how lay-people discuss eating and the body, and what kind of information they produce. The research material consists of internet discussions from the years 2004 2010. The discussions included in the material deal with eating disorders, orthorexia and healthy eating, as well as fatness as a self-induced problem. The material is analyzed through qualitative content and discursive analysis. In the study, eating is interpreted as an embodied phenomenon: by eating right, it is possible to pursue an ideal body, while the wrong kind of bodies are seen as resulting from a bad diet. The results of the research continue to show that the meanings of food and body are categorical. This becomes apparent in the ideals of thinness and health, and in their opposites, the problems of unhealthiness and fatness. According to the study, the cultural ideals of health and thinness can take extreme forms in two directions: excessive pursuit of ideals on the one hand, and stigmatization of people who fail to meet the ideals on the other. In excessive pursuit of ideals, thinness and health can become an imperative, life-determining content of life. This is expressed in the spectrum of eating disorders and problems, in the core of which may lie pursuit of thinness or, nowadays, striving for health or orthorexic symptoms. These lifestyles and problems can become a life-determining issue that resembles religion. As the significance of traditional religions has dimin-ished, bodily ideals may represent something secularly holy to people. As a consequence, the pursuit of the right kind of body can become compulsive, so that control over one s body turns into an addiction. While it is important in our culture to pursue an ideal body, its opposite, obesity, has begun to be interpreted as a problem. Obesity is defined as the wrong kind of body, re-sponsibility for which lies with the individual, and as certain kind of cultural dirt , which is targeted by hate speech. Bodies change, and therefore it is crucial to be in a constant process towards the ideal, which is defined by the continuous social discussion. As a conclusion, the study claims that the meaning of eating is not primarily nutritional, but eating is an embodied demarcation.
  • Leinonen, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Socioeconomic factors are major predictors of disability retirement. Socioeconomic position and other socio-demographic factors also shape the retirement process, thereby modifying health outcomes after the transition. This study focuses on the socioeconomic differences in disability retirement and the influences of socio-demographic factors on mental health and mortality in relation to the transition. The study was based mainly on longitudinal register data on a representative sample of the Finnish population, but also included survey data on a municipal employee cohort linked to register data. Cox proportional hazard and linear regression models were used in the analyses. Low education and occupational social class were more strongly associated with disability retirement than a low level of income. Part of the effect of each of these three socioeconomic factors was explained by or mediated through the other two. Education, social class and income therefore have both independent and interdependent pathways to disability retirement. Social-class differences were particularly large in retirement due to musculoskeletal diseases. The association between social class and disability retirement was mediated largely through physical working conditions and partly also through job control. The contribution of health behaviours to the association was modest. Improvements in working conditions among those in lower social classes could reduce socioeconomic differences as well as the overall incidence of disability retirement in the population. Depressive morbidity measured via purchases of antidepressant medication decreased after disability retirement, following a pre-retirement increase. Such changes were more pronounced in retirement due to mental disorders, particularly depression. Compared to the general population, those who retired due to depression and other mental disorders had a high mortality risk, particularly from unnatural and alcohol-related causes. Socioeconomic position and family ties had only limited protective influence on mental ill-health and mortality after disability retirement. Among young adults disability retirement was particularly strongly associated with prolonged mental-health problems and a high risk of mortality, especially from unnatural causes. Particular attention should therefore be paid to younger adults in terms of mental ill health, work disability and other social problems.
  • Lehtinen, Vilma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Contemporary social scientists describe the current societal circumstances as the late modern era, which is characterized by an abundance of both options and uncertainties. Theorists sometimes associate these characteristics with the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Some argue that computer-mediated, networked interaction reinforces the fragmented conditions of late modernity. Others emphasize ICTs as the ultimate opportunity to participate in global networks of interaction. To contribute to the discussion on how the development of ICTs and the conditions of late modernity are intertwined, the discussion in this dissertation presumes that online interaction provides a way to create meaningfulness and continuity in late modern life. The context of the research is the phenomenon of social network sites (SNSs): the vastly popular online services whose central feature is the public performance of connection. Building on the tenets of symbolic interactionism, I argue that the performance of connection creates shared understandings of individuals interpersonal relationships. This dissertation examines what kinds of performances of interpersonal relationships take place in online settings, what kind of challenges people attribute to these performances and how they attempt to solve those challenges. The observed practices and interpretations are then contrasted with the results of a literature review covering the conceptualizations of mediated community in academic research, to suggest future directions in investigation of the creation of shared understandings of interpersonal relationships in online settings. The research problem is assessed through the use of qualitative methods, which permit the analysis of the expressions that the participants themselves used to describe the novel opportunities and challenges that online interaction offers for the performance of interpersonal relationships. On the basis of the four individual studies included in this dissertation, I argue that 1) people engage in a variety of creative but repetitive practices of constructing shared understandings of interpersonal relationships in online settings, 2) SNSs create a new interpretational frame and impose new challenges for the creation of shared understandings, 3) people engage in collaborative efforts to resolve these challenges, and 4) extending the analysis to the intergroup level would broaden our understanding of social bonds in the networked settings of late modernity. These findings portray the performance of interpersonal relationships in online settings as creative and collaborative attempts to construct shared understandings, continuity, and coherence for transient social bonds.
  • 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.
  • Marjovuo, Ari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Volunteering has become a major social issue during the past twenty years. There has, however, been very little research on Finnish voluntary work. This study examines volunteering from the volunteers own perspective. The aim is to investigate what kinds of conceptions volunteers have of voluntary work. What made them interested in voluntary work? Why are they involved in it? This study also analyses the core aspects of volunteering separating them from peripheral factors. The research material consisted of 22 interviews with voluntary workers. The analysis method was content analysis. The theoretical framework is the theory of social representations. According to the study, voluntary work forms its own world of nonpersonal friendship that enables the experience of dereification. That experience arises from the dynamics of two different social realities. From the point of view of the world of voluntary work it seems that the world of professional work is negative, oppressive and reifical. The superstructure of this world is rigid and the dialogue between people and the superstructure is broken. In the world of voluntary work there is also a superstructure, but the relationship between people and the superstructure is dialogical. This dialogical relationship allows the experience of dereification. This means that the anxiety and frustration produced by the reifical world stop for a moment in the world of the voluntary work. These two worlds are not completely separated, but there is a gateway between them. This gateway controls the interaction between them. The preconditions of the experience of dereification are expressive and collaborative by nature. Expressive factors of this study were ethics, authenticity, positivity, experiential, mental growth, unpaid work and activity. Collaborative factors were togetherness, organizational planning and receptivity to professionalism. These factors form the superstructure of voluntary work. Expressive factors are presumably more attracting in the beginning of voluntary work and recruiting, but collaborative factors are probably more important in involvement and staying. The core of the social representation consisted of ethicality, organizational planning and togetherness. The concept of voluntary work as non-paid work was placed in the periphery with authenticity, positivity, experiential, mental growth, activity and receptivity of professionalism. Results of the study can be applied to the development of voluntary work practice.
  • Hänninen, Erja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The objective of this thesis is to study policy making in the Nepalese rural water supply and sanitation sector by analysing the process of national policy formulation and how the donors and their policies influence the national policies in aid recipient country, such as Nepal. It exposes the dynamics underlying the interaction between donors and the Nepalese water bureaucracies by focusing on the analysis of the roles, motives and interests of the sectoral actors in the making of policies. The study highlights the political side in the aid giving and receiving through making use of the politics of policy theoretical perspective. The rural water supply and sanitation sector was chosen as the framework for this study, because of the important role that water has for Nepal often presented as the blue gold of Nepal and the multiple and powerful donors that are active in the sector, for whom the water sector is also an important investment target. The policy making process is analysed through a case study, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Policy, Strategy and Action Plan formulated in 2002-2004 and funded by the Asian Development Bank. The empirical evidence of this study is based on the mixed qualitative methods research done in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the summers of 2009 and 2010. The core data is based on the interviews of 89 people, as well as water supply and sanitation related policy documents draft versions, final policy documents and reports, prepared in the process of policy formulation. In addition, I have included a wide-ranging literature study. The research illuminates that policy making in the Nepalese rural water supply and sanitation sector is a game between donors and the water bureaucracies both having political and economic interests that they aim to secure in policy formulation. Based on these interests, the policy actors manoeuvre in the policy negotiations. The aim of the donors is to legitimate their aid towards the donor headquarters through influencing national policy making into their preferred direction in order to keep their business ongoing. Yet, even though the donors are able to influnce policy making, the study found out that the Nepalese water bureaucracies are not powerless in front of the donors, but they have successfully adopted several strategies in manoeuvring the donor influence. Thus, even though the aid relationship is inherently unequal, is not only the donors that have interests and power that drive policy making, but also the water bureaucracies have their own incentive structures that shape the policy processes. The donor involvement in the policy process can be characterised as a state of permanent negotiation, in which policy formulation is just a part of the further institutional entanglement by the donors.
  • Lyytikäinen, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This book examines Russian civil society and democratization from the perspective of the oppositional youth activists in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It takes the Russian youth movement Oborona (Defense) as its case study. Before its dissolution in 2011, the movement was an active participant in the political opposition movement and, thus, it is an interesting case study of the actually existing activist traditions in Russia. The research shows how in Russian political activism, the Soviet continuities and liberal ideas are entangled to create new post-socialist political identities and practices. The study s findings reflect the opportunities and restrictions for activism in Russia in general, and demonstrate the specificities of Russian liberal activism as well as the reasons for the lack of wider oppositional mobilization in the country. The research draws on sociological theories on identities, social performance, and politicization as well as class, gender and generation studies. The data is derived from thematic interviews, informal discussions, participant observations, and selected readings of central Internet and social media sites. The interview data consists of 38 interviews with the activists of youth movements and it was collected in Moscow and in St Petersburg during the period of 2009 2012. In the Oborona movement, the activist identity is constructed in the intersections of the Soviet intelligentsia and dissident traditions, and international influences. On the group level, the activists sense of solidarity relies on friendship and obshchenie (communication and being together) instead of a political connectedness. Also the movement practices tend to emphasize the sense of unity by silencing individual voices and political affiliations. The movement Oborona tries to find its own way between the western imported understanding of democracy and civil society and the dominant symbolic order of sovereign democracy . The book argues that both the state s official view on democracy and Oborona s liberal-democratically oriented interpretation are tied to the political symbols of nationalism and the strong state and its unifying leader, which can be seen as a continuation of the centralized power relationships of the Soviet state. Furthermore, Oborona s repertoire of action brings together the ideals and norms of the activist identity and discursive frameworks of the movement. The book argues that the protest and its actors remain distant from the audiences and this reflects the wider problems of the political opposition and especially the liberals in Russia. The research suggests that the same weakness of collective political identity, lack of common ideological goals, leader-centeredness, and personified power that the case study illustrates are found in the Russian liberal opposition in general. Key words: Russia, political opposition, protest, youth, activism
  • Mäkelä, Tiina (Lahden Diakoniasäätiö, 2014)
    Tiredness and loss of energy are common complaints among the elderly that often fail to receive the attention they deserve even when raised by the sufferers themselves. This study sought to investigate tiredness among the elderly namely, its features and underlying factors and to establish whether it is linked to daily living skills and the use of services that support independent living. In particular, the analysis focused on the link between the tiredness that the elderly experience and their care responsibilities, health-related lifestyles and confidence in daily living skills. The study also explored changes in tiredness, daily living skills and the use of services over a three-year follow-up period. The study is part of the Good Aging in the Lahti Region (Ikihyvä Päijät-Häme) research project that explores the aging of people born in 1926 30, 1936 40 and 1946 50. The project participants have been randomly selected from the Population Register. The subjects examined in this study were born between 1926 and 1930 and living in the Päijät-Häme region of Finland. The subjects provided the study data through questionnaires in 2002 and 2005. A total of 883 participants from the oldest age group responded to the first questionnaire. The panel data, which were used in publications II IV, included all 629 participants who responded to both questionnaires. The links between tiredness, daily living skills and service use as well as the factors underlying tiredness were studied using linear and logistic regression analysis. Differences between groups were examined using both one-way and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a paired t test. Most of the respondents had experienced tiredness during the month before completing the questionnaire, and one-fourth had experienced considerable tiredness. Although the prevalence of tiredness showed no change during the follow-up period, some respondents felt more energetic and others more tired toward the end of the period. Tiredness was more common among women and care givers. Those who were physically less active than others of their age also experienced more tiredness, whereas regular social interaction and confidence in one s daily living skills provided protection from tiredness. As expected, those who felt tired also reported a higher incidence of illness, insomnia and pains and aches than did the other respondents, although in this study, illness did not predict tiredness. Tiredness did, however, predict poor daily living skills and more frequent use of services, but was not an independent predictor when adjusting for baseline living skills and service use. Although tiredness alone does not cause an elderly person to fare poorly or to require more assistance than others of his or her age group, it is a serious complaint that serves as an early indicator of reduced functional ability and greater need for services. Tiredness among the elderly is a multifaceted phenomenon with a number of contributory factors related to interpersonal relationships, self-confidence and health-related lifestyles, and cannot be reduced to a mere physical symptom or individual pathology. Tiredness is also a social construct manifested in the form permitted by each era. Tiredness must be recognised in service situations, and its background and significance must be understood so that each individual can benefit from appropriate assistance and support. Investigating tiredness should be a part of the comprehensive assessment of the health and functional ability of the elderly. An easy way to identify tiredness is simply to enquire about it. Keywords: tiredness, daily living skills, service use, elderly, aging, older people, old age  
  • Kohonen, Anssi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This thesis consists of four chapters: an introduction and three independent research papers. The red line in the thesis is to study with time series methods how financial markets propagate financial shocks both across countries and from the financial sector to the real sector of an economy. The introductory chapter presents the three main themes of the thesis contagion, volatility spillovers and real effects of uncertainty and introduces the basic models that the thesis applies. These models are structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model and (multivariate) generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model. The introduction also discusses the identification of the SVAR models which is also an important theme in the thesis. Chapter 2 considers volatility spillovers in the Eurozone during the beginning of the recent euro crisis, in the years 2010-2011. The chapter proposes a way to identify a structural model which explains volatility spillovers being a result of information asymmetries between investors. The identification of the model is based on recent ideas of using particularities of residual distribution and, as a novelty, Google trends data, not parameter restrictions, to identify a SVAR model. The empirical results confirm the existence of volatility spillovers between the euro countries of the sample (Greece, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain). Especially, we find that stock market volatility shocks in large countries have significant effects in all countries but those in the small countries mainly affect only other small countries. Chapter 3 extends an existing SVAR model in multiple ways to study the interdependencies between the government bond spreads over the German bond of the main crisis countries of the Eurozone (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy). We are especially interested in studying the possibility of contagion of government default risk between the countries. The identification of the SVAR model is again based on non-normalities and heteroskedasticity in the residual distribution of the model. The results of the paper suggest that contagion explains a great part of the increases in the spreads during 2010-2012. However, there are substantial differences between the countries. For Ireland, Italy and Spain also the idiosyncratic risk factors seem to play an important role. Also, perhaps contrary to the common belief, there is evidence of substantial contagion from the spreads of the other countries to the Greek and Portuguese spreads. Chapter 4 considers the real economic effect of uncertainty. The data include the monthly change in the US industrial production and the monthly US stock market return. As a measure of uncertainty we consider the volatility of the stock market return, and to study its effect on the growth rate of the industrial production, we consider a bivariate vector autoregressive (VAR) model with GARCH-effect in the residuals and where volatility is allowed to affect the conditional means (GARCH-in-mean-model). The data cover the years 1919-2013, and we find that stock market volatility has a statistically significant, counter-cyclical effect on the growth rate of the industrial production.
  • Talvitie-Lamberg, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In this dissertation, I study confessional me-centered communications of vlogs in the context of DIY (Do It Yourself) cultures, in YouTube and in webcam communities. Confession refers to a communicative strategy that aims to reveal intimate matters of an individual and, at the same time, serves as a way to socialize with others. The key research question is: How and why does confession operate in communication and interaction in social media environments? Mediatization theory offers one solution to understand these extremes. The participatory act of confession in DIY environments is understood as a process of constructing the individual as a social being so-called social self. This is the new type of individual as suggested by mediatization theory individual as a social being dependent on the recognition she gets in and through the media. The concept of recognition may explain why the micro level of confessional acts can be understood as a central means to constructing the confession maker as a social being. The act of self-revelation, characteristic to the new type of individualism, is understood in connection with the confessional that operates in our society on a larger scale. Therefore, the knowledge of the confessional operating in our society can be expanded by obtaining a detailed understanding of confessional communications, taking place in microenvironments. Because the recognition the individual receives plays a crucial role in these environments, the micro level of confessional act becomes closely connected to the question of representation, the particular aesthetical and performative modes it takes, and to the question of what is revealed. To understand this activity more profoundly, this study focuses on how a confessional I- narrative is constructed in and through the representation. This study generates a new understanding on the particular representational means by which the confessional I-message generates cultural participation in vlogging environments and suggests further the spesific type of agency the vlog environments enhance. The findings demonstrate that confessions need to be performed context-wise, strictly following the sociocultural, aesthetical, and technical constraints of a particular environment. However, even though confession was understood as a regulatory mechanism, it also proved to be a way to reveal authentic self-disclosure by performing as one s real self. This occurred not despite but because of the regulative constraints of the researched DIY environments. This finding modifies the figure of a mediatized and confessional individual as disciplined and an actor with free will who is able to construct her real self through DIY-mediated I- messaging in social and constructive relationships with others. This suggests that the understanding of a confessional operating in neoliberal society, increasingly through virtual environments, needs adjustment. Thus the agency of the individual within social media environments of vlogging should be understood not only as a controllable object, disciplined by the communicational environments and by the peers; or as confessor-performer, individual governed by herself in the form of producing the right type of confession, in order to make oneself visible; but foremost as a free willing agency of the confessor performing one s own reality, to build social contacts, not in spite but because of the performance that takes place in and through screens in DIY environments.
  • Härkönen, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Drawing on ethnographic material collected amongst racially mixed, lower-income Havana residents over 14 months of research, To Not Die Alone: Kinship, Love and Life Cycle in Contemporary Havana, Cuba , examines the interplay between family relations and the state. The research focuses on the gendered transformations taking place in the kinship system over the life course and the ways in which this transforms individuals relationship with the state. Cuban kinship conforms in many ways to the matrifocal system that for a long time has characterised family relations in the Caribbean. Research on the subject has traditionally highlighted the centrality of the mother-child connection, whilst other types of bonds have been seen as marginalised. Nevertheless, the dissertation shows that matrifocal kinship is more dynamic and versatile than this. Time transforms the kinship system both through historical changes and shifts in the reproductive cycle. The study reformulates an approach to matrifocality by analysing how the system changes over the life cycle through gendered transformations. Distinct points of the life cycle make different social relations emerge as significant and at certain moments, marginal relationships become emphasised. The thesis approaches these transformations through the notion of dialectics of care, characterising both individuals social relations and Cubans relationship with the state. Over the life cycle, social relations are created, reproduced and negotiated through gendered practices of reciprocal care, which are a way to express love. Women contribute nurturing care whilst men provide material care. Over the life course, such contributions vary between persons characterised by a dialectics of care, whereby exchanges become particularly important at certain moments, whereas at other times they may be completely missing. The state participates in the dialectics of care by providing individuals with contributions at specific moments of the life course, although current state contributions are highly deficient. The individual life cycle is simultaneously marked by a process of gendering, whereby through various meanings and practices, gender is constantly perfected, reproduced and emphasised as the central social division characterising the society. The dissertation argues that kinship forms a general idiom for conceptualising both social relations and political discourse in Cuba. Social relations are emotionally central to the life course but Cuba s post-Soviet period has also highlighted their pragmatic significance in managing everyday lives in the context of constantly diminishing state contributions. This carries gendered consequences that become reflected in the entire reproductive cycle. The importance of social relations to individual life course also defines Cuban understandings of body and personhood. Throughout the life cycle, the focus on social relations takes shape through the body, as the signs of other people s actions become visible in a person s appearance. The body thereby gives voice to the social order, reflecting its central meanings and values.
  • Portman, Anneli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This study looked at the values expressed in rulers’ (Czars and Presidents) public speeches in Finland from 1809-2000. Society’s values are manifested and upheld also through rituals and ceremonies, e.g. recurring public speeches. These speeches are most often held by the head of state, acting as a spokesperson for the entire society. Three types of written collections of speeches (N=355) directed to the entire population were used: Parliament Opening Speeches (1809-2000), Prayer Day Declarations (1812-1999) and New Year’s Speeches (1935-2000). The texts were analyzed using qualitative theory-driven content analysis. For the analysis a coding manual was created, which was based on Schwartz’ Theory of Basic Human Values and on previous Finnish value research. The results show that rulers present themselves as promoters of the society’s goals; they also act as creators and protectors of societal cohesion, which results in the emphasis on Self-transcendence and Conservation values. Towards the end of the time included in this study there is a marked rise in Universalism values, as questions of nature conservation and maintenance of global peace come to the forefront of the larger political agenda. Overall changes of values in the data follow the predicted pattern of societal pluralization, but not of secularization. The findings confirm the applicability of the survey-based Schwartz Value Theory also for archival value research. However, the findings also demonstrate that the two value types found in previous Finnish studies (Spirituality, Work-related values) are also necessary to depict the promoted values. Contrary to the theory-based expectations, Self-enhancement values and Self-direction values are only presented as values for the collective, not the individual. The Czars and Presidents mostly differ on the scope of their value emphasis. In their speeches the Czars emphasize values relating to spirituality, and to the in-group and its welfare. The Presidents, appeal to a wider variety of values, reflecting more the contemporary political situations, e.g. Work-related values are accentuated especially in the times of crisis (e.g. war, recession). The results of this study underline the importance of the context in value research, and contribute to the widening of value research into political and archival data. This study adds to the research of how societal cohesion is rhetorically maintained. This thesis bridges social psychology and political history, thus also adding to historical research, but results can also be applied in larger societal context to better understand the links between leaders and their followers, be they democratic rulers or not.
  • Sortheix, Florencia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the relationships between personal values and well-being, paying special attention to the contexts in which these associations emerge. This study addresses an ongoing controversy in current research between two competing hypotheses: a direct or healthy values perspective and the value-environment congruence perspective, the latter of which will be further developed in this dissertation. The theoretical background of the study is derived from Schwartz's value theory (1992, 2006), value-environment congruence models of well-being (Sagiv & Schwartz, 2000; Diener, Oishi, & Lucas, 2003; Diener & Diener, 1995), self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), as well as research on subjective and work well-being (Diener, 1984; Bakker, Schaufeli, Leiter, & Taris, 2008). This study used a variety of samples: large population samples from 25 European countries (N~40.000, European Social Survey, ESS, 2006), two representative samples of working age adults from a Finnish rural community in 1993 and 2007 (N = 373), university students from Argentina, Bulgaria and Finland (N = 627), as well as a representative sample of young adults from a longitudinal data set from the Finnish Educational Transitions (FinEdu) research project (N = 571). First, the current study tested the relationships between values and the cognitive aspect of SWB specifically life satisfaction (LS) across European countries, and found that the level of socio-economic development of a country moderated the relationships between values and life satisfaction. Interestingly, some associations were contradictory: achievement values were positively and universalism values were negatively associated to life satisfaction in low socio-economically developed countries, and the reverse associations were found in highly developed nations. In less developed countries, which in the ESS are mostly Eastern European, openness to change values (positive) and conservation values (negative) were more strongly related to LS than in higher developed nations. This study also showed some universal positive motivations for well-being: valuing benevolence and hedonism, but not security or power was related to higher SWB in general population across countries. Second, person-group value congruence understood as the similarity between individual and average group values related to higher subjective well-being among university students and fewer psychological stress symptoms among community members. Value congruence, but not individuals scores on value priorities, predicted increased SWB in student samples. In the community sample, conservation values related to fewer psychological symptoms in times of economic crisis, but not in times of economic prosperity. Finally, this study examined long-term predictors of well-being at work (engagement) and proposed a conceptualization of career values based on self-determination theory s ideas of autonomous versus controlled sources of motivation. Results showed that intrinsically rewarding career values were positively related to subsequent engagement, but extrinsically motivated career values were unrelated. According to the findings, perceived person-organization value congruence was the strongest predictor of work engagement. In sum, this study shows that the relationship between values and well-being is dependent on the broader social context that individuals inhabit. In particular, the relationship between individuals values and well-being is influenced by country level characteristics, by the social groups to which they belong, as well as by organizational and developmental situations.
  • Peltola, Soili (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In today s increasingly competitive and global economy, many claim that entrepreneurial attitudes and behavior are paramount for established firms to grow and survive. To deal with these demanding business environments, academic discussions have emphasized the status of corporate entrepreneurship (CE) as a legitimate and self-evident strategy that firms must adopt. In underscoring the hegemony of firm-level CE strategies, however, the dominant functionalist research paradigm of CE has neglected to explicate the evaluation and implementation of CE and the position of individual organizational actors as practitioners of CE within firms. The present dissertation therefore adopts a fundamentally different research approach to corporate entrepreneurship. By applying a micro social constructionist and interpretivist research paradigm, the study explores what kind of versions and practical applications of CE individual organizational actors as hired employees of their firms subjectively construct in the social context of their daily activities, and how their versions relate to theoretical conceptualizations of CE. The research material is drawn from individual interviews and meeting interaction recordings from three Finnish privately-owned business service firms in the metropolitan areas of Helsinki and Tampere during 2008-2011. The empirical designs make use of descriptive qualitative methods in generating and analyzing the research material. The present study highlights CE as a socially embedded phenomenon that does not unproblematically become grafted into practical firm operations or self-evidently fit into established organizational arrangements. The study indicates that CE is a concrete, observable phenomenon in organizations, not merely an abstract characteristic of firms or a behavioral concept that produces change and growth in isolation. Instead, CE is a process that individual organizational actors collectively bring about and shape in their everyday organizational interaction. Organizational actors jointly negotiate contextually sensitive and target-specific practical applications of CE, and establish intra- and inter-firm relationships that are necessary to sustain long-term economic behavior. However, not all negotiations necessarily lead to a uniform commitment to these applications. This dissertation further suggests that CE cannot be regarded as a permanent characteristic of firms, but is instead a process that requires continuous maintenance. The nature and practices of CE must be updated and renewed regularly as contexts and target groups in the firm s business environment change. Organizations can support the position of individual actors in actualizing these efforts through proactiveness that invites collaboration. However, institutional problems in implementing CE may emerge if top management permits internal competitive aggressiveness and the related short-term maximization of profits to undermine the ability of organizational actors to fully realize their entrepreneurial potential. This study presents a new, alternative perspective of entrepreneurship in the corporate setting by painting a context-specific, relational, and socially embedded picture of CE. Because CE is also a subtle communicative phenomenon between organizational actors and those in the market, the long-term maintenance of these relationships may critically contribute to how successfully firms are eventually able to legitimize and institutionalize CE for their benefit.
  • Lempiäinen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This doctoral dissertation examines the philosophy of José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), the foremost Spanish philosopher. I analyse the development, background and main themes of his thinking through the decades and demonstrate that Ortega is justifiably the key creator and developer of existentialist concepts. Many key concepts of existentialism, such as alienation, loneliness, angst and freedom, appeared in his writing as early as the 1920s. Ortega believes that all individuals must determine their relationship to their life and seek authenticity in it. According to Ortega, the lives of those who settle for inauthenticity remain unlived. The fundamental question then becomes: What is an individual life? For Ortega, finding the meaning of life is manifested in finding one s calling and carrying out one s duties, the most important of which is the quest for truth and living a life that is as truthful as possible. An important tool in understanding life is understanding history. The philosophy of history dominated Ortega s thought in the 1940s. He claimed that man does not have nature, but history. Ortega opined that one should not seek the answer to the question of the meaning of life outside oneself. For Ortega, philosophy became a genuine force for solving life s problems and instilling hope. When we relinquish religion, we discover a better way to be good. On the other hand, Ortega claimed that, had Christianity not become a religion, Christianity could have evolved into a valuable philosophy, and the message of Christianity could have been followed by thinking rather than believing. According to Ortega, philosophy must reformulate its research questions and return to the everyday problems of life. Philosophy must concentrate on life. Ortega criticised the academic philosophy of his time for forgetting life. He considered perspectivism the epistemological solution and emphasised that the only wrong perspective is one that recognises only a single perspective. My study focuses on Ortega s core ideas, but also deepens the themes of art, technology and religion. These themes are bound together by cultural and social criticism. Ortega presented a new interpretation of art, stating that art should be separated from the human. He defended modern art against traditional art, was the first to prepare a general presentation of a philosophy of technology, and pioneered the concept of a super-nature . He also developed his philosophy of technology simultaneously with Martin Heidegger, but ended up subscribing to a more optimistic view of the potential of technology. In his philosophy of religion, Ortega engaged in a bitter battle with Miguel de Unamuno, finding fundamental flaws in the very premises of Unamuno s thought.